|The Pod Drop TC, taking shape
Big businesses like Cherry Growers, Altus Brands and the Traverse Bay Area Credit Union have been making big headlines in recent weeks. But that doesn’t mean the small businesses in and around Traverse City are having a quiet summer. Here’s the latest action:
The Pod Drop of Traverse City officially opens August 18 at 1215 E. Front Street in the Campus Plaza near Northwestern Michigan College. An iPhone, iPad, iPod, Macbook service location – “basically anything that Apple doesn’t service,” says co-owner Scott Burdick – the repair and cell accessory shop is the first Pod Drop franchise in northern Michigan. Burdick co-owns The Pod Drop of TC with his son, Eric. He says they’ll specialize in replacing damaged glass screens and fixing and cleaning up water damage, rust and corrosion inside the devices, and also will stock and sell reconditioned devices.
Just around the corner at 1000 Milliken Dr., TC's Carrie White – along with her four children and husband, Peter – have opened Garden Grounds Coffee Shop. A quaint, neighborhood coffee shop in a flower garden setting, Garden Grounds boasts outdoor seating under a pergola; light grab-and-go breakfast and lunch fare (think: egg white sandwich muffins, locally made scones and bread, fresh salads and wraps); plus several locally produced food retail offerings like Traverse Bay Farms salsa, Naturally Nutty Peanut Butter and Brownwood Farms products. White tells The Ticker the shop’s hours are currently 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, but the shop’s proximity to NMC and TC Central High School might necessitate expanding the hours when the school year begins.
TC's Potter's Bakery will leave the west side location at 515 W. Front St (next to Burritt’s Fresh Markets) that it’s occupied since 1986. The family-owned bakery is moving to 130 Hall St. (across from the BATA bus station) and planning a sizeable expansion of its offerings, says Kathleen Potter, co-owner of Potter’s. “We’re adding on a café, doing sandwiches, soups and ice cream,” she says, noting that the new location will offer more room for parking and easier access for cars coming in and out. “I’m optimistically nervous, but it’s time.”
Espresso Bay East
You might recall that in 2009 TC’s Rainbow Book Store on South Airport Road opened a second location at 204 E. Front St. The store’s interior linked to that of Espresso Bay Juice Island next door. Both the downtown and South Airport Rainbow Book locations closed, but another Espresso Bay has opened up and continues to serve Christian book buyers. Espresso Bay East recently opened at 3211 N. Garfield, inside the Grand Traverse House of Prayer on the southwest corner of South Airport and Garfield roads. Offering coffee, Christian books and DVDs, and free bibles, the new location replaces the former Espresso Bay East shop, which originally opened in 2006 at the corner of Hammond and Three Mile roads.
Great Lakes Bear Factory
The Great Lakes Bear Factory has left its longtime digs inside the Grand Traverse Mall to take over the 1,300-square-foot log cabin-style showroom that was once home to S.B. Rustic Furniture, 1469 US 31 North in TC. “It just wasn’t viable to stay [in the mall] any more with the sales and the rent,” explains manager Pat McClellen, whose daughter, Stacy, owns the build-your-own-plush-animal store. “[The new location is] nearly twice the size. We can have birthday parties here. At the mall we had to rent the community room because our space was too small – but now we’ve got room for a showroom, an entrance room and storage.”
ONLINE TO ON UNION
Locally owned CoolStuffExpress had spent the last 13 years as an online wholesaler for museums and gift shops around the nation, but a storefront in TC has long been a goal, says Vice President Connie Manwaring. When Paper & Presents announced in June it was shutting its doors at 126 S. Union, Manwaring says she and her husband – whose merchandise background was honed via a career with Disney – knew they’d found the perfect spot for their “fun, functional, science and educational” wares.