ESCANABA — Continuing with National Small Business week, we’re highlighting one cupcake shop that “loves” donating time and resources to people and organizations that matter in the Escanaba community.

Five years ago, Kelli van Ginhoven was making cupcakes in her home, selling a dozen for barely a dollar more than what one could get at their local grocer. As her business grew, so did her following. As soon as the opportunity arose, she bought a space on Ludington Street, and for the last year and a half, has given back to the community that has done so much for her.

“When I opened my cupcake shop, I wanted to make a point that I would be very community–involved,” van Ginhoven said. “I wanted to be a leader, and I hoped that other people would follow.”

van Ginhoven takes pride in donating her time and resources to people and organizations that matter. Among many causes, she donates 100% of her profits on a given day to the local Honor Flight and End the Silence (bringing awareness to suicide) chapters.

“For me, it’s not about making the money. It’s about making the customers happy,” said van Ginhoven.

A customer today asked if she ships her cupcakes. She does, but suggested finding a closer bakery to the destination, willing to sacrifice business so that the desired cupcakes make it to Arizona in one piece. van Ginhoven always puts the customers first, because where would she be without them?

“If they didn’t walk into my cupcake shop on a daily or weekly basis, I would have nothing.”

Having a business on Ludington Street had always been a dream for van Ginhoven. Sure, being in a more populated area is bound to get her more business, but that’s not the reason she works on the main strip.

“People come in and they say, ‘do you serve coffee?’ ‘No, I do not, because there are four great places on Ludington Street that do serve coffee. Here they are.’ I’m not about trying to take anything from anybody else,” she said, “I’m trying to bring recognition to other businesses as well.”

Taking a selfless approach towards running her business seems to have done nothing but good things for her and her community.

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