By Kathy Feist
Housewife fans from around the metropolitan area now have another good reason to make the trip to downtown Grandview. In little less than a year, Housewife Cafe and Bistro owners Anna and Joel Sorge have opened Truman General, an old-fashioned mercantile and homemade ice cream shop, next door at 809 Main St.
“We felt like it was the right time to add one extra offering to the people who already come in,” says Joel.
Truman General is located in a quaint blue and white two-story cottage house built in 1920. Its wide covered front porch decked out with a few tables and chairs and adorned with seasonal floral arrangements allows customers to people-watch while enjoying an ice cream. French doors open to original dark hardwood floors and tidily arranged displays of dry goods: gourmet food, toys, scarves, cookbooks, candles, skin care products, jars of bulk candy, vintage soda six-packs, notebooks, and locally made Harry Potter Christmas ornaments arranged on a Christmas tree.
“This is the place where if you forgot to be thoughtful, but you’ve got to be thoughtful in about 30 minutes, you can come here and find something in two minutes,” says Joel. “And it’s affordable. You can spend $13 on a scarf/blanket that’s super comfortable.”
Shoppers are welcome to peruse the items with an ice cream cone in hand. Anna makes the ice cream herself, in addition to all of the breakfast and lunch menu items at Housewife. Some of the more creative flavors are salted butter pecan, chocolate mint and citrus olive oil.
Joel and Anna are familiar with the general store theme. Joel grew up in Ralston, Pennsylvania, a small mountain town with a general store, gas station and funeral home. “The general store was the main event,” says Joel. “We wanted to capture that old yesteryear.”
The store also gives off a decidedly Dean & DeLuca vibe, a gourmet grocery store where Ana worked for 10 years. “I know what shops really well,” she says. “I know what people are looking for. So I definitely want to have those products.”
Anna plans to soon have flowers and flower bouquets available for sale as well as charcuterie trays. The couple plan to open a bookstore with seating on the second floor. Down the road, Anna can see a pop-up dinner society like the ones she organized while living in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Her plans don’t stop there. A native Grandview girl, Anna would like to keep expanding along Main Street. “I want to do one business a year,” she laughs. Maybe a diner with a cocktail bar at a remodeled Waffle House. Or a gym/pickleball court with a permanent food truck on the west end of town.
While her ideas keep hitting the right chord, Anna is quick to give thanks to those who have helped her and Joel. “It feels like a community is doing this, not just two people,” she says. “And this is for the community.”