Coopers opening two-in-one business in Evart

EVART — Sandy and Bill Cooper believe in Evart and its residents and believe everyone deserves another chance after making mistakes in life.

Because of their faith in the city and its people, the couple is opening two businesses in one later this month, located at 116 E. 7th St.

The first is Artisan Heirlooms, which will be a wood shop controlled by Bill. The shop will create unique pieces, but also has a higher purpose.

"We have a heart for people who have made poor life decisions, are turning their lives around, but are not yet employable," Sandy said. "We want to give them a trade skill to help them become employable."

Through an application process, the Coopers will hire one or two individuals at a time and provide them with a steady job and training in wood working. Between commissioned work, side projects such as furniture will help continue that training, Sandy said.

"We want to make more than people's requests, and the other projects will help teach," she added.

The mission is one the Coopers feel is close to home, as they were inspired by men and women they know who are trying to support families following decisions that have a negative consequence.

7th Street Coffee Co. is the sister shop to Artisan Heirlooms, and will offer espresso-based coffee, smoothies and other hot beverages for patrons to enjoy. A small selection of baked goods also will be provided, Sandy said. A lounge area will offer a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for those who want to relax and enjoy their fresh brew.

"I love the coffee shop atmosphere," Sandy said. "The coffee shop was created to help bolster the wood shop. Bill and I hope to bring in a modern business and build the community. If you have that community, people work together to make important changes."

In addition to the coffee products, the store will sell Michigan-based items and pieces directly from Artisan Heirlooms. The business also will have a drive-thru feature for individuals on-the-go.

Sandy and Bill have been renovating the property for months to prepare for the store's opening, and Sandy has enrolled in barista training. Four additional employees will help make up the staff. In addition to Artisan Heirlooms and 7th Street Coffee Co., the building will hold an office space for World Orphans, an organization which helps assist churches to care for orphans and vulnerable children. Two representatives will be on-site.

"Our goal is to change lives and help the economy in Evart," Sandy said. "We also want to offer the best cup of coffee in the county."

She already has received positive feedback regarding the dual businesses.

"People in the community seem to be excited that there will be a coffee shop here," she said.

A ribbon cutting to officially open Artisan Heirlooms and 7th Street Coffee Co. is expected to take place at noon on Monday, Sept. 29.

For updates on the business, visit artisanheirlooms.com or 7thstreetcoffeeco.com.