By Summer Kelly
On July 24, 2019, the Watershed Café celebrated its 5thanniversary–a significant milestone for the authentic restaurant we’ve all come to know and love.
For many guests, the Watershed Café is a home away from home. Stepping through the front door instantly produces a mix of excitement and comfort likened to coming home after being away for a period of time. It just feels right. Since its start, Steve and Rita Rasmuson envisioned their café as an inviting, laid-back place of community. They desire it to be a gathering place for friends, family, neighbors, and people of all walks of life to enjoy intentionally prepared, made-from-scratch meals. “Our intent is to create an open, welcoming, and approachable environment,” Rita said passionately. “We strive to make sure that anybody and everybody can eat good food.” While the restaurant has gone through incredible growth and change in its five years, making fresh and sustainable food accessible for all has always been at the heart of this family-owned business.
What started in 2014 as a breakfast and lunch coffee-shop stop, the Watershed Café quickly transformed into a cornerstone of community activity and a restaurant beyond the Rasmuson’s original dream. Customers continued to request more: more specials, more menu options, and more dining hours. To keep up with demand, the Rasmusons created new dishes, expanded their menu, featured dinner options, and extended their business hours (twice!). “The outpouring of community support is what drives us,” Steve expressed with his warm enthusiasm. “We are what we are because of the people who encourage us and embrace what we do here,” added Rita.
As the demand for good food increased, so did the Watershed Café’s network of local food producers. With Rita’s natural ability to make mindful connections with those around her, she built strong partnerships with farmers and suppliers committed to land stewardship and sustainable practices. These vital sources provide the Watershed Café with fresh and seasonal vegetables, herbs, dairy products, pasture-raised meat, coffee, maple syrup, honey, and whole foods. “A small footprint makes a big impact,” Rita shared. “Collectively, we need to know where our food comes from, how it was grown, and the farmers who grew it. That is the first step to ensure the impact of our footprint is a positive one.”
The Rasmusons salute each guest, every valuable staff member, the farmers and sustainable sources, the St. Croix River Valley Community, and the global community, thanking everyone for their support in the last five years. They are grateful for being able to share in moments, great and small, at the Watershed Café. They look forward to celebrating many more of these moments in the years to come!