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New owners revamp Farmhouse Inn and Kitchen

by BRET ANNE SERBIN
Daily Inter Lake | March 7, 2021 12:00 AM

Farmhouse Inn and Kitchen started as a homegrown family business, and now new owners are keeping that tradition alive.

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A selection of doughnuts at The Farmhouse Inn and Kitchen in Whitefish on Thursday, March 4. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

Courtney and Chris Werner took over both sides of the Whitefish business—the café and the bed-and-breakfast—from the Peerman family in October 2020. The former owners relocated to a Central Avenue restaurant and no longer retain any affiliation with the Lupfer Avenue establishment.

Nonetheless, the Werners are dedicated to preserving some of the original aspects that drew them to the Farmhouse Inn and Kitchen, while also adding a few new twists of their own.

Like the Peermans before them, the Werners run a nearby family farm that provides many of the products for the café menu.

But although they were avid patrons of the lunch spot before buying the business, running a restaurant is a new experience for the couple.

Chris previously worked as a general contractor, and he said he was drawn to the Farmhouse by its unique architectural value.

“It’s a cool old house,” he said. “It intrigued me as far as the construction background of it.”

When the Peermans put the business up for sale, the Werners didn’t need much more than that architectural appreciation to convince them to make the purchase.

“I decided that I kind of was looking for something different to do,” Chris recalled. “This seemed like a fun little adventure.”

Since the Werners started out as patrons at the Farmhouse Inn and Kitchen, they plan to keep up with some of the Peermans’ initial ideas for the enterprise.

The menu, although it has been scaled back, still emphasizes the farm-to-table experience, featuring ingredients from the Werners’ farm and other nearby vendors.

The space, too, retains its dual function as a café and a bed-and-breakfast, even though Chris said he and his wife are redecorating and “fine-tuning” the guest experience.

But moving forward, the Werners hope to help the unique establishment stand out more amid the Whitefish business landscape.

“We added a few detailed items that we thought… you can’t really get around here,” Chris explained.

The most popular of those new additions are their doughnuts.

The Farmhouse now offers four doughnut flavors at any given time, rotating through seasonal offerings like a Christmas-themed chocolate ganache peppermint pastry, an apple pie flavor, and even a savory doughnut.

“Doughnuts have been the real big hit,” Chris reported.

More on the savory side, they added homemade English muffins as the base for their sandwiches. These are part of a broader effort to refocus on catering to ski clientele.

The English muffins are used for sandwiches in the new Big Mountain Go Boxes—designed for grab-and-go on the way up to Whitefish Mountain Resort—that come complete with Waxwing coffee and a few doughnut holes.

“We’re trying to create a little bit of a buzz,” Chris said.

He and Courtney want to make sure the antique farmhouse serves not only as an isolated reminder of Whitefish past, but also plays an active part in its vibrant future.

“We wanted to be a part of the community a little bit,” he said.

Farmhouse Inn and Kitchen is located at 28 Lupfer Ave, Whitefish. Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., seven days a week.

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 758-4459 or bserbin@dailyinterlake.com