Shop updates general store vibe, combines organic food and products with live music

Peace signs, the smell of Nag Champa, fresh bread, tye-dyed tapestries and vintage jewelry – those are just a few of the many perks at Happy Badger. The North Main Street shop has been supplying unique goods to local customers for over three years. Owners Donna and Alan Cohen opened the clothing and gift shop primarily focusing on local products and fair-trade. In addition, Happy Badger features Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Calder’s Dairy and Rosewood Foods, all specializing in organic gourmet foods. Donna and Alan’s daughter, Sarah, who also works at the shop, also mentioned that the store gives out cups of coffee to customers who are just passing through. ‘Happy Badger is like a country general store these days with people walking out with glass jars of fresh milk, baked bread, farm eggs and cheese,’ Sarah said. The shop caters directly to its customers – often ordering directly out of the catalogs for everything from a specialized t-shirt to a gemstone ring. Although Happy Badger has proven to be a success, it is undergoing some changes. The shop is being renovated to include more space, activities and a variety of new products. ‘I’m really excited about the extra space,’ Sarah said. ‘It will be a place for artists to hold their art shows, film students to set up showcases, lecture luncheons and workshops, non-profits to hold meetings and community events and musicians to throw concerts at the Badger.’ The Cohens like conscientious, creative, fun people and view their store as a magnet for networking and meeting great folks. ‘In the past we got a little crazy with a 1,300 square foot location in Toledo,’ Sarah said. ‘It was insanely huge – like a football stadium with the seats. We had a rockin’ cafe and a coffee bar along with our store and a concert space. It was a bit much to manage, but we came out of it with some amazing recipes and musical contacts.’ The additional space on Main Street will give Happy Badger an opportunity to include these elements on an easier to manage level. This Saturday at the Art Walk, the Happy Badger will be opening up their space for local artists and musicians to display their talents to the public. If you would like to book an event, Happy Badger will serve guests from a select cafe menu featuring sandwiches and salads. Stop on in to Happy Badger anytime Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. or Sunday from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. To contact the store, call 419-352-0706 or visit the Web site at