Salted with Sharks

Petals & Perks: The Europification of Main Street Continues

In Culture Bluffs, On and off the Apron, The Mess Deck on May 29, 2013 at 9:48 am

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Alert reporter Chip Marks spoke with Chris and Victoria Mekas about their new combination coffee and flower shop, which opened for business May 15 in the old Java 429 spot on Main Street. Chip got this response and some great photos.

We took occupancy of the commercial space at 429 Main Street in January of 2013. Victoria has been wanting to open a flower shop in Frankfort for a few years, but there has not been any prime retail space available until this year. We received a phone call when the space became available. After pondering the pros and cons for about week, we decided to open a flower shop with an espresso bar. Victoria started Victoria’s Floral Design in Beulah in 2001 and then moved the store to Benzonia in 2004. In May of 2005, she and I opened the Hilltop Soda Shoppe in Benzonia. An ice cream shop featuring homemade gourmet ice cream made with dairy (rBST-free) from the Ludington area, sweetened using real Michigan sugar (not corn syrup) and heavy use of local fruits when available. [Editor’s note: Try the majestic Black Walnut.]

After operating Hilltop and Victoria’s side by side, we knew that if we were to venture into Frankfort for business, we would have to be better than the norm. So we sourced beans for espresso, lattes, cappuccinos and brewed coffee from Higher Grounds in Traverse City. We’ll have brewed hot and and on those hot summer days, we’ll have a refreshing glass of iced tea with your name on it. Our staff makes our baked goods in our kitchen at Hilltop Soda Shoppe. Gaylynn Howton makes scones, cookies, and biscotti. Becca Tanner is our pie lady. Victoria makes the baklava, cookies, and flourless chocolate cake. Our baristas are Carrie DeWolfe and Melanie Kinnan. To make Becca’s pies à la mode, we were able to pull some strings and source Hilltop Soda Shoppe ice cream. [Editor’s note: Now, that’s what we call synergy.]

The space has actual, true exposed brick. Victoria is not a fan of plasterboard, and when we started taking it off, we found the original brick walls. Our floral sink is an old cast-iron bathtub. We’re going to have handheld bouquets in the summer and they’ll be displayed in the tub. We also have a “quiet room” in the back where people can have meetings or google in peace. We were thinking about calling it the Gallery, because we’re going to have local art on display, but you can’t force a nickname. We’ll see what people end up calling it.

Today we’re starting the Belgian waffles, baked on premises, and a soft-serve machine will dish out frozen yogurt starting this weekend. A toppings bar will also be offered to enhance the sweet treats. New baked-good offerings will include cheesecake and in the autumn, a line of soups.

Says Gaylynn Howton, “Victoria’s decorating touch is seen throughout the store. The atmosphere makes it a fun place to work as well as just hang out. We never use premade—all our baked goods are made from scratch. If there is something you would like to see us bake, let us know!”

Petals & Perks, 429 Main Street, Frankfort, MI

Petals: 352-5600 Perks: 352-4800

Hours: Mon–Sat: 8 am–5 pm; Sun: 10 am–3 pm

  1. We LOVE these two –Chris and Victoria are amazing for our Benzie County community –flowers, coffee, ice cream, and SMILES. And Victoria’s baklava is divine, simply divine.

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