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Ivy Cottage 4868 W. Polk Rd in, Mears 616-920-2000 ivycottagemi.com An interview with owner: Maryann Houtkooper-Johnson Date opened: 2015 Staff: Maryann and Max Johnson Hours: 10-5 daily What they offer: Gift items, home decor, fine chocolates and candy, fudge, women’s apparel, jewelry, baby gifts, salsas, jams and jellies. Why did you want to own this type of business? Maryann said she’s had a florist and card business in Kalamazoo for more than 30 years before retiring. Having already owned property in Oceana, she decided to relocate to the area and start Ivy Cottage. “We also live here on the property, too, which is a little different.” Most memorable day at your business? “I don’t know if there’s any one particular one,” adding that the local people appreciate that they are there. “So we hear nice things everyday.” What is it like to serve our community in this business capacity? “It’s very rewarding. We enjoy visiting with the people. Quite often, customers will come in and we begin talking. We run it the old fashion way.” How has our community responded to your business? Very positive. The shop was initially closed during the winter in the first year, but had a clerk staff for the second year and kept it open. “Of course in the summer we’re very, very busy. Like I said the local people appreciate there’s something here.” How has becoming a business owner allowed you to be more involved in our community? “Just visiting with the people, plus my husband and I are elderly. We actually live in the gift shop. You might as well be open.” What is your favorite thing about Oceana County? “The beautiful countryside, the lakes, the hills, the trees. It’s beautiful.” Future plans? She doesn’t really have any. “It’s better than sitting in a chair waiting to die.” Why is it important to shop small and local? “If people don’t do that, people won’t have any place to go.” Final thoughts? She was very appreciative for being asked to comment.

Business name: Ivy Cottage

Address: 4868 W. Polk Rd., Mears

Phone: 616-920-2000

An interview with owner: Maryann Johnson

Date opened: 2015

Staff: Maryann and Max Johnson

Hours: 10-5 daily

What they offer: Gift items, home decor, fine chocolates and candy, fudge, women’s apparel, jewelry, baby gifts, salsas, jams and jellies.

Why did you want to own this type of business? Maryann said she’s had a florist and card business in Kalamazoo for more than 30 years before retiring. Having already owned property in Oceana, she decided to relocate to the area and start Ivy Cottage. “We also live here on the property, too, which is a little different.”

Most memorable day at your business?

“I don’t know if there’s any one particular one,” adding that the local people appreciate that they are there. “So we hear nice things everyday.”

What is it like to serve our community in this business capacity? “Its very rewarding. We enjoy visiting with the people. Quite often, customers will come in and we begin talking. “We run it the old fashion way.”

How has our community responded to your business?

Very positive. The shop was initially closed during the winter in the first year, but had a clerk staff for the second year and kept it open. “Of course in the summer we’re very, very busy. Like I said the local people appreciate there’s something here.”

How has becoming a business owner allowed you to be more involved in our community? “Just visiting with the people, plus my husband and I are elderly. We actually live in the gift shop. You might as well be open.”

What is your favorite thing about Oceana County? “The beautiful countryside, the lakes, the hills, the trees. It’s beautiful.”

Future plans? She doesn’t really have any. “It’s better than sitting in a chair waiting to die.”

Why is it important to shop small and local? “If people don’t do that people won’t have any place to go.”

Final thoughts? She was very appreciative for being asked to comment.