Emmaville Store, circa 1969

Friday, December 30, 2011

Let it snow, let it snow PLEASE let it snow!

Our first snowmobiler of the season
We got about 3.5 inches of snow this morning, and are hoping for more tonight. This brave soul rode the ditch up from Park Rapids. He is the first out on the trails, so he should have good sledding.  We hope y'all are praying for snow out there - we miss the snowmobilers.

Thanks to everyone who came out for our Christmas Open House - it was great to get everyone together to share some good cheer.  Ray Rosenberg, still recovering from his heart attack, was feeling well enough to come out and play some music for us.  A great time was had by all!

Ray and LilyLu
Our friends and neighbors in the bar...

and in the cafe.
Coming up: our New Years Eve party, featuring "White Elephant Bingo".  Guests are encouraged to bring their unwanted items and will have a chance to win new treasures brought in by their neighbors.  We'll start serving dinner at 5 pm, with a Steak Shrimp Special and our full dinner menu. Hope you can join us!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

'Tis the Season

First of all, thanks to all the deer hunters who stayed with us, stopped for a meal or gassed up at the store - we had a great week, and we appreciate your business.  Just a few hardy muzzleloaders left - almost time to switch gears to ice fishing.  Local lakes are freezing up with good, solid ice - no snow to complicate things.  We hope to have sufficient ice by the weekend for fishers on foot.  (Please don't try to drive on the ice just yet.) Stop in and check out our new ice fishing tackle - we'll have waxies too.

We're also getting ready to celebrate the holidays - we put lights up on the store, and Santa came in for a landing while test-driving his new sleigh!  Melinda and Mary did a great job decorating the tree.

We are planning to have Christmas Open House for all our friends, neighbors and customers on December 11th, starting at 3 pm.  MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lotsa Orange

First light - Opening morning
Lotsa orange around, deer hanging in trees - must be deer season in Emmaville! We're in full swing here, cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for hungry hunters, selling coffee, caramel rolls and flashlight batteries, and providing lubrication for the telling of stories by successful (and unsuccessful) hunters and assorted deer camp philosophers.

The end of a long day for Clayton

This week marks our first anniversary as owners of Emmaville, and what a ride it's been. Not sure how many wagers were made on us making it the first year, but we like our odds going forward. 

We're thankful for all our customers who have come to rely on Emmaville again for their gas and groceries. More so, we are blessed by all the new friendships we have gained over the past year.  We have been wandering around the country for 30 years looking for a place where we belong - it's great to be a part of this community - it's great to be home!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ATTENTION DEER HUNTERS!! (And anyone else who likes good, home cooking).

To better serve the deer hunting public, Emmaville will have extended hours during Deer Season:

                         Store Hours:     CafĂ© Hours:                           
Thur, 11/3       7 am – 10 pm    7 am – 9 pm

Fri, 11/4          7 am – 10 pm    7 am – 9 pm                                 

Sat, 11/5         4 am – 10 pm    4 am – 9 pm                              
                                                  (Breakfast Buffet)
Sun, 11/6        4 am – 10 pm    4 am – 9 pm                                
                                                  (Breakfast Buffet)
Mon, 11/7                                                 
thru                7 am – 10 pm     7 am - 9 pm
Sat, 11/12 

               Hunters Supper Specials
                 (Everyone welcome!)

Mon: Meatloaf                                    $8.95
Tue: Taco Buffet                                $7.95
Wed: Spare Ribs
   & Sauer Kraut                                 $8.95
Thur: Fried Chicken                           $8.95
Fri: Wild Alaska Salmon                   $9.95
Sat: Green Chile Cheeseburgers        $6.95

 Appetizers and Grill Items also available

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sunrise at Emmaville, 7:36 am

The best time of the year - time to slow down and enjoy a good cup of coffee and conversation.  The coffee pot is always on here - come join us one of these mornings.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall comes to Emmaville

Fall is here!  Please note our fall hours:  7 am to 8 pm Sun-Thu, 7 am to 10 pm Fri-Sat.  Our last Tuesday Taco Buffet is this week, and the cafe will be closed on Tuesdays.

We will have extended hours during deer season - stay tuned....

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fast Eddie returns with some hardware

Emmaville's best athlete, "Fast Eddie" Rousseau recently returned to show off his latest awards, including a gold medal for 1st place in the World Masters Marathon as part of the US team, 1st place in the North Coast 24-Hr Race, where he set a new 12-hr record in the 70 to 74 age group, and recognition as an All American, by USA Track & Field. Great job, Eddie!

Yes, you read right - Ed is 72 years young.  He loves to train in the woods here, near his cabin on Bottle Lake.  Ed Rousseau, just one of the characters to be encountered in Emmaville!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Food from the Good Earth: Local Produce Featured at the Emmaville Cafe

Our thanks to neighbors Norm and Martie at North Star Farms for providing us with the freshest produce around.  We'll enjoy while it lasts!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Emmas of Emmaville

Ever since we opened last winter, we've had Emmas stopping by to see "their" town.  One day, a young lady named Emma stopped in on her 16th birthday and had her picture taken with our new sign. 

Melinda mentioned to her that we should get a bulletin board and start taking pictures of all the Emmas that stop in.  Not long afterward, this Emma, who hails from Grand Rapids, brought us a hand-decorated bulletin board and a copy of her picture to start our collection.

The bulletin board is starting to fill up; here are some of the other Emmas we've met this summer:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A little Emmaville history

Our neighbor Rod Lof recently brought over a DVD with some photos from his grandmothers' photo album that provide a glimpse into life in the neighborhood in the early years. They include a lot of pictures of loggers and logging operations as well as pictures of trophy bucks, family picnics and "new" cars.

We picked out 4 photos we are certain were taken at Emmaville and had them enlarged for display. We mounted three of them behind old window sashes from nearby Trails End Lodge and hung them in our cafe.  We're still trying to decide where to put the fourth. Anyway, here they are:

Emmaville School (now the University of Emmaville) circa 1914.

Community members gathered for a picnic(?), 1914.

Mrs. Ida Mae Hagen (Willie's grandma) entering the store, 1963.

Mr. and Mrs. Ed Lanning (left of center) and friends gather at Emmaville, 1963.
We've been having fun identifying folks in this photo; Willie Hagen identified his grandma, Ida Mae, on the far right.  Rod's grandma is seated on the far left.  Next to her (we think) is Mrs. Charlie Valentine; Mr. Valentine is the gentleman standing on the far right (we think). 

The picture appears to be a gathering of veterans; judging by their ages, they would be vets of WWI.  If you have any guesses as to the identities of others in the photo, let us know!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fish On!

Here's some shots of lunkers that have come through Emmaville of late:

We've also got a shot of a 52" muskie on the Monster Board, caught on Mantrap last week.

Fish are biting, come on up!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday to Clayton!

Clayton celebrated his 89th birthday with lunch and birthday cake with friends at the Emmaville Cafe. The party continued into the bar, where Clayton passed out birthday cake and accepted well wishes from our customers the rest of the day.  Clayton is a joy to have around, whether he's chatting up the customers, sweeping the floor at closing time or commiserating with Mike over a Twins game. We are blessed to have him.

Business has been good at the cafe, and the menu is slowly expanding. This week, we've tried out bison burgers, breakfast burritos, and Mel's newest invention, brownie in a cup.  Our first Sunday breakfast buffet was an apparent hit, as we served over 70 people (mostly) without a hitch.

Hungry fishermen attack a sample of Mel's latest creation.
Our cafe is now open from 7 am to 2 pm for breakfast and lunch. The Sunday breakfast buffet is served from 9 am to 1 pm. Come on in!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shh! Don't Tell Anyone...


We began our trial runs of the new kitchen this week, with Mary making the first cheeseburgers on the "new" old grill.  Clayton and Mike have been getting spoiled, trying out the menu. 

We're going to keep it simple to start with, to make sure we have all the bugs worked out (figuratively speaking, of course!).  Mary working out the rust (again, figuratively), having not run this kitchen for a few years, and Mel is remembering how to waitress after coming out of retirement after 15 years.

We've got a simple breakfast menu to start with,  same with lunch. Bear with us while we develop both over the next few weeks.  Come on in and try us out!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cool Emmaville Stuff Now Available!

Our new hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies are in and selling fast!  Be the first on your block to own authentic Emmaville stuff.  We even brought back the classic University of Emmaville hoodie - our thanks to neighbor Larry Teslow for providing an original to copy.  Get one today and you could look almost as good as Larry!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clayton is back!

Clayton catching up with Kenny on the latest news from Emmaville.
Our friend Clayton rolled into town last week to check up on our progress and resume his duties as our official Ambassador, Wecoming Committee, Handyman, Tour Guide and Historian.  He's been keeping busy visiting with the regulars, doing some yard work and pouring concrete. Yes, you read it right - he wields a mean trowel!   We promise we haven't been working him too hard, but Clayton's not too good at sitting still.

Stop in and say hi to Clayton!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Comes to Emmaville

Did you miss us? We've been busy working on the cafe, trying to get it ready to open this spring. Today, our kitchen contractor installed new/used exhaust system and make-up air system, which are the biggest pieces of our kitchen upgrade.

In addition to upgrading the kitchen, we've completely reconfigured the dining area to make it roomier and brighter (pictures coming soon).

As you can see from the pictures above, the snow is slowly leaving us, revealing all the stuff that got buried last fall. Looks like we've got lots to do outside, too. Come see us - and bring a rake!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Big excitement in Emmaville today, as a famous celebrity stopped by today.  Their limo pulled up to buy gas at our little store!  It was obviously a very important celebrity, as they stayed inside and kept their tinted windows rolled up.  Probably, somebody really big, like Louie Anderson or Lonnie Anderson, or that one guy who was governor....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Cool Little Bar

It's been a fun couple of weeks since we last posted - lots of folks coming through, getting gas and groceries, coffee and a snack.  The snowmobilers have rediscovered us and are grateful for having a key gas stop reopened on the trail. 

Our little bar has been doing a good business - we've gotten lots of compliments on our decor. Our Hamms signs are especially popular:

Our "lounge" is a great spot for couples to relax.  It's also popular with families - we have coloring books and puzzles for the kids.

Of course, the best thing about our bar is the stereo - it's an old Packard Bell Hi-Fi in a beautiful walnut cabinet and it sounds great!  Come check out our cool little bar!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Emmaville has gas! Officially opening Saturday, January 22nd!

Almost Gas

Our contractors have been here since Wednesday, working in biting cold to get our gas pumps up and running. We're almost there - they're testing the tanks today and finishing up the installation.  We can't thank them enough for their dedication - it's been well below zero the last couple of days, but they've been out there, busting their butts to get us up and running.

We should have our bright, shiny, new (ok, they're not new or even shiny right now) pumps ready to go by the end of the day. BUT, not sure if we will have the test results and the necessary State approval today, so we may not be pumping gas til Monday. Stay tuned.....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Sneak Peek

Here are a couple of quick snapshots from this morning, to give you an idea of what the store looks like.

We're Not Really Open Yet, But ....

Lots of rumors flying around about whether Emmaville is open for business - sorry for the confusion. We're not officially open yet because we still don't have working gas pumps, nor, at the moment, a functioning cash register.  We are expecting our contractor to start on the gas pumps, controls and leak monitoring system this week. 

It seems that the great deal Mike got on a "new-used" point-of-sale system (what they call the new cash registers these days) wasn't so much a great deal. When the technician came in Thursday to set it up, we found out the display doesn't work. So, it's in the shop right now. We tried Plan B: firing up the cash register that came with the place, but we don't have the key to program it. We even tried Plan C: firing up the really old cash register we found in the garage, but it's a boat anchor now.

When I say "we" I mean Mary Saf and Mike. Yes, Mary is back!  She came in to help us get organized this week and will start full-time next week. We're really glad she wanted to come back to Emmaville - hopefully, we won't drive her too crazy.

We have had a few snowmobilers come in to warm up, us the restrooms and grab a candy bar and pop. And yes, we had a few volunteers help Mike train in as a bartender - a round of Grain Belts constituted our first unofficial sale on Friday.

So, we aren't really open, but please stop in - we are fully stocked and can make change out of a shoebox for now. If nothing else, stop by, say hi to Mary, and have a look around. We'll be here!