The Faces of Lake Country: Karen Krumenacher

Life is better with chickens, according to Karen Krumenacher, the ‘head hen’ of Royal Roost. Karen’s Pewaukee based small business offers services for those raising, or interested in raising, backyard chickens. Living her dream through her business, Karen can be found doing chicken consults, designing and building custom coops, chicken check-ins, chicken chats, selling fowl apparel and decor, and renting royal roosts for those not fully committed to being a chicken tender.

Royal Roost offers classes, also. Critter Yoga sessions are set for June 25 and 27, and July 2 and 12 with more dates to come. Relax and enjoy the outdoors during a critter yoga session with chickens, turkeys and goats.

Those who would like to be a ‘Super Sexy Chicken Lady/Guy’, may attend a free Chicken Chat Thursday, March 5 at Roost Mercantile, or April 25, at 11 am at Pet Expo at Washington County Fairgrounds/Expo Center. There’s also Chicken Chat at Royal Roost: Begin Raising Your Own Backyard Chickens, Saturday, May 9, for $15. Find Royal Roost on Facebook @RoyalRoost, or myroyalroost.com for more info and to purchase tickets.

Chicken apparel and decor can be found at Lynndale Farm Collection of Shoppes (which includes Roost, The Coop, Vintage Barn Chicks, Molly’s Gluten Free Bakery and The Homestead). Karen donates a portion of the profits to the Key West Wildlife Center, which rehabilitates injured and sick native Key West chickens and other critters.

Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I’ve always had a love for critters and farm life. I was raised in Ripon, and my best friend lived on a dairy farm. We would alternate sleeping over at each other’s house every Friday. I couldn’t wait to go to her house, because they had kittens, cats and a variety of cattle. When we moved from Milwaukee to Pewaukee, I knew that was an opportunity to live that life.”
 
Q. What is your favorite restaurant in Lake Country, and what do you love there?
A. “Doc’s Dry Dock for the Reuben pizza and BLT pizza.”
 
Q. How long have you lived or worked in Lake Country?
A. “21 years.”
 
Q. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Lake Country?
A. “Luna Van Hooven. She is the daughter of the original owner of our farmhouse that was built in 1911. In the summer of 1999, her brother stopped over to visit the farm when he was in town for his 60th class reunion in Waukesha. Three months later, Luna stopped by and told us many stories of growing up here. A month after her visit she sent a dozen original photos of the farm, which are now hanging honorably in our home. Just last summer, she stopped by for another visit and she is thrilled that we live here, raised four kids here and have brought the place back to life with critters. She is 89 years old.”
 
Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?  And why?
A. “Switzerland. It has to be some place with snow, I gotta have snow. Snow reminds me of my childhood. When I was growing up, we lived across the street from a hospital, and the plows would create these giant piles of snow. I’d keep busy climbing and digging tunnels through them, and when my mom would call, I wouldn’t want to come in the house.”
 
Q. What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A. “A family favorite movie is ‘Babe’, and we have implemented the critters on the farm after the movie. Grease was the first movie I saw at the theater, despite my mother’s objections.” 
 
Q. What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A. “Everyday find something to be happy about. It’s better to smile than frown at someone, even if they don’t smile back.” 
 
Q. What is something on your bucket list?
A. “To be interviewed on the Today Show, or my own backyard chicken raising show on PBS or Create TV. Or to take over Dan Small’s hosting job on Outdoor Wisconsin.
 
Q. What is your favorite music/three artists you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A. “While I appreciate all genres of music, I really am an ‘80’s music gal. Duran Duran is my favorite band, I’m their number one fan! My favorite song of theirs is ‘Girls on Film’.” 
 
Q. What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Lake Country?
A. “Schulte’s Garden Center, I remember the first time I discovered them, just down the road from my home.”

Q. Choosing anyone not related to you, with whom would you love to have lunch?  Why?  Where in Lake Country would you have lunch?
A. “I like the vibe of the fashion scene, so I’d like to have lunch with Andy Warhol. I’m a hole in the wall kind of chick when it comes to restaurants, so we’d lunch at Gina’s Sports Dock.”
 
Q. What is your favorite thing or something unique about Lake Country?
A. “That you find little pockets of ‘ruralness’, farms and gardens, but yet a small, hometown feel.”
 
Q. Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
A. “I’m going to go big here and say on a reality TV show on how to raise chickens, like a Mrs. Dolittle.” 
 
Q. Even for friends or family, what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you? 
A. “For five years, I raced in a bikini on a snowmobile to raise money for Pink Ribbon Riders, which provides direct financial assistance to people with breast cancer.” 
 
Q. What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word home?
A. “Comfort, blessed and family.”
 
Q. If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A. “Tom Cruise, I’ve always been a fan.” 

The Faces of Lake Country is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured, please click the button below.

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