There is a growing number of individuals in Huron County designing, launching, and running new businesses. With initiative and risk, they’re making their dreams come true and in return, they’re helping make Huron County an even better, even cooler place to live, work, and play.
We’ve highlighted a few new businesses in Huron County so you can learn more about this new era of entrepreneurism and the incredible individuals who are making it happen. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to take the leap.
Emma’s Coffee House
If you’ve driven past the light in downtown Bad Axe, you may have noticed some exciting things happening on the corner of North Port Crescent and West Woodworth street, the former site of Talmer Bank. Recently, local builders, electricians, architects, and sign makers have been hard at work helping Brad and Jesse Severance turn this existing space into a coffee house and a new location for Bad Axe Club Fitness. Brad and Jessi’s inspiration for Emma’s Coffee House was ignited by a visit to Alaska where they noticed an abundance of tiny drive thru coffee houses. “They were tiny, cute, and convenient, and served great coffee”, says Jessi, “We were so delighted we explored the idea of opening one in Bad Axe.”
After working with the Planning Commission on various designs and running into some opposition, some changes, and concessions needed to be made to their proposed plan. “I think that is pretty normal when you get an idea and actually look into making it a reality”, says Jessi, “but the changes we were going to have to make would affect the convenience of the drive thru, and affect the cost of the project. As we were deliberating what to do, a beautiful vacant building basically fell into our laps. The building gave us the opportunity to house our current business, Bad Axe Club Fitness, plus a drive thru coffee shop, all under one roof. Although the coffee shop is no longer a tiny "house" like we originally planned, we decided to keep the title of a "coffee house," since that was where the idea was born from. The "Emma's" was inspired by our three year old daughter. Her name is Emma, and we thought as a coffee shop name it seemed simple and nostalgic.”
Emma’s Coffee House will serve locally roasted coffee, espresso drinks, and real fruit smoothies in addition to fresh baked cinnamon rolls, heaping slices of pie, and a variety of other baked goods. With a small breakfast and lunch menu that’s focused on a “grab and go” concept for customers, Emma’s Coffee House will feature seating for around 25 customers as well as a drive-thru. They are slated to open in October of this year, and plan to delay the drive thru until December. “Many details are still being worked out, because there are so many possibilities! But we are trying to pull from those who are more knowledgeable and experienced, and believe that in the end we will have some awesome results because of it”, says Jessi.
Emma’s Coffee House will be located at 123 N Port Crescent Street in Bad Axe. You can learn more and keep up with the progress at Emma’s Coffee House on Facebook.
NEST Kids Center
NEST Kid’s Center hit the ground running on June 1st of this year, with kid’s camp starting just two short weeks later. Since then, kids from around the county have been engaging in nature based, hands on learning, led fully by their imaginations.
Together, Dr. Michaela Walter of Optimal Wellness Chiropractic, and Caitlin Stone, a biology graduate, naturalist, and mother, are working to create a space for kids and families to learn in an entirely different way. With an emphasis on outdoor based, hands on, child led learning, NEST Kid’s center offers programs for infants and kids through 10 years of age. Kids get to use their imaginations while playing, building, and learning about the world around them, including music, art, cooking, and STEM to name a few.
“We encourage kids to think for themselves and work together to create and problem solve”, says Caitlin, NEST’s Programming Director. ”It’s all hands on and child led. Kids get to use their imagination and the sky’s the limit. If they give me an idea, I’ll do everything in my power to provide them with the tools needed for them to execute their vision.”
The evidence of this can be found at the NEST Kids Center outdoor space. “Our journey has been wonderful”, says Caitlin,”Michaella and I built this business from scratch – if you drive by, you’ll see our handy work. Our outdoor space is a movable pallet fence complete with cubbies that the kids have been building into projects. The kids have helped us create a fantastic garden which has made snack time even more exciting! We have created a stage, pavilion, and music area as well – all with the help of the kiddos!”
Currently, NEST Kid’s Center is wrapping up their summer camp program and will be jumping into fall programming soon. Fall classes will include:
“Mom (or family member) and Me” music and play classes
Preschool specialty classes (STEM, music, art, and kindergarten prep) for ages 3-5
After-school enrichment classes (STEM, music, art, and cooking) for ages 5-10
Multicultural classes (“Around the World” series taught by Janet Yageman)
New Wave Hair Studio
Not all new businesses need to start from scratch, and New Wave Hair Studio is an excellent example. Erica Peruski, the new owner of New Wave Hair Studio in Bad Axe, always dreamed of owning her own salon. “My inspiration for this new endeavor was really a goal of mine that I had since I was about 4 years old. As a young girl I had always dreamed of doing hair and making people beautiful. That dream of doing hair became true and soon led to owning my own salon.”
New Wave Hair Studio is a full service salon that offers services such as hair color, cuts, treatments, styling and waxing in addition to nail services such as shellac, pedicures, manicures, and acrylics. Erica took over ownership on September 12th, 2016, and has since done a complete remodel on the salon which included a 500 square foot addition for a more open feel.
Erica is not alone at New Wave Hair Studio. She has a full team of talented beauticians and stylists working alongside her; Dawn Wehner, Sarah Butch, Donna Peruski, and Susan McCormick.
For more information about New Wave Hair Studio or how you can set up an appointment, visit New Wave Hair Studio on Facebook or stop by 1238 Sand Beach Road in Bad Axe.
It’s been exactly nine months since Antonia Fruytier, a Harbor Beach native and now business owner, launched her new business 3S Salon in Harbor Beach. As with many new business owners, the few months leading up to the grand opening consisted of a whirlwind of planning, remodeling, inspections, and advertising. On November 30th, 2016, 3S Salon was open for business.
3S Salon is a full-service salon that offers all hair services for men, women, and children including cut, color, styling, and highlights. The salon also offers hair removal and nail services in addition to tanning and facials. For Antonia, there is more to the salon than just the services she offers. “What I love most about my job is that I get to make people feel good. I love doing things for others and seeing them smile. It’s so rewarding. My hope is that each client leaves the salon feeling sassy, sleek, and stylish because that’s how I want everyone to feel. This is how I came up with the name 3S Salon. I wanted to become a cosmetologist because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives in my own creative way.”
You can learn more about 3S Salon by checking out 3S Salon on Facebook, or you’re welcome to drop by 214 State Street in downtown Harbor Beach.
For Kris and Lindsay Fry a new business came in the form a vacant dairy outside of Harbor Beach. “It was always Kris' dream to own his own dairy farm after growing up on one and attending Michigan State's Dairy management program”, says Lindsay. Lindsay grew up in the city and works off the farm but also shares the dream of a successful farm as a legacy for their children.
Kris and Lindsay Fry purchased the dairy after it had been vacant for a few years in 2013 and after some cleanup and repairs, began milking cows on June 20, 2013. “The first few months were challenging and fun because Kris was doing all the milking, feeding, and maintenance alone,” says Lindsay, “but once we grew some we were able to hire an employee to help.” Currently, Sunrise Dairy is milking over 100 cows two times each day. The milk is sold to MMPA (Michigan Milk Producers Association) and goes to Michigan Dairy in Livonia where it’s processed and bottled for fluid milk.
It’s pretty cool what they’ve been able to do so far with a dream and a lot of hard work. It’s not every day that someone moves to the area and buys a farm. For more information visit Sunrise Dairy on Facebook.
TurnerArts Studio & Gallery
After kicking around the idea of opening an art gallery and studio for sometime, husband and wife team Casey and Jenny Turner finally took the plunge. Jenny, a former Laker graduate and art teacher, has a background in art education from Spring Arbor College and until she became a stay at home mom, taught art at Laker Elementary. “I started this company as a creative outlet for myself and others, a way to earn some extra money, and to just get out of the house once in awhile”, says Jenny. ”I wasn't sure how often I would do parties or how it would be received by the community. To my delight, it became very popular and after only a couple months, I was doing one or 2 parties a week.” Art Party has been bringing friends together for in home painting experiences for three years this August.
Having had much success with Art Party, Jenny and her husband Casey, who has a background in marketing and communication, made the leap and opened TurnerArts Studio & Gallery in Pigeon in May of this year. “We took the first two months prior to opening to get the studio ready by painting and adding picture rails and shelves for artwork. The space was perfect with its large windows, tall ceilings, great lighting, built in lighted display shelves and plenty of space to offer classes”, says Jenny. With help from Casey’s parents and sister’s family at the studio, and artwork being supplied by Casey’s sister Christy Wilkins in the gallery, it’s become a family affair.
The studio offers art parties and a variety of other art classes for all ages. Recently, TurnerArts Studio & Gallery has offered a kids art camp, rock painting, and card making classes in addition to calligraphy for beginners, watercoloring, and drawing. They also offer a photography club and will have music lessons starting this fall. The gallery has artwork for sale that will feature local artists in the coming months. In September, TurnerArts will host a kids camp show. “So far, past events have been well supported and we hope for continued success and support from local communities” says Jenny.
If you’re interested in learning more about the art parties, classes, and gallery, visit TurnerArts Studio & Gallery online or follow along at TurnerArts Studio & Gallery on Facebook, or Art Party by TurnerArts on Facebook.
We’re proud of the culture of entrepreneurship we’re cultivating here in our little peninsula. Thanks for reading!
Are you interested in starting a new business in Huron County? The Huron County EDC has many resources and knowledge available to help you get started. You can contact the office, or explore the links below.