Happy New Year to everyone! As I start the new year, I am hopeful that 2016 will be another good—possibly even great—year. So, what will 2016 bring for me? I’m not exactly sure, but I am excited to see what happens.

As we get older, and our children get older, I continue to be amazed how the meaning of a “good year” changes. I just did a final look at the 2016 plan for Blueberry Haven, using a month-by-month analysis from 2015, 2014, 21013 and 2012 as a comparison. I can tell you one thing for sure—I really hope we have plenty of warm weather in June, July and August this year! Now, it doesn’t have to be blazing hot, just warm enough for those in our Mitten State to take a day trip to Grand Haven. When the weather stays cool—too cold to sit on the beach with a towel and a sweat shirt—we lose business. It’s that simple!

So, part of my plan was to write a monthly Wish List for 2016 and see how many of my wishes come true this year. Many of the items on the list are for our local downtown merchants as well.

Tiffany’s 2016 Wish List

January—I wish for wine! My big wish for this month was that Blueberry Haven would be chosen to be a wine tasting venue for the annual Wine about Winter event held downtown Grand Haven in January. We were a venue a few years ago, and it made a huge difference in sales for us—about 40 percent higher than other years. First wish granted: Blueberry Haven will have wine for the Wine about Winter event this year (January 15). Stop in and see us!

February—I wish for ice! Most people would say I’m crazy, but we do need some snow and ice out on Lake Michigan. I have written in past blogs warning people to admire the ice formations from along the shoreline (and stay off the ice). When the ice appears, people flock to our beaches and downtown area to see the beauty of nature.

March—I wish for sunshine! March in West Michigan often means many gray days in a row. As soon as the sun comes out in Grand Haven, it’s awesome to see the people flock to our beautiful town to catch a glimpse of the summer we hope will arrive sooner rather than later.

April—I wish that 50 really is the new 30! Yikes—yes, I will be turning 50 in April. I’m not quite sure I’m ready for that, but I guess it’s inevitable. An early Spring would also be welcomed.

May—I wish for safe decisions for all of the class of 2016! My middle son is a Senior this year, and I know many others who have graduates this year as well. It’s a very exciting time, but this also brings anxiety for both kids and parents. I have been through it myself once already, and I have watched many other moms experience the worry that comes along with graduation, parties and prom. Be safe, kids!

June—I wish for lots of tourists to visit Grand Haven! If you haven’t looked for a vacation spot this year, you really need to come to Grand Haven for a week in the summer. There are many homes on Lake Michigan available to rent by the week, but you need to book early if you want to get a good one!

July—This is a big one…I wish for the Coast Guard Festival Carnival to NOT be located downtown! Every year, Blueberry Haven (and many of our neighboring stores) lose business during the week of Coast Guard Festival. Even worse, we are often the target of stolen property, vandalism, and people abusing our restrooms.

August—I wish for warm lake temperatures! The temperature of Lake Michigan in August is another factor of how many tourists will visit our city and downtown during the Summer. The merchants need the tourists, and the Grand Haven locals need them so we can continue to give back to our community. It’s a win-win for everyone!

September—I wish for a beautiful Indian Summer! Have you ever driven along Lakeshore Drive from Grand Haven to Holland State Park during the Fall? It is breathtaking and something your really need to put on your bucket list. You will witness some of the best Fall colors you will ever see!

October—I wish for all Michigan corporations to give Michigan-made gifts to all their clients! Wouldn’t that be a novel idea? There are plenty of options to choose from that are “Made in Michigan” or “Grown in Michigan.” There really is no excuse to go elsewhere!

November—I wish for a blueberry Thanksgiving! We created one for a local corporation this year, and it was a huge hit. Come in and ask us about it—you could have a blueberry Thanksgiving next year!

December—I wish our online orders exceeded our in-store orders! That would mean more and more people are spreading the love of blueberries (and Blueberry Haven, of course). We are getting more efficient and more creative every year with our online sales, and we continue to see the same people come back year after year. Even better, customers who have received the blueberry love are starting to share it with others!

So, here’s wishing all of you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2016!

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