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Posted on Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

Made-in-Michigan food and wine shop set to open in Ypsilanti's Depot Town

By Laura Blodgett

The owners of Cafe Ollie in Ypsilanti's Depot Town plan to open a store featuring food and wine made in Michigan.

Called the Mi General Store, the store will be located next door to Cafe Ollie, which opened in January at 42 E. Cross St. The shop will primarily sell wine and beer with a small selection of chocolate, sweets, snacks and cheese.

“This is something that we have wanted to do for awhile,” said Mark Teachout, who co-owns the cafe with his partner Danielle Scherwin. “It made a lot of sense to take the space when it opened up because the idea from the very beginning was always to expand on the desserts, sweets and baked goods and to serve beer and wine.”


Danielle Scherwin and Mark Teachout, owners of Cafe Ollie in the former Cafe Luwak on East Cross Street, plan to open a shop next door to sell products made in Michigan.

Tom Perkins | For

At 1,600 square feet, the new storefront is the same size as the cafe with the space broken into three separate rooms. Decorated with old Michigan signage, the front room will sell 100 percent Michigan-made items. The second room, which the business hopes to open later, would feature beer and wine from around the country as well as internationally. The back room will be used for storage.

“There are great products made here that I love, and I want to support my state,” said Teachout.

He said that Michigan is known for its sodas, such as ginger ale and Faygo products. “We also have Zingerman’s that makes very good chocolates, and we have some very good maple syrups here," Teachout said.

The shop also plans to carry dairy products from Guernsey, Calder Dairy and Tecumseh's Four Corners Creamery.

Though it’s a large undertaking, Teachout says he is willing to carry every microbrew made in Michigan and will do everything he can to have every single Michigan wine producer on the shelves.

“I project that Michigan’s wine will be every bit as thriving as Washington State and California at some point” said Teachout. Because of its climate, Michigan tends to do well with its sweeter and dessert wines, he adds.

People in Michigan are “almost rabid” about their support of Michigan products, said Teachout.

“If you spend a very small amount of your paycheck locally it does an amazing amount of things for your state," he said.

Although he will match the price of other local merchants selling Michigan products, Teachout’s biggest concern is that people don’t want to spend the extra dollars for quality products in place of getting the lowest-priced product possible.

“I think it is important that people understand if they pay $5 for something that is made in Sri Lanka, and they can get a similar product for $8 made in Michigan, they should take a hard look at why they are not spending another $3 for it.”

Business is going well at Cafe Ollie, since the couple bought it from the owner of Cafe Luwak in January. The cafe maintains a very limited staff with one full-time employee in addition to the owners.

“The restaurant business is a lot of work, and an interesting way to make a living,” said Teachout with a laugh. “It’s like a never-ending dinner party.”

Teachout and Scherwin have overhauled the cafe on everything from its color scheme to menu, adding vegetarian and vegan selections in addition to the regular lunch menu. Feedback has been good, said Teachout.

“People enjoy coming here because they can bring anybody here. You can come and get a corned beef with your vegan girlfriend and everyone is pretty much covered," he said.

The couple plans to open the Mi General Store shortly after they use the space to get married later this month. They will be holding the ceremony and reception onsite. “We are hoping to open by mid-August, but realistically it may be more like Sept. 1,” said Teachout.

Laura Blodgett is a freelance reporter for



Tue, Jul 26, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

Like, like, like, like, like, like. Yes! I am so excited about this I can't sit still.

Jodi Bollaert

Tue, Jul 26, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

Wonderful news! We need more businesses to create space for MI-made. I'll make a point of stopping into your shop this fall. Please check out "Favorite Michigan Products" on Facebook for regular posts about products that you may want to stock!

free form

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 11:59 p.m.

Love the idea. Can't wait to see the shop.


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

It's ridiculous how excited I am to hear about this shop. You'll be seeing me 'n my kid there frequently. :-D

Tom Dodd

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

Depot Town keeps on keeping on. It's a tradition that continues to be viable. Congrats to Danielle and Mark for expanding their business. We'll be there regularly.


Tue, Jul 26, 2011 : 1:41 a.m. Dad used to say "keep on keeping on." God bless him. I will be there also checking out the store!


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> See if you can get some of this's the best ever.

rusty shackelford

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 6:13 p.m.

Focus on MI beer, which is excellent. Don't bother selling MI wine, which is terrible. You'll be taking a huge bath. Face it: we just don't have the climate for good results. I wouldn't try to sell Michigan lemons, either.

Terrin Bell

Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

Hogwash. Leelanau Cellars has wonderful inexpensive wine. It's dessert wines, which aren't generally found down here, are especially great.

joe golder

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

I believe the tourist that visit Ypsitucky for the many festivals, museums, university functions and holidays will support a store that offers Mi. made products. Especially as sentiment against imports grow. I have visited many of these type's of stores traveling around Mi. and support them. I hope they look in to Alden Mill House spices. Alden, 49612. I personally hope you find away to make both projects work. Good luck Danielle and Mark!!


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 10:25 p.m.

Faith in Ypsi, They sure are! Dr Robb is one of the best human beings I have ever known. He displays respect and consideration for everyone.


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

Personally, I'm offended at all the offensiveness


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

Cash...The Robb family is one of the finest you will find in the area.


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

Hmm.. not sue why I violated.Perhaps cause I said the word Jackson said, or I mentioned the two cities where a lot of people in Ypsi come from.So I'll Try it again.I have been living in Ypsi my whole life.Most of my friends have have Kentucky roots and not one take offense to the Term Ypsitucky.

joe golder

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

My grandmothers first husband died in a coal mine cave in. Her next husband my grand father died of lung cancer from working a life time in the mines. Although my father escaped this when my mom had me, I have roots in those mountains lovaduck and cash. So again I'm sorry if I knocked any varnish off your high morals!


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

Lovaduck, I agree. If you offend someone, ANYone, don't question it. Just don't do it. That is paraphrased from Dr Richard Robb and I still use his words today. Life is a lot better if we TRY not to offend others, whether WE or our friends find it offensive or not.


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 6:49 p.m.

Sorry, I meant 70% of my friends have Kentucky roots . BTW most of them call themselves rednecks


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

I for one don't take offense to &quot;Ypsitucky&quot; and there are a lot of good hard working people there that are proud of their heritage. I don't believe Joe was using it in a derogatory manner.

joe golder

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 6:12 p.m.

Sorry If you find Ypsitucky offensive. I have been using Ypsitucky for over thirty years. I have also heard it used many places around the world. Usually I hear it after I say I'm from Ypsilanti.


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

I know you think you're amusing, but the epithet &quot;Ypsitucky&quot; is an offensive anti-appalacian term which would be totally out of place if you used it against any other ethnic group. Remember when even the Rev. Jesse Jackson had to apologize for calling NYC by a similar epithet which was offensive to Jews. Why is it ok to make fun of poor white people from the South?


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 4:02 p.m.

This is a wonderful thing to see!


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

I think this is a great idea! Probably good to get the new ship sailing since the old one appears to be sinking fast! Not sure you guys were cut out to do the family sandwich/ice cream shop thing. It's pretty empty every time I'm there and cutting your hours back I bet you miss a ton of after dinner ice cream sales. You should just move on to this next business it has more promise. Best to you in any case and love you entrepreneur spirit in the depot!

Mary Bilyeu

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

This is fabulous -- I can't wait to shop there!!!


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

These two are doing a bang up job. Thye new venture sounds great. I can't wait for it to open.


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

I love the idea. best of luck!


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

Hip, hip hooray and best wishes to you on your new endeavor -- I know times are tough, but if we can go just that little extra in spending on Michigan made products it will benefit us all. Again, good luck and will need to venture on over to see what is what when the store opens.

Andrew Jason Clock

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

Can we display this on the Ypsilanti community page, too? Seems like it should be there.


Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 11:35 a.m.

Who ray! more business in the area! Hopefully, an article will be done when they get ready to open so everybody knows about it!