Making the Leap: A Q&A with Christopher Haman and Tosha Haman-Hettler of Toads Coffee
When did Toads Coffee open, and how/why did you get into the coffee arena?
Toads opened its doors to the public in early March of 2022. The decision to open up a coffee shop/eatery was emphasized by the positivity and unity that the coffee shop/cafe atmosphere facilitates.
Where did the name come from?
The name is derived from a childhood nickname given to one of the founders. Although this nickname is only rarely used by close family members, we soon began to appreciate all the fun things we could do with these simple five letters and logos.
Why did you settle on Grand Ledge for the business, and how have you incorporated the community into the ambience of the establishment?
Grand Ledge was the only place we would have opened Toads. We are huge outdoor enthusiasts. Grand Ledge is mid- Michigan’s mecca for outdoor adventure recreation. Grand Ledge has the best hiking, two amazing rivers, the only outdoor rock climbing, a phenomenal disc golf course and so much more. Yet Grand Ledge lacked a local shop/cafe to celebrate these terrific parks and landscapes and cater to the outdoor enthusiasts frequenting them.
Part of the ethos of the business is to inspire people to get outdoors and care for themselves and the environment. How do you do that, and why is that important to you?
We do our best to inspire people to get outdoors with both the retail that we sell — hammocks, water bottles, climbing equipment, golf discs — as well as with our knowledge of the area parks, general conversations and with our outdoor-Michigan-themed decor.
What sets Toads Coffee apart from competitors?
The atmosphere, among other things, sets Toads apart from other coffee shops. People have described walking into Toads as a breath of fresh air and positivity. One of our main focuses at Toads is to ensure our patrons feel happy, positive and uplifted after visiting Toads — whether this is delivered to them with a warm atmosphere, a smiling barista, comforting food or a delicious latte. Toads also does coffee ice cubes in the iced coffee and latte drinks in order to ensure the drinks never become watered down.
Toads recycles, donates more than it can afford to donate, only serves high- quality ingredients, pays employees a living wage and follows additional ethical practices that are further described in the book “Let My People Go Surfing” by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia Clothing.
What is the best part of your job?
The smiling faces are by far the best part of my job. Watching people smile and react to the establishment fills me with warmth. I gather the feeling that, for at least a moment, people forget about the stresses of their lives and truly enjoy their time with us at Toads.