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Tillie's Tafel in Downtown Petoskey

As we progress toward COVID vaccinations, there seems to be tantalizing lights near the end of the long tunnel we have been parading through. Downtown Petoskey continues its resilient path, carrying the torch.

Tillie’s Tafel at 437 Mitchell Street opened, and they sold out within hours! They have two products and two products only: family recipe cinnamon rolls and gourmet coffee.

Tillie's Tafel in Petoskey Michigan. Fresh rolls on the proofing racks.
From the Tillie’s Tafel Facebook Page

The coffee is single-origin from Sumatra and pairs well with the rolls.

The cinnamon rolls are everything you would want. Big, rich, lots of cinnamon, and a warm creamy frosting. I bought one. I know. In fact, arriving early to introduce myself, there was a steady stream of cars pulling up out front. Upon my return later in the day I spoke with Jeff.

“Things went better than expected,” says owner Jeff.

He went on to give the history of the recipe handed down from his grandmother, Tillie, and that it “took two years to get it right.”

“Being here is all about luck. We were in our RV in South Dakota and decided to make a dozen,” Jeff began, and he continued the tale of wanting to retire and “see the West, you know, travel around for three years in the RV.”

They ventured east and north to Michigan and wintered and summered between Harbor Springs and Cheboygan before deciding they would set up shop during the Petoskey Farmer’s Markets to sell their rolls.

Tillie's coffee and cinnamon roll
From the Tillie’s Tafel Facebook Page

“We sold out of one hundred and eight rolls in the first hour. So doubled the batch and sold out of two-hundred and sixteen in two hours at the next market,” Jeff boasted.

He concluded with praise for the community acceptance: The Bliss Farm where they were able to bake their wares; assistance from Greg and staff at Crooked Tree Breadworks; and the loyalty of summer market customers.

“We picked this day to open so we’d be ready for the Holiday Festival in Downtown Petoskey,” says Jeff,

“but with everything cancelled and all…we’re really lucky. And it’s nice to start filling up this side of Mitchell Street.”

With the coming of winter, we all need to remain vigilant in our community effort to stay healthy and safe. We also need to do our best in seeking out local businesses for whatever it is we may need or desire. This Holiday season will certainly be different and create challenges for all, but if Tillie’s is any proof, we can absolutely make a difference by sticking together for our future.

Here’s hoping you have a warm, safe, and loving Holiday Season.

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