If you’ve ever stopped in Arcadia Township on M-22, you know that there’s only one thing missing after Lake Michigan, Old Baldy, the Mott Preserve, the Mile Long Marsh Walk, the Lake Michigan beach and the fish and wildlife that abound in this secluded valley: A place to gather together over a really good cup of coffee!

And that’s what a group of community leaders in Arcadia are intent on changing as they begin a hunt for partners to build the mold for a world-class “coffee shop and more” to serve the thousands who now visit the community.

The Arcadia Coffeeshop Exploratory Committee has received a grant of $19,000 from USDA Rural Development to retain experts to complete a detailed market analysis, business plan and entities who want to then step in and solve Arcadia’s missing link with a nonprofit or for-profit business.

“About a year ago, the community convened in a facilitated session to talk about our vision for the future and priorities for heading in that direction,” says Ryan Tinetti, a local pastor who chairs the Committee. “Since the ‘coffee shop and more’ was clearly the favored tipping point as a next step, we thought this would make a great proposal to USDA RD’s Business Development Grant program. We could not have been more delighted when we learned we were successful!”

The Committee is disseminating a Request for Proposals (RFP) to consultants or consultant teams to work with a project Leadership Team to complete a detailed feasibility study and business plan and then help market both to organizations qualified and interested in starting the business. Proposals are due at 5 p.m. on October 2, 2020.

Proposals must include:

  • Respondent qualifications and experience
  • How market and out of market surveys will be done
  • Research product demand and options
  • Identification of market territory and synergistic organizations
  • Workforce needs and availability
  • How the 3-year business plan will be completed along with financial projections
  • The approach for identifying interested parties to develop the business

“Ideally, we’d have an organization by June or July of 2021 that is qualified and experienced to take the resources prepared and run a ‘coffee shop and more’ that will be a community gathering place that will flourish in our community,” says Tinetti. “We feel this approach takes a lot of risk out of a start-up and positions the community for more growth tied to a successful hub for friendship, good beverages and light food. We hope that RFP respondents will bring their creative interests and partners to this project and propose how they will collaborate with the greater Arcadia community.”

“We’re looking forward to helping the project succeed,” says Laura Galbraith, Executive Director of Venture North, a 501 c 3 nonprofit that finances business and job growth in northwest Michigan. “We give immense credit to the community and USDA RD for supporting a very creative approach for business development by completing much of the due diligence needed to attract the right entrepreneurial business to their community.”

Tinetti says the Committee will screen proposals by mid-October with a goal of completing interviews by the end of October and selecting a consultant to start the project in early November.

Copies of the RFP are available by emailing Ryan Tinetti (Subject: “RFP Request”) or by calling 231.970.0883.