Janesville widow, mother of 5 brews up business dream

Kendra Hoehn, of Janesville, is known for wearing an apron and many hats in the community.

Janesville widow, mother of 5 brews up business dream

JANESVILLE, Minn. (KEYC) — Filling up your cup doesn’t always mean taking more off your plate.

Kendra Hoehn, of Janesville, is known for wearing an apron and many hats in the community.

Back in 2015 the Hoehn family got news they never expected.

“He was sick for about 15 months before he passed away,” said Kendra.

During Danell Hoehn's battle with pancreatic cancer, the Janesville community and his family were right there by his side.

“The family is always there to support me and to encourage me to keep on fighting I guess,” said Danell Hoehn, as he spoke about his battle prior to his death.

More than three years after her husband passed, Kendra is saying thank you.

“The community has been really supportive of me personally just with when my husband was sick they really rallied and supported me and I really wanted to give them what they’ve been wanting," said Kendra.

The single mother of five grew up in Janesville and has always known the kitchen like the back of her hand.

After getting the kids to school every morning, she's off to school herself.

“Today’s menu is a turkey and cheddar sandwich, toast the bread for the kids with the cheese and then we also have mixed vegetables, romaine lettuce,” said Kendra.

As head cook, she whips up enough food to feed around 80 kids at Trinity Lutheran School every day.

"I do all the ordering, I cook the food every day, I do the menu planning and take care of the snack program and help with concessions, " said Kendra.

But she fills up her plate with much more than that, even starting her own catering business two years ago.

“I don’t even know how she keeps it all straight, but she manages to keep her cool and be kind and supportive to everybody she meets,” said her coworker and friend, Ingrid Huelsnitz.

This year, the community served up an opportunity Kendra just couldn't pass up.

“I was approached by the building owners to see if I wanted to open a small little bistro and that’s how Brewed awakenings bistro became,” said Kendra.

She has taken on the venture with a friend she's known for much of her life.

“We rode the school bus together, ever since I’ve been growing up, ” said her business partner Amanda Slaughter.

And the pair hired on a team close to their heart.

“I’m very proud being a single mom being able to do this. She’s started her own catering business, she works another job down at the school and she also helped open this and that’s amazing to watch her do this," said Kendra’s daughter, Regan Hoehn.

Brew'd Awakenings Bistro opened just a few weeks ago on Janesville's Main Street, through the same doors as Wiste's Meat Market.

“Just every day seeing the number of customers grow and hearing the compliments that we’ve gotten from community members,” said Kendra.

A dream, now a reality, that her husband may have helped concoct from above.

“Before he passed away we talked about long term planned and we had talked about me opening my own catering business so I think him seeing all this come together, I think he’d be extremely proud,” said Kendra.

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