VIDEO: New sweets shop on Grand River is a Mackinac Island specialty
Velvet - A Candy Store, a new family business on Grand River Avenue, officially opened July 18, 2015, giving residents a taste of Mackinac Island here in East Lansing.
The store, which was originally located on Mackinac Island, had its soft opening on Saturday and is gearing up for their grand opening on Sept. 12.
The store is a family-run business specializing in ice cream, truffles, fudge and other treats, the majority of which are homemade.
“Some of our chocolates and stuff like that are private labeled for us,” Berakovich said. “But everything else, other than the jarred candy, we make — the brittles, caramel corn, fudge, we dip all kinds of thing in chocolate, we make the ice cream here right on site, all fresh ingredients.”
Berakovich said her husband, Erik, is an alumnus of MSU and loves the area, but the family also moved to East Lansing so they could open their store year-round and have a place to raise their family.
Berakovich and her husband both grew up in entrepreneurial families, so opening their own business seemed a natural path for them, a path their children may also be on.
“Our kids are seven and nine, Ali and Joey, and they love to give out samples, help us set things up … wait on customers and stock things,” Berakovich said. “It’s really fun and they're good taste testers too.”
The store will eventually have cupcakes, brownies and a full coffee line, but their fudge seems to be one of the more popular items, Berakovich said.
“Already we’ve had a great response with our fudge, since it’s genuine Mackinac Island fudge people won’t have to go to the island anymore,” she said.
This fact is not lost on Lansing resident Drew Moore, who came to the shop two days in a row after it opened.
“I ship my dad Mackinac fudge for his birthday, because that’s like his favorite thing, and now I can just get it here and they’ll ship it,” Moore said. “It’s great that it’s local.”
Berakovich describes the shop as a cafe with French and Victorian influences, but Japanese senior Tiara Harris sees it differently.
“I thought it was like a princess wonderland. It just looks like a castle, like a room in a castle,” Harris said.
Harris, who heard about the store from a friend, thinks the store would be a good place to get truffles when she has get-together’s with friends.
Berakovich said they want to attract students, but they also realize there are many families with young kids in the area.
“We want to do birthday parties where the kids can make their own ice cream flavor,” Berakovich said. “So we definitely want to target the young munchkins too.”