New Owner Takes Over Autumn Pearl


Miles Heritsch

Autumn Pearl can be found at 175 E Main St.

Anna Lewis stands next to previous owner Pete Herbst at the 2021 coffee break festival. (Submitted by Anna Lewis)

Anna Lewis took over the management of Autumn Pearl earlier this January, a decision that started in the summer of 2021 after its original owners asked her to take over the company.
After the company’s startup as a hair salon in 2016 and its evolution to include a coffee bar in 2018, the business has grown into a space where, in Lewis’s words, “so many young entrepreneurs [have] the chance to thrive.”
Lewis attended Milwaukee Area Technical College and majored in interior design in 2019, but after graduating in 2021, she had lost her passion. While college throughout COVID-19 had been a struggle, she enjoyed the job she picked up at Autumn Pearl along the way.
“When I started working at Autumn Pearl in August of 2020, I fell in love with the customer service aspect and the very joyful atmosphere. I remember telling my mom, ‘If I could do this for my whole life, I would,’” Lewis says.
A year later, co-founders Pete and Katie Herbst asked if Lewis would consider taking over the company.
Autumn Pearl has been a place where individual hairstylists can make a name for themselves. Now that Lewis is in charge, she continues to feature smaller artists with plans to promote the art and products of small business owners around town.
“I would love to bring more handmade retail from other young entrepreneurs around the state as well as local artists to hang their art on our beautiful brick walls and plan on adding that sometime in the summer,” Lewis says.
However, the main features of Autumn Pearl will remain the same to preserve the charm that keeps Stoughtonites coming back.
“There won’t be many major changes because our town loves Autumn Pearl the way it is! But we can’t wait to continue giving back to the community and will continue our 10¢ from every drink going to a Stoughton non-profit,” Lewis says.
Jordyn, an Autumn Pearl employee, stated her appreciation that the business would continue to give back to the community.
“I will miss Pete and Katie very much, but I know they’re leaving the coffee shop in good hands. The change hasn’t impacted me too much since I’m at school for most of the year, but I am excited to continue working there on breaks,” says Jordyn.
As far as hopes for the future, Lewis wants the business to continue to grow. She still appreciates the feeling of community that Autumn Pearl had when she started working.
The employees also appreciate the environment Autumn Pearl has fostered.
“I hope that people continue to feel welcome, whether they are there for the coffee or the hair services,” Jordyn says.
Lewis plans for a bright future for Autumn Pearl. She says, “I would love for Autumn Pearl to keep growing, more regulars, more growth, more giving back to the community. I believe that’s what sets Autumn Pearl apart.”