Ntef 2022 PitchNight Judge Katie Degen

Katie Degen owns Central Station Coffee & Tea serving to-go coffees, basic espresso drinks, and pastries. Tea is also on the menu as a nostalgic nod to a family pastime when she used to drink tea and play cards with her grandmother.

The idea to run a coffeehouse at 1150 Central Ave. in downtown Wilmette came to Degen when she saw a need in the community after The Rock House, which served coffee and music education, vacated the same location. After traveling through neighboring towns and seeing each place had their own centrally located coffee shop, Degen signed a lease in October 2020 for the storefront and opened Central Station in June 2021. She is set to open a secondary location inside the Wilmette Metra station possibly by mid-summer in 2022.

Degen has a BA in Communications from the University of North Carolina Asheville. She lives in Wilmette with her husband, three children and puppy, and formerly worked in the event production and hospitality industries.