IMG_7210Amy and Rob Hessel are a husband and wife team, and the proud owners of The New Freedom Rail Trail Cafe.

Amy hails from Houston, and moved to Baltimore in 1998 to pursue a Culinary Arts degree from Baltimore International College. She graduated in 2002 with an Associate’s Degree in Cooking and Baking, and a Bachelor’s Restaurant Management.  From her early teens, Amy pictured running a cafe of her own. Rob is from Aurora, Illinois, and moved to Harrisburg in his early teens. In 1992, he settled in the Baltimore area for several years. After meeting Amy in 2010, he moved to York County in 2011, and they married in 2012. Rob has worked in Glen Burnie as a senior manager for North Arundel Contracting since 2006.

Over the years, they talked of opening a restaurant or bakery, and when the opportunity to purchase the New Freedom Rail Trail Cafe came up, Amy and Rob knew without a doubt that this was meant to be! They will keep many of the cafe’s original menu items that are known and loved, as well as adding weekly specials and homemade baked goods that showcase Amy’s culinary talents! Amy and Rob will continue to use high quality, locally sourced ingredients to support  local small businesses and the community.

The New Freedom Rail Trail Cafe is located in the historic New Freedom train station, originally built in the 1860’s with a long, rich history. Throughout the years, many public figures have passed through the station, including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln on his way to deliver the Gettysburg Address, and sadly, several presidential funeral trains. In 1997, a restoration project commenced, restoring the station to its appearance circa 1935-1945. What remains of the original train station is the package window and ticket window located in the seating area of the current Café. The freight room of the original building is now a museum operated by York County Parks & Recreation (open seasonally). The building where the business is located in New Freedom is one of only four remaining stations that once stood along the Northern Central Railroad.

With indoor and outdoor seating, guests can delight in the sights and sounds of Steam Into History, an 1860’s Steam Train that runs along the tracks of the York County Heritage Rail Trail. Dine indoors or outdoors, and delight in the sights and sounds of the active tourist train, Steam Into History, running on the Northern Central Railroad tracks along the York County Heritage Rail Trail. You can walk, bike or drive over to say hi to your neighbors, Amy and Rob, and enjoy their delicious homemade meals and freshly roasted coffee, served in a warm, inviting atmosphere at the historic New Freedom Rail Trail Café.