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Coffee brews, ice cream and history

November 9, 2018

La PORTE — It started out as the Chicago News Agency in 1918, and focused on the sale of newspapers. Then it became the La Porte Delivery System, with the same eye toward print media.

But there’s a lot of change over 100 years, and the Temple News Agency, as the business is now called, is best known today for its coffee and ice cream selection, as well as its focus as a community hangout. (And, as tradition would have it, Temple still carries some newspapers too.)

And it will be celebrating this century of both change and tradition Sunday when it invites the public to an open house highlighting its 100 years of history, featuring folks important to its past, a proclamation by the mayor, and samples of its coffees, specialty drinks and new lunch specials from noon to 3 p.m.

New owners J.D. and Jennifer Flynn said their coffee and ice cream shop, located at 816 Jefferson Ave., La Porte, has been woven into the community for 100 years, and it’s time to show everyone what’s changed with the latest incarnation.

“Every day I come in, I see some of the best people this city, county, state, and even country have to offer,” J.D. said. “One moment I’m hearing stories of the past from residents of the Rumely and the next I’m watching a young author come up with closing words to his first novel. We see first bites of Blue Moon ice cream and first times with coffee that doesn’t come from a chain. We see families honoring lost loved ones, students taking senior pictures, community groups planning their next projects, musicians writing songs, people trying to find a part of their history through our yearbook collection, and everything in between.

“We don’t just serve coffee, we become part of their stories, and to my wife and I, that is the greatest honor that this community could ever give us.”

The open house will also include the cutting of Temple’s centennial-sized birthday cake; balloons; food, coffee, and ice cream specials and samples.

And why Sunday? That’s because it marks 100 years when Albert Voras first filed the articles of incorporation on Nov. 11. 1918.

But J.D. said Temple News Agency won’t just be marking the milestone Sunday, but with events and specials throughout the year.

“My wife and I are very new to owning a business, but Temple has been an important part of our lives for a long time. It is truly an honor to just be involved in such a milestone, but to actually be the owners of such a longstanding establishment is truly humbling,” J.D. said. “La Porte has a very rich history and a very bright future, and we are thrilled to be part of the legacy leading up to this and hope to remain a fixture in the community while the city grows with us.”

J.D. and Jennifer had been patrons of Temple, 816 Jefferson Ave., before taking the lead in September.

“Temple has been a huge part of my life for quite a few years now. I do web development professionally and that allows me to work remotely for much of the week,” he says. “When I was looking for a reason to get out of the house and see daylight, I chose to start going to Temple and quickly became friends with the owner at the time, Joe Whicker, and found myself becoming a regular and getting to know the other regulars.”

J.D. cites the La Porte County Historical Society on the building, which was designed by architect Robert M. Hyde.

“Temple gets its name from the Masonic Temple in which it sits,” he said. “Over the last century, several businesses have come and gone from the first and second floors of the Masonic Temple, but Temple News Agency has remained.”

In the future, the couple hope to host more events, such as game and open mic nights, as well as work on some renovations and remodeling and expand the lunch menu.

“Buying Temple and continuing the legacy is like being able to carry the torch of all the owners before us who have put a bit of themselves into Temple,” J.D. said. “From the antique cabinet to the musical instruments to the amazing coffee drinks to the ice cream creations, every one of them has left a mark on what Temple was and what it will be. We only hope that we can make a mark that keeps the legacy going.”

Do you have pictures to add to a digital scrapbook? If so, send them to jd@templenewsagency.com and stop by on Sunday to see some of the people who made Temple what it is today.

For more information, visit www.templenewsagency.com.

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