HESSTON — Mullet Place is more than an addition to a nursing home — the multi-million dollar building will host a small cafe, theater and gift shop in addition to private residences for those living at Schowalter Villa.

"When you go on a tour, you will see what a wonderful place this will become," said James Krehbiel, CEO of Schowalter Villa.

The Villa hosted an opening/preview event for the public Sept. 7.

"For the past several years, we have all waited in anticipation of this day. It has been many years that we have thought about this," Krehbiel said. ".. Our joy is overflowing. Mullet Place could not have come to fruition  without the generous hearts, praying hands and vision of hundreds of individuals."

When the new building opens, Schowalter Villa will be able to offer a private room to every resident of the retirement center operated by Bluestem Communities.

"Before the completion of this project, 28 of our healthcare residents have been sharing a room," Krehbiel said. "They have 96 square feet to live in. Now, through the recomposition of assisted living, every person will now have their own private room. ... A space to call their own, a space to live and live well."

Hundreds of people showed up for the dedication ceremony and tour — the crowd not only filled the Villa chapel in standing room only fashion, but spilled out of the chapel and throughout the main building of Schowalter Villa.

Schowalter Villa raised more than $6.1 million and broke ground on the facility April 12, 2017.

Hesston Bakery and Café will open to the public Sept. 18 on the corner of Hickory and Main Street in Hesston within Mullet Place.

"Mullet Place at Schowalter Villa is a community building for all generations to gather," Krehbiel said. "This is a place where children of the child development center will enjoy ice cream with some of the residents of assisted living, where Hesston College students will come to study and expand their worldviews over a cup of coffee, where working parents and empty nesters will come to enjoy a quick lunch at the Hesston Bakery and Café."

Featuring baked goods, light meals and specialty coffee, Hesston Bakery and Cafe will be a place for the community to choose dine-in or carry-out options like salads, soups, sandwiches, muffins and cinnamon rolls. The community eatery is being created by Bluestem Communities — the parent company of Schowalter Villa in Hesston and Kidron Bethel Villiage in North Newton.

The business will be open seven days a week serving light breakfast, lunch and dinner items along with made-from-scratch baked goods and specialty coffee.

Baked goods will be made by local bakers and will include pastries, bread and desserts.

The community is invited to a Hesston Chamber ribbon cutting and sampling event at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 18.