By Keith Knepp
AKRON — For Lori and DeLynn Geiger of Akron, the idea of improving their hometown is always something in the forefront of their minds. When the opportunity to improve the town in two ways came about, they knew that it was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.
Last Thursday afternoon, the couple broke ground on the corner lot at the intersection of Rochester and Mishawaka streets for their new venture, The Grounded Coffee House at The Depot. The plan is to move the historic old train depot that is located a few blocks south of that location. The depot was built in 1883 and originally was part of the Erie Line.
The plans are to move the depot to the southwest corner of the intersection. Before it is moved, they plan to dig a basement and foundation to place underneath the building. The hope is to have the foundation completed and the building moved sometime this fall. The anticipated opening of the business is in 2023. When it does open, the Geigers plan to offer breakfast, pastries and sandwiches.
“We want to fill in a gap,” said Lori Tilden-Geger. “Akron was missing a coffeehouse. This is a labor of love and it will be a protracted process because we plan to do much of the work ourselves. We were excited when we came up with the idea for this project.”
Tilden-Geiger said the depot was purchased in August from PIke Lumber and the property through the Akron Redevelopment Committee.
“This is about preserving history,” added Kurt Garner, the project’s architect and planner. “The depot is part of Akron. I’m the guide for the preservation techniques.”
Tilden-Geiger said she anticipates the business will be an informal gathering place for the community to come together. She is thrilled that they also will preserving a historic building.
“I grew up going down to the depot,” she said. “I served coffee at this location at (the former) Harris Drug Store. The name ‘The Grounded Coffee House’ not only is a coffee term, but it also means ‘well balanced.’ No matter where you go, you can always return to your roots.”