Tipn the Mitten moves a few feet down the street to new location
Wed, 02/03/2021 - 1:38pm caleb
Local business takes over Thanks A Latte/Flowers By Josie, keeping the coffee area and flower shop intact
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
One local business recently took over another, as Tip’n the Mitten – a gift shop that also offers a variety of food and beverage items – moved just a few feet down the street into the Thanks A Latte/Flowers By Josie building.
Kate McIsaac, co-owner of Tip’n the Mitten, said Thanks A Latte/Flowers By Josie owner Ernie Dawson had joked with her and co-owner Stacy McIsaac for years about selling them the business. More recently, Dawson did decide to sell, and eventually the two sides were able to complete a deal. Kate said they had placed bids on other downtown buildings in order to expand, but the efforts were not successful. Their intention was stay in the downtown area.
“We knew we would never leave main street,” Kate said.
The McIsaacs wanted to keep the coffee shop intact, but they removed the Thanks A Latte name and replaced it with Tip’n the Mitten. They kept the Flowers By Josie shop as a second business within the building, and they retained staff members from the longtime flower shop.
“No reason to get rid of employees who’ve made flowers for Ernie for 30 years,” Kate said. “We knew we wanted to run his business the same way he had run his business.”
Tip’n the Mitten made a few changes to the coffee shop, adding new coffees and changing to a custom roasted house blend, Kate said. The shop also offers smoothies in addition to its specialty coffees. The coffee area of the store still offers a variety of ice cream and chocolates.
Tip’n the Mitten is committed to offering items from Michigan-based companies.
“One-hundred percent Michigan products,” Kate said.
Tip’n the Mitten offers a variety of food and beverages. It has Michigan beer and wine and cider as well as creamery milk and bottles of Michigan soda (including Faygo, Towne Club, and Northwoods). Tip’n the Mitten offers meats, pasties, cheese, snacks (including pretzels and popcorn), candy, maple syrup, honey, jam/preserves, canned fruits and vegetables, and salsa.
The shop also offers a variety of gift items, including Michigan-themed greeting cards, stickers, books, wall hangings, drinking glasses, drink coasters, and puzzles. Tip’n the Mitten has a few clothing items, including shirts, socks, and winter hats.
“We have over 150 different vendors and we’re getting new vendors all the time,” Kate said.
The McIsaacs opened their initial Tip’n the Mitten location on Michigan Avenue in 2015. They closed the deal on the Thanks A Latte/Flowers By Josie location in September and completed the moving process on October 31, Kate said.
“It took us about a month to get in here,” she said.
About a year ago, during the stay-at-home orders that forced some businesses to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tip’n the Mitten – at its old location – was able to stay open because it was considered a “convenience store” with its selection of food and beverages, Kate said. To help serve customers during the stay-home orders, Tip’n the Mitten offered delivery and curbside service, and some of its offerings – especially pasties – “got super popular,” Kate said.
Kate said they’re still working on a few minor renovations and changes inside both Tip’n the Mitten and Flowers By Josie, and the move to the new building has gone well so far.
“Having two businesses in one is definitely a benefit,” Kate said.
She said merchandise is selling “differently” in the new building, with some of its previous offerings becoming more popular and some less so.
“It’s very random. We haven’t figured it out yet,” Kate said.
Tip’n the Mitten plans to offer outdoor seating for coffee in the summer. Kate said not much else will change from the previous versions of Tip’n the Mitten and Flowers By Josie, other than adding “fun new products” as they find them.
“Otherwise we’ll just keep doing what we’ve always done,” Kate said.
Tip’n the Mitten has its own website at www.tipnthemitten.com and it offers social media posts on Facebook and Instagram. Its phone number is (989) 745-4571.