May 19, 2022

southmarstonplan

Business is the best

New coffee shop opens in the Belknap Lookout neighborhood

The owner of Tashi’s Place took a leap of faith to pursue her dream, quitting her veterinarian job to fulfill her dream of owning a coffee shop.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A new coffee shop is open in Grand Rapids, after COVID-related delays pushed their opening back for months. Tashi’s Place is nestled in the Belknap Lookout neighborhood.

And on this International Women’s Day, the owner wants to encourage anyone out there to be bold, take that leap and fill their cup, just like she did.   

“We wanted to create a community-based coffee shop,” Linda Skornia says.

Tuesday was the shop’s second day in business, as she brewed up this new opportunity for herself.

“We’ve had repeat customers on our second day already so we’re happy to have that,” Skornia says.

She opened up her shop after working as a veterinarian for more than 20 years. She misses parts of her job, like seeing animals every day, but she knew she had to get out before she burnt out.

“It got to a point in my life where I was looking for something different, to serve people in a different way,” Skornia says. “[Burnout] is a big problem with veterinarians right now. Be kind to them, they’re trying very hard.”

Starting her own business, she knows there’s challenges she’ll face as it percolates.

“Talking to people, I think women are often ignored, really in any business,” Skornia says.

But she hopes she can be a positive example for the young women on her team.

“First of all, I’d say I’m learning probably more from them than they are from me, but we’re growing this business together,” she says. “They can apply that to maybe starting their own place or niche in the world.”

One of her baristas, Jessica Pinckney, is still planning out her future, and she values Skornia not just as a boss, but as a mentor too.

“The difference is I feel more valued here than I did anywhere else,” she says. “Seeing her work through problems here and problem solve, it’s honestly nice to see.”

For those wanting to make that jump, Skornia says just do it.

“We’re all in our middle age, and I have friends who say ‘Oh I wish I could do it.’ I say, ‘Just do it,'” she says. “It’s empowering, it’s fun and it’s frustrating, but it’s hopefully going to work out to be a fabulous thing.”

Once the paperwork is filed, Tashi’s Place is on its way to being the first carbon-neutral coffee shop in Grand Rapids. One day, Skornia hopes to serve beer and wine to expand her business.

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