Three new businesses arrive in Eastown

Photo by Brittany Beezhold.
Photo by Brittany Beezhold.

Along the cobblestoned streets in Eastown lie a handful of businesses. Bookstores, boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants and the post office hug the curbs along Lake Drive and Wealthy Street. Surrounded by a diverse neighborhood, Eastown reflects the combination of tradition and family roots with a college town feel.

In late November, three new businesses will merge into the fabric of Eastown, Sip {Organic Juice Bar}, Connie’s Cakes and Spoonlickers. The following are their stories:

SIP {Organic Juice Bar}

Starting by making “Jenergy Bars,” nutritious bars made with dense nuts, seeds, fruits and real vegan chocolate, out of her home in Naples, Florida in 2009, Jennifer Pohlman, owner of Sip {Organic Juice Bar}, was inspired by raw foods.

After her move back to Michigan in 2010, Pohlman began offering 3 Days Raw, a rejuvenating raw food cleanse. Pohlman’s food cleanses are specific periods of time during which the body is allowed time to time to heal, recharge, and eliminate toxins.

Pohlman opened her first store located near Ada at 6770 Old 28th Street, Grand Rapids.

“Grand Rapids was ready and wanting a juice and smoothie bar, and I was ready and willing to take my business out of my home and to the next level,” said Pohlman.

During a transition to a deeper level of health, Pohlman repeated a phrase that soon became her motto.

“The realization hit me that we only have this one body, for our entire life and we had better treat it like the temple that it is, if we want it to last,” said Pohlman.

Now, the motto “one body, one life” brings focus to Pohlman’s lifestyle as well as her business.

Intrigued about the food industry for 16 years, Pohlman desired to make the people of Grand Rapids informed and healthy in their food choices.

“I am passionate about helping people weed through the confusion of our food system and helping them to simplify what real and good nutrition really is through education and awareness and offering great products,” said Pohlman.

Pohlman will take her business further by opening a shop in Eastown, allowing for more space and opportunity. Offering Wi-Fi, Sip {Organic Juice Bar} will cultivate an environment for customers to relax and stay awhile.

“Eastown has been on my radar from the start,” said Pohlman. “It’s a wonderfully diverse and loyal community and currently many of my customers come from that area.”

Sip {Organic Juice Bar} will offer daily-prepared raw foods, including entrees, desserts, crackers, kale chips and a wide variety of healthy, organic, raw foods in addition its trademark juices and smoothies.

Sip {Organic Juice Bar} will open fall of 2012 in the Kingsley Building, located at 1415 Lake Dr., Grand Rapids.

Connie’s Cakes

With cakes decorated for occasions varying from weddings and birthdays to graduation celebrations and baby showers, Mary Scheidel and staff are proud to announce Connie’s Cake’s move from its current location on Division Avenue to the Kingsley building in Eastown. Mary Scheidel, owner of Connie’s Cakes, is excited to expand the bakery’s repertoire including fondant and sculpted cakes.

In 2009, Connie Faber, Scheidel’s aunt, retired from her cake shop. Scheidel discussed the opportunity to purchase Connie’s Cakes and moved forward into a new chapter of her life. After a career of teaching in addition to a manager role at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as experience, Scheidel was ready for a more creative environment.

Scheidel was prepared to pursue the opportunity of owning her own business.

“The timing was perfect for me to pursue this idea of becoming a business owner. With the help of GROW [Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women] and Local First, I put a plan into action and in the spring of 2010 I purchased Connie’s Cakes,” said Scheidel.

Scheidel credits the success and popularity of Connie’s Cakes with the combination of excellent customer loyalty as well as a talented team of designers and decorators.

“Great customer service paired with delicious cake and the best buttercream icing in town was a recipe for success,” said Scheidel.

Scheidel and her team pursue their move to Eastown this fall.

“Our vision is this: to make the world a happier place one cake at a time,” said Scheidel. “We are very excited to be a part of the vibrant Eastown community!”

Connie’s Cupcakes anticipates opening in the Kingsley Building late November 2012.

Spoonlickers

Inspired by self-serve yogurt shops around the country, David Darling, co-founder of Spoonlickers, wanted to provide this type of space in Grand Rapids.

Building off of his idea, Darling moved forward to make his dream become reality.

Darling opened two shops, the first located at 1971 East Beltline NE, Grand Rapids and the second located at 400 Ada Dr., Ada.

Unlike most self-serve yogurt shops, Spoonlickers deviates from commonly used artificial flavoring and commercially canned toppings.

“We would use the self-service model, but we would actually make yogurts and toppings from real ingredients, in real kitchens, at each store,” said Darling.

Darling gives credit to his customers.

“They have really taken to the idea and are genuinely thankful for the effort we put into our service and products,” said Darling. “Without them, there is no business. Nothing to be passionate about. Their smiles and gratitude are sincerely what drives us.”

Darling and his co-workers focus on creating new recipes and combinations to please their customers.

“Our recipes keep getting better,” said Darling. “Our customers have blessed us with wonderful ideas that we have been working to bring to life.”

For the last few months, Spoonlickers has been working on a strict vegan, all-natural yogurt that will be offered at the new Eastown location.

For Spoonlickers, Eastown is the perfect place to share a passion.

“Eastown is clearly an area of the city that gets it,” said Darling. “They understand what is real food and what is not. They understand and support businesses with values like ours. We honestly think that the community’s values are right in line with ours.”

Spoonlickers will open its Eastown store the end of November in the old Blockbuster building located at the corner of Lake Drive and Wealthy Street.

About the Author

Brittany Beezhold

Brittany Beezhold is a Chimes guest writer for the 2012-13 school year.

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