Inspiring Businesswomen: Two ladies create a gathering place at The Local | Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council

Inspiring Businesswomen: Two ladies create a gathering place at The Local

Female Founder: Brittney Doehrer and Paige Belanger

As a female entrepreneur myself, I always keep an eye out for other women in business who are absolutely crushing it. Locally-owned businesses can change an existing area, creating community and a new place to gather.

Brittney and Paige are two Southwest Michigan natives who have done just that. They’re passionate about bringing nutritional and palate-pleasing meals to both locals and visitors alike. At their restaurant in downtown Baroda, the ladies of The Local have created a variety of feel-good menu items. They offer breakfast staples such as French toast, biscuits and gravy (I’ve had both—YUM!), fresh fruit smoothies, coffee and espresso drinks and simple, yet delicious, lunch items like their Avocado Chicken wrap, Turkey BLT and even a grilled cheese flight for the kid in all of us! They also host art workshops, private events and artisan markets at their location. They have already achieved a ton since opening their doors just a few months ago — and managed to get a successful start with only to-go orders in their beginning days due to COVID-19 indoor dining restrictions. So what made this female team of two pursue their own business in the ever-growing restaurant industry of Southwest Michigan? Let’s ask them.

What passions led you to starting your own restaurant?
We have both been in the industry since we were 15 (starting as bussers/servers/tour guides) and fell in love with everything the service industry has to offer. When the opportunity presented itself at the beginning of 2020, we saw the need and the potential, and decided to run with it. It’s been an exciting and challenging ride since!

What does being a female entrepreneur in your industry mean to you?
It was honestly something we jumped into head-first without ever really considering that we were a women-owned business in a predominantly male industry. The community support has been amazing and it has been so empowering knowing that others believe in us too. We’ve made it a mission to support other small businesses (especially women-owned) during this time, and we hosted many at our first Winter Bazaar in January in the streets of downtown Baroda.

Author’s note: I attended the Winter Bazaar and I can attest that for a first-time event in a small town, it was wildly successful. The line for The Local’s offerings was at least a dozen deep the entire time and many vendors were nearly selling out of their products. Bravo, ladies!

Find The Local at 8952 1st St. Baroda, MI 49101

Written by Lauren Kniebes - Lazy Ballerina

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