The city of Grand Ledge has several beautiful parks and natural areas for people to enjoy. For the residents of Grand Ledge who have wanted to enjoy nature without going out of the city limits, there is now a place that caters to those same residents.
City highlights include the Grand River that runs through downtown, Island Park which provides people a place to walk down into the middle of the river and a vibrant climbing scene which takes advantage of numerous beautiful climbing spots.
Chris Haman and his family quickly realized that for those who loved the natural parts of Grand Ledge, there was no facility for them to go and hang out. As Chris and his wife spent more time in Grand Ledge’s outdoor scene, they decided a change was needed. And with that, Toads was born.
“There was no place in Grand Ledge that welcomed the outdoor crowd. So I kind of saw this opportunity,” Haman said. “There’s these amazing parks, amazing landscapes in Grand Ledge. (Now) here’s a cool atmosphere for you to stop in and grab something to eat, a coffee or a milkshake either before or after you go to the parks.”
Creating a business takes time
The idea of starting their own business originated in 2015. However, getting Toads to the point of opening wasn’t exactly a smooth ride.
“We probably started thinking about opening a business in 2015,” Haman said. “And then we were set to sign on this building the following March. Obviously, we held off. But that year gave us a lot of time to meet with the SBCD, put a financial statement together, a market analysis, research the industry we were attempting to get into a lot more. We did a lot of work to the building and it officially opened in 2022.”
Toads certainly isn’t a place to just go in and get coffee. While waiting for coffee, latte, milkshake or food to be made, make sure to take a look at all of the other items they sell. These items include toys for kids, discs for disc golf and climbing equipment.
”I wanted to have the things that people need for safety,” Haman said. “I wanted to have a place where people could go locally to buy that gear. I wanted people to not have to go all the way to East Lansing to buy climbing gear.”
Despite people asking for Toads to expand and add locations, Haman’s focus is to make the current location the best it can be. That means making it a space for everyone, from those who love to climb to children who come in with their mothers for a snack. There is something for everyone at Toad’s.
Check out Toads website for more information, including their food and drink menus: https://www.toadsgl.com/. And follow them on Facebook to stay up to date with the place: https://www.facebook.com/ToadsCafe.