Bizline: Foodies Fresh CaféPublished 4:28pm Sunday, July 8, 2012
Name of business: Foodies Fresh Café and Catering
Name of owner: David Heflin, chef
Address of business: 113 S. Front St., Dowagiac
Telephone number: 782-5700
Date business opened: October 2011
What type of business do you operate — what you sell, services provided? Foodies is more than a restaurant; it is a destination. We offer a full coffee bar, free WiFi, our own baked breads and a complete menu of fresh foods seven days a week. Catering is a large part of our business and, unlike traditional caterers, we custom design each menu for the clients we serve.
Where are you from and why did you decide to open in Cass County? Kalamazoo County. It was just by chance that we saw a piece of property available in Dowagiac. Once we saw the town, we knew that it was where we wanted to be.
What sets your business apart from similar ventures? First of all, our menu is really just suggestions. Our customer knows that they can come in and custom order their favorite food the way they want it as long as it is available to us fresh and we have it in stock. Also, we don’t upcharge. You can share a meal or a sandwich without a plate fee. Want extra pickle, tomato, cheese, olives or all four? That’s fine. No charge. Finally, we take buying local seriously. Our produce is bought at local farm stands, our herbs are grown outside our back door in our own organic herb garden.
What types of customers do you hope to reach? We really want to reach everyone. We see ourselves as comfort food made fresh with the best ingredients we can find and then we add something new for the more adventurous palate. We are very family friendly, with free kids meals on Friday and Saturday night. But we also love our SMC students and happily make them amazing burgers with up to six cheeses and a fried egg on top. But despite our great burgers, vegetarians will tell you that we are the best vegetarian choice in West Michigan.
Why did you choose to open where you did? We just loved the small town feel and the vibrant downtown. We picked our building in large part for the parking. We have both on-street parking and a rear entrance to the back lot.
What are your plans for your company’s future? We just keep growing. Recently, we added gluten-free bread and people couldn’t be happier. We also began opening for dinner Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at our customers’ request. And we have a great Sunday brunch that usually includes acoustic music in the afternoon. This fall, we are planning an open mic night geared to the SMC crowd, but everyone will be welcome.