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In Boyne City food & friends at Lake Street Market

Kristi Kates - November 23rd, 2009
In Boyne City
Food and Friends at Lake Street Market
By Kristi Kates
As Liz Glass was being interviewed for this article, a woman was standing outside of Glass’ Lake Street Market - which she co-owns with Chris Meyer - taking a photograph of the store.
“That happens a lot,” Glass chuckles. “People walk in the door and say, ‘wow, what a neat place.’”
Housed in a 105-year-old building on the edge of Boyne City’s business district, Lake Street Market holds on to an old-school appeal with its beadboard shelving, crooked wooden floors, Persian carpets, local art, a retired (but still working) streetlamp, and antique equipment and tools.
“It’s extremely relaxed,” Glass agrees, “let’s just say that it’s ambiance has evolved organically.”
“There’s always something interesting to look at or buy in most nooks and crannies,” Chris Meyer explains. “We don’t have elaborate displays of goods targeted to appeal to consumers, but, yes, an almost organic accumulation of interesting items in a state of meticulous disarray.”

Both Glass and Meyer, originally from Michigan, met in South Carolina at a time when they were both ready to return to their home state. Meyer had a “few decades” experience in food and beverage, and Glass had worked extensively with wine; Meyer is said to be good with the big picture, while Glass’ skills often focus on marketing. So the duo proved to be a great team. They founded Lake Street Market over five years ago, and haven’t looked back since, Meyer says.
“We’ve occasionally looked around in bewilderment,” he says, “but never back.”
“I think more than anything, we want Lake Street Market to be a good place to be, not just a nice place to shop,” Glass says. “Yes, we are insanely self-critical about our food. We want everything we put out to be the best. But we also want our customers to feel good here. They like to hang out, and our regulars are as much a part of this store as we are. In that sense it’s very much like the general store that was the center of town in the old days.”
That “perfectionist food” is probably a big part of the reason that Lake Street Market does indeed have so many return customers.

“It’s difficult to declare favorites in our offerings as they’re so diverse,” Meyer says, “we started with about 10 sandwiches, and currently have well over twenty.”
“Our highest sales category is sandwiches,” Glass agrees, “both because they’re good, and because they have interesting names with stories behind them. Try an Anxious Paul (Irish cheddar and smoked ham with American Spoon Foods roasted apple and onion relish), a Safety First (fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil pesto on a baguette), or an “I Thought He Said C.A.T.” - (buffalo-spiced chicken, muenster, avocado, and salsa) - which is named for my appearance on NPR’s Puzzlemaster segment on Sunday mornings,” she continues.
Indeed, reading the entertaining menu alone will likely take up a good 15 minutes of your time before you’re anywhere near ready to order. “We’ve tried to take one or two sandwiches off of the menu, but in every instance we were bombarded with protest,” Meyer laughs.
And as if that weren’t enough to choose from, there’s still more.

“I’d say the greatest passion among our customers is for the scones,” Glass says. “They’re not like anyone else’s - people order ahead to make sure they get some. It’s wild.”
“People tired of waiting in line in the hopes of getting freshly baked scones of choice have even seized on the opportunity to buy frozen scone bars,” Meyer explains, “bars of four to bake at home.”
Lake Street Market’s steak and morel mushroom pasties are popular, too.
“We sold over 200 this spring during the Mushroom Festival,” Meyer says.
And the “market” terminology really comes into play when you get a chance to browse their selection of olives, wines, and their cheeses, which are cut to order from whole wheels of cheese.
“We sample constantly,” Glass says, “so they can try something new before buying it.”
This year, according to Glass, it’s also all about the pizza.
“The crust is handmade, and is full of basil and asiago. We brush it with pesto, also made here, before adding sauce that we make from San Marzano tomatoes and fresh garlic. We use sliced fresh mozzarella and sprinkle shredded in between. Toppings come off our retail shelves or from the farmers market, not a food service truck. The results prove the importance of starting with good ingredients - it’s delicious.”

Although Glass and Meyer say that winter has traditionally been a tough season for them (“after five years, we haven’t been able to do more than fight it to a standstill,” Meyer confirms), they say they’re committed to continue the struggle, expanding their pizza offerings this year and possibly introducing bagels from scratch. They’ll work on their email list, and continue to enjoy all of the “characters” that reside in their “beautiful small town.”
“We have carpenters and CEOs...” Glass says, “musicians, political figures, and well-known actors in both television and movies,” Meyer continues. “They all dig going to Lake Street Market, and we love to see them,” Glass concludes.
Many of their customers bring them gifts to display in the store or foods to try, proving that Meyer and Glass’ hard work is definitely paying off - and gaining them friends, as well.
“Most simply stated - we care,” Meyer says. “Our philosophy is grace in service, quality in our offerings, sincerely welcoming attitudes, knowledge about our products, and aesthetically-pleasing surroundings, as well as an enjoyment of what we’re doing, and gratitude that customers want to patronize our store. We want to be consistent in all of the above - whether it be for a party of 100 people, or the sale of a bottle of water.”

Lake Street Market is located at 306 S Lake Street in Boyne City, telephone 231.582.4450. Their website is, and they can be emailed at Daily hours vary; please call or check their website for further details.

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