Julie Young always dreamed of having her own café.
Her daughter Erica had similar aspirations.
Last November, their dreams came true when they opened Land of Ahhhs together.
Their business includes a café, bakery, ice cream and gifts.
It is located at N3681 State Highway 110, off of State Highway 22/54, in rural Weyauwega.
“I’ve always wanted to do this since I was younger,” said Julie. “I didn’t want to have regrets about not trying.”
She has always enjoyed cooking and has a knack for putting ingredients together.
As a youngster and through the years, Erica talked about running a place with her mother.
More recently, Erica began thinking more about the idea.
She worked at a Starbucks in Appleton for a total of two years, including six months as the manager.
“We should open a coffee shop,” she told her mother.
Last May, they noticed the building near the intersection of 22/54 and 110 was for sale.
“We all came and looked at it. My dad (Scott) said, ‘Don’t get your hopes up,’” Erica said. “About a week later, he called and said, ‘Do you want to work at Starbucks the rest of your life?’”
He told Erica he had made an offer on it.
By the middle of June, they closed on the property and started remodeling the building.
On Nov. 21, Land of Ahhhs opened.
Deciding on a name for the business turned out to be quite easy.
A year ago, Julie began making soap.
That was after being hospitalized several months earlier due to an allergic reaction.
“I couldn’t breathe. We didn’t know what it was,” she said.
While Julie did then get tested for allergic reactions, she said doctors could tell her what she is allergic to, but could not say what she reacted to that day.
As a result, she began to think about what she puts on her body.
With the help of books she checked out from a library and YouTube videos, Julie came up with her own recipes for handmade soap.
A few months later, she started selling her products, which also include shaving soaps for both men and women, shower gels, lip balms, bath fizzies and salts and dog shampoo.
All the ingredients are listed on her products, and Julie started selling them after giving them to others as gifts and receiving great feedback about them.
When she started that business, she thought about how people feel when they go to spa and decided to name her business Land of Ahhhs Body Treats.
A few months later, when Julie and Erica decided to open a café together, they thought it made sense to keep the name the same.
Before opening it, the business partners transformed the space by adding coats of purple, sage green and robin egg blue paints. The found tables and chairs at rummage sales and Goodwill and painted them bright colors.
They wanted their place to be about home cooking.
“I’ve tried a lot of cooking, and I always say Mom’s the best, and it’s not just because she’s my mom,” Erica said.
The breakfast menu includes omelets, oatmeal, giant pancakes and biscuits and gravy.
The menu also features chili (with or without noodles), an appetizer called “Bad Boys,” patty melts and the Kitchen Sink Burger – because customers can get whatever they want on it.
Their Yellow Brick Road Grilled Cheese Sandwich is about a foot long and has four slices of cheese on it.
“We just try to have a little bit of everything so someone can find something when they come here,” Julie said.
She also bakes such things as pies, muffins and scones for the bakery area.
Madison’s Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream is another feature.
“Someone suggested it,” Julie said.
She made a trip to Madison to choose from among their 101 flavors and to also learn how to make malts and the perfect scoop of ice cream.
Land of Ahhhs is open from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.
They plan eventually to extend the hours to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and to be open until 8 p.m. every day once summer arrives. During that time of the year, there will also be outdoor seating.
They offer a fish fry on Friday and also have vegetarian options on the menu.
Julie says they continue to revamp the menu, and she wants Land of Ahhhs to be a place where families bring their children, students come to do their homework (there is Wi-Fi), and people of all ages may hang out free of televisions.
“We’re always experimenting,” she said of the menu. “It’s kind of like at home – whatever the cook feels like making.”
Julie looks forward to going to work every day and said, “We’re not trying to compete with everybody. We just want to be another option for people.”
While she is in the kitchen, Erica is waitressing and enjoys talking to her customers.
She enjoys one other aspect of the business.
“I like being able to hang out with my mom every day,” she said.