Java Hut owners Jeff Hansen and Colleen Hansen stand
with their granddaughter and employee Grayce Hansen.
Colleen sold the business and plans on retiring.
Alex Nemec/Enterprise Staff
OCONOMOWOC — After 10 years of
ownership, Colleen Hansen has decided to sell her pride and joy,
526 E. Wisconsin Ave., to a new owner who plans to keep
the coffee shop under the same name.
Hartland native Sandy Pagel took over the Java Hut earlier this
Hansen said running Java Hut has been great and she has loved
operating her shop.
“My dream was to actually serve others through my food and share my
love with them,” Hansen said. “That’s what I did here.”
Java Hut was sold to Hansen in 2009 after it had went out of
business after 15 years and several different owners, Hansen said.
“I was initially only going to do it for five years, but I’ve loved
it,” she said.
Since Hansen bought the business she has been diagnosed with atrial
fibrillation, more commonly known as AFib.
“I was diagnosed five years ago from overworking and stress,” Hansen
said. “It’s taken me to a point where I have to sit down a lot.”
When Hansen was diagnosed, her friends and family rallied around
her, she said.
“I was really close to just closing it for my health,” Hansen said.
“I was in the hospital for five days. My friends and my family were
really here for me because I couldn’t be here.”
Coffee shops may
involve a lot of work with a person’s hands, but Hansen
said working at one has to be from the heart.
“Your hands are part of it, but you have to do it with
your heart and your soul,” Hansen said. “That’s why I
think they are such a great thing for communities.”
Hansen said she sacrificed a lot of things to run Java
Hut, but would do it all over again in an instant.
“Maybe I wouldn’t do the full 10 like I did, maybe five
like I had planned but I just couldn’t leave,” Hansen
said. “I loved it so much.”
Hansen said she wants her customers to know how much she
appreciates their support.
“I’m trying to make sure they know that,” she said.
“They’ve been included in this sale. It’s been a
priceless experience for me to see them care that much
about this place.”
Coming to the Java Hut was part of the customers’ daily
routine too, Hansen said.
“They want to know what is happening next,” Hansen said.
“I want them to embrace Sandy they same way they have
embraced me and give her a chance.”
Pagel stands behind the counter at Java Hut. Pagel
bought the business
and took it over earlier this week.
Alex Nemec/Enterprise Staff
New owner, same name
The new owner of Java Hut isn’t new to the coffee game,
having been in the industry for 23 years, she said.
Pagel said she worked at Gloria Jean’s, Starbucks and
Dunn Brothers in Pewaukee.
“Coffee is just something that’s engrained in me,” Pagel
When Dunn Brothers closed, Pagel found herself at the
Starbucks inside of a Meijer and would run into
customers asking her what her next venture is, she said.
Pagel said when she found out Java Hut was for sale, she
thought it was time for her to own her own business.
The customers are what keeps Pagel coming back to the
bean industry, she said.
“I think (a coffee shop is) just the kind of environment
I enjoy being in,” Pagel said. “It’s creating those
one-on-one relationships with people. I know when people
have babies or are sick and it’s like taking those steps
of their lives with them.”
Product offerings will be changed a little bit and the
interior decor may change some, Pagel said.
But, Pagel said she plans on keeping the Java Hut name
because it is an Oconomowoc icon. As for the coffee
offerings, Pagel said she might keep the current
supplier Colectivo while she saves money to purchase her
own roaster to create her own coffee — which she has 12
years of experience doing.
“That is a goal of mine to start my own line of coffee
so I won’t be using Colectivo or any of the surrounding
roasters and it will be specific to this store,” Pagel
said. “That is a long-term goal, but hopefully not too