Written by Audrey Sochor
A Little Something re-opened its doors to much fanfare on June 7 with a celebration of its newest addition – Ashby’s Ice Cream.
Stacey Redfield, regional director of Touchstone Services, said it’s always something she wanted for the store, but that it didn’t make much sense with The Vault Sweet Shoppe down the street.
“And then this winter we heard they weren’t coming back, so we jumped right on it and decided why not?” Redfield said.
So a team of four hit the road and traveled around southeast Michigan scoping out ice cream and other little shops for ideas. Lucie DeLine co-manager of A Little Something, said the new layout and ice cream has been a big hit with customers.
DeLine added the store sells Ashby’s 16 most popular favors, including Michigan Pothole, Superman and Jacked Up Tennessee Toffee. They also have a little something for everyone with no sugar added varieties or a dairy-free option like Raspberry Pomegranate Sorbet.
The store also continues to sell unique gifts and Michigan made products. But A Little Something is more than just a retail store with sweets. All proceeds from the store help fund programs for the nonprofit Touchstone Services.
The nonprofit, which also runs Blue Water Clubhouse, provides programs for employment, community access, wellness and other rehabilitative services for adults with barriers to employment. The mission of A Little Something is to assist people in refining work skills, including customer service and merchandising, to aid their return to competitive work in the community.
“The store has kind of evolved in stages,” Redfield said. “It actually came about because of a need we had at the Clubhouse.”
Blue Water Clubhouse serves adults living with and recovering from mental health issues. It’s a community that provides opportunities for friendship, employment, housing and education.
“The other unique thing about Clubhouse is we focus on an individual’s strengths, talents and abilities rather than a diagnosis,” Redfield added.
A Little Something was born because of the Clubhouse’s summertime garage sales the organization used as a fundraiser. Because of the garage sales’ popularity, Redfield started looking for ways to make them year-round.
The store began as a resale shop with job training run by Sally Smith. Soon it got too big for Smith to handle herself, so she shifted her focus to the vocational training and DeLine moved up to store manager.
“During that time we were kind of transitioning from resale items to more gifty items, more Michigan stuff, basically just trying to find our niche,” Redfield said.