WildFlowers has new owners, same mission
WildFlowers owners Vicki Altena and Manda Steensma have been prayerfully seeking new owners for their downtown Luverne coffee boutique.
When they announced in March the business was for sale, they said they’d be patient in finding someone to continue their mission.
“I call this community ministry,” Altena said when the business opened in January 2018. “We wanted a place for people to sit and relax and just take a deep breath.”
Last week she and Steensma announced they were selling to Tracy Wieneke, Adrian, and Teri Jeeninga, Rock Rapids.
“We had a lot of great parties interested in WildFlowers Coffee, but we felt that Terri and Tracy’s mission and vision for the business most closely matched ours,” Altena said.
“We loved their enthusiasm and their eagerness to serve the community of Luverne.”
The sisters, who grew up near Little Rock, Iowa, said they plan to continue WildFlowers’ mission in the community.
“We look forward to working with the current staff and continuing the fun and relaxed environment Wildflowers provides,” Jeeninga said.
“We’re both coffee enthusiasts and look forward to sharing that love with the community.”
They said they like the WildFlowers menu traditions of tasty lunch entrees, sweet treats and Saturday morning cinnamon rolls.
“But mostly we’re looking forward to making WildFlowers not just a business but also an important part of the community,” Wieneke said.
The two women, who have both worked throughout their lives as part-time servers and kitchen staff in restaurants, bring unique assets to the partnership.
Jeeninga has a business degree and works with small businesses through Alpha Omega Publications in Rock Rapids.
Wieneke, a distance learning teacher with Alpha Omega Academy, lives in Adrian with her husband and three children. She said the partnership with her sister will capitalize on their personal strengths.
“We both have great people skills and organizational talents,” she said. “And we can’t wait to apply these to the hard work Vicki and Manda have already put into WildFlowers.”
They said they’re committed to maintaining the high standards already in place.
“We welcome the challenge and are very grateful to Vick and Manda for giving us the opportunity and providing so much help during the transition,” Jeeninga said.
“Everyone involved wants to see WildFlowers experience continued success and continue to provide quality items with an uplifting environment for all of its customers.”
The business was closed July 1-4 for the transition and is now back in operation under new owners who said customers won’t notice anything different.
“The plan is to continue the excellence that Vicki and Manda have created at WildFlowers, so there will be no major changes,” Wieneke said.
“We’ll continue things the way they currently are, especially in the first couple of months. Customers can expect to see the same amazing service and great food they have grown to love and expect from WildFlowers.”
Steensma said she has confidence the new owners will do well in Luverne. Her advice? “Listen to your customers and build relationships with them,” she said. “Continue to create a feeling of being known and feeling like family.”
A banner-size quote by poet Nakita Gill sprawls on the wall behind the counter as a reminder of the business mission to provide comfort and peace.
“I hope you are blessed with a heart like a wildflower, strong enough to rise again after being trampled upon, tough enough to weather the worst of summer storms and be able to grow and flourish even in the most broken places,” the message reads.
Altena said WildFlowers has become the place they hoped it would be.
“We feel successful because every day we have witnessed the smiles, laughter, conversations and sometimes prayers that happen here,” Altena said. “That is why Manda and I set out to do this in the first place.”
She and Steensma said they’ll continue to support the business.
“Our hope is that the community will embrace the new owners, Terri and Tracy, and give them grace as they find their way in their new business,” Altena said.
The new owners said they might consider adding Monday hours, which will be announced on the WildFlowers Facebook page.
Current hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Gift card balances will be honored.