New Shopping Destination-Downtown St. Johns, MI
Yup, you heard that right. St. Johns has had a bit of a face lift over the last few years and is now the new place to shop, and soon to eat and share some drinks. This is very exciting for my generation. Many friends and acquaintances that grew up here moved away for a time but have slowly moved back, started families and are now investing in this bubble of a city. I think a lot of us still head to bigger cities like Grand Rapids and East Lansing for shopping and eating, but you might want to think about sticking closer to home the next time you need to run out to purchase a gift or want to meet for coffee and a sweet treat.
Current staples that have turned the hands of time in our town are OhMi Organics, Global Coffee Co., and Mint Door Boutique. Brent and Megen Hurst, the store's co-owners, started out with quality chocolate that was gluten and dairy free in so many different and delicious flavors. They have added other food items like hummus, energy bites, and now baked goods. They are big proponents of healthy living and have brought new vendors in the area to our town during festivals, introducing me to CSAs, yummy BBQ, and other local artisans. Owner Amber Haubert from Global Coffee Co. brought us a unique coffee space along with Cops and Doughnuts and Acai bowls (pronounced a-sah-yee). I sure miss her friendly face and the coziness of her space, she'll be back soon (November) and I'm finally going to get that Acai bowl. You all know how I feel about Mint Door Boutique. I always find something unique either for myself or for a loved one when I go in there. Chris and Corrine curate items from all over, and they seem to have new items every time I go in. I currently have my eye on a travel bag, because we all need a travel bag right now during a pandemic, right?
Over the last year, we've seen Waypoint Coffee Company, Kymora Kandles, and Adorn Mint move in. Last Friday my friend Carla and I decided to patronize these new businesses. Instead of shopping for myself, I set out to purchase Christmas presents, because you know, that season is creeping up on us. I usually buy all my gifts on Amazon prime, but with our small businesses taking such a hit this year, I think it is even more crucial that we do our part to support them. It was really difficult not buying for myself.
Most of the businesses open at 11:00 am, so we decided to sip coffee at Waypoint while we waited. Ethan Painter of Waypoint did it right when he decided to revamp the old F.C. Mason building and make it new while using original flooring, ceiling, and a few other pieces from times gone by. Waypoint is a different kind of coffee house, making craft coffee and tea. More craft, less syrup and sweet. I always get the matcha tea latte. They also have pastries hand made by a Mennonite baker in Perrinton. The side story on this is that she is the daughter of Litwiller Catering out of Perrinton who happen to be neighbors down the street from my parents and owners of the Middleton Diner. Small world!
Our first stop was Adorn Mint, owned by Jamie Madar, and a photographer and former classmate of mine, Emily Kendall Irish. Did I already say it's a small world? Oh, yes, I suppose I did. Jamie makes a lot of the items, and also has many local artisans sell in the store too. They have so many fun things I don't even know where to begin, from apparel, to jewelry, to toys, to custom wine glasses, to seasonal items, you will see something and you will say "hey, that looks like Amy!" and then you will purchase it for her, or whoever your Amy is. The gift that went to my Amy is a chapstick holder on a keychain because she is always loosing her chapstick. I have never seen something like this before, so it immediately went into my shopping bag, I also had another Amy moment, but this gift was for Moriah. Have I lost you yet? I hope not, what I'm trying to say, is that they have many items that speak to many different types of Amys or Moriahs.
Our last stop was Kymora Kandles, this family owned a storefront in Fowler that burned in the fire a few years ago, a terrible thing for those that had their businesses parish, but they persevered and lucky for St. Johns opened up in our town about a year ago. Obviously, they make candles where the scents are named after everything "Michigan" but they also have apparel, jewelry, purses, pet items, and framed wall signs. My absolute favorite wall sign is the one that says, "let's stay in, it's too peopley out there" there are many other clever sayings and you'll have to go in to see them all, they really are great. I walked out of that store with Christmas presents for my nieces and nephews-knitted hats and stainless steel and wood water bottles. I did try on one of the hats and it will be on my Christmas list....honey, are you reading this?
Stay tuned for updates to downtown, we've got the St Johns Brewing Company coming in as well as Cupcakes and Kisses. Two places I can not wait to try, because who doesn't love beer and cupcakes? It is so nice that our downtown has new things to offer. It's no longer just a place to work, it is a new shopping destination!