Jilly Beans Too: Putting the Jo in Jonesville, opened as the only coffee shop in town Friday, relieving Jonesville residents from the limitations of six years of coffee-house-famine.
Mary Ellen Sattler, owner of Jilly Beans in Hillsdale, first got the idea to open a sister-shop in Jonesville from a friend who said that a coffee shop has consistently appeared on the list of community needs in Jonesville town meetings.
“One of the things that people wanted was a coffee shop, and you know, the list was long – but this was one of the things on it, so we thought ok,” Sattler said.
For the last six years, the only other coffee venue available to locals has been McDonald’s.
Inspired by the opportunity, and eager to answer the needs of the community, Sattler bought what was a former Christmas shop downtown in March, hoping to transform it into a spacious coffee bar in a quick two months. But after Sattler discovered she needed to gut the building’s electrical and plumbing, she had to shift her original time frame.
To further frustrate her plans, she broke her ankle in three places, inhibiting her natural do-it-yourself personality. Despite the many unanticipated setbacks, Sattler said she was inspired by the way her community came together to help realize her vision.
One friend who stepped up to help was Jon Wyllys, a handy-man who helped her outfit her kitchen with every amenable she could imagine.
“I knew what I wanted, he put it together. I felt like a little kid – it’s like Christmas when they are around,” Sattler said.
Sattler plans to hang plaques outside the shop as thanks to the individuals and establishments that contributed to the project.
Sattler shook things up at her Hillsdale location, changing the shop’s hours and expanding the menu to include lunch options. To keep up with the demand for baked goods and lunch options, Sattler brought on Jeannie Van Deusan, her boyfriend’s mother, a self-taught baker and cook who prepares everything on Sattler’s menu.
According to Van Deusan, this is the first time she has baked professionally.
“I just had a family and I cooked,” Van Deusan said. “When [Mary Ellen] bought the shop in Hillsdale, my son said, hey, you’re looking for a cook, why don’t you try mom for a while?”
Van Deusan will now prepare food for both locations.
Jilly Beans Too features a window cut into the back wall that looks into a spacious kitchen.
Van Deusan said she loves using a larger space at the Jonesville location.
“I love it,” she said. “Over at the other place, all I have is one of these little things to cook on because it is so compact there is only enough room for one person to walk back and forth. Everything is stuffed in there. It works, but there is not any room. The oven here, I have four or five racks, and the other oven, I’d have stuff piling up waiting to go in the oven. I’ve got three door freezers and refrigerators.”
The upgrade doesn’t stop with the kitchen. The main shop doubles the size of the Hillsdale location, lined with tables and armchairs perfect for meals, conversations, and study dates.
Rebecca Voccola, a senior Hillsdale student now employed at Jilly Beans Too, anticipates that the atmosphere of the shop will draw college students as well as local clientele.
“The atmosphere is great, more like Rough Draft than the original Jilly Beans [with] exposed brick and wood walls, which I think is a vibe that college students really like,” Voccola said. “It is also bigger and more open so there is more study space, and I think that will be really convenient.”
Three Hillsdale students are employed there now, and Sattler said she is still looking to hire more.
The coffee shop will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. respectively.