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As most vegans would agree, ones’ relationship with ones’ local farmer is closer than ones’ local grocer.  Growing up I was raised upon going to the farmers’ market called Corey Lake Orchard.  If you are ever in the Southwestern section of Michigan, I would highly suggest it if you are looking for something truly Michigan.  It is a family tradition to go to this market amongst all the surrounding lakes and buy local produce from a family run farm.  My mother and her parents used to go to this market once a year also to get extra produce to do canning for the family and the 4-H fair.  Many people around the tri-state area have also done the same as it is very popular.  You can read more about the orchard/farm at the above link.  Throughout the years, the business has been passed down throughout the generations and hence it has changed a bit.  For one thing, we have noticed prices are much higher than even last year (popularity increase?) and less produce availability.  Additionally on the plus side, there is now a bakery that has filled in part of the original building.  See my vegan opinion/review below:

The bakery itself is just a small section of the normal building that has been decorated and adjusted to service customers with a sweet tooth. When you walk in, there are two sections of glass cases with pastries such as donuts on one side and pies on the other side. Additionally there are frozen pies in a freezer along with some frozen locally raised meat products.

There is also a Keurig for coffee and tea ($1 each). Unfortunately there were no pastries that were vegan but there was at least some selection in the coffee section. It is a help yourself style Keurig.

As for the food: Well… there is absolutely nothing for vegans! Nope, not even one thing… We went in full hopes because some of our friends love the place and said we had to go for breakfast. Many of the local places have vegan donuts so we were very excited about the prospects (it’s really hit or miss in lower southwest Michigan). When we got there we went through our vegan routine and looked at the ingredient list of everything on the menu for the donuts, pies and cookies. Sorry, everything is very traditionally made with eggs and milk. There were a few things without eggs but just about everything had milk. Lactose-Intolerance sufferers please be warned to look at the list before choosing something. The food looked good but the coffee was our highlight. 🙂 I’m sure many vegetarians and carnivores will love this area though since we have heard a lot of good reviews. Some things of interest are probably the above photo of sticky buns and cinnamon rolls. Apparently there is also apple cider donuts in the fall when apples are in season on the farm. Additionally there are apple cider slushies for the summer months (vegan).

This is the dining section that I love since it reminds me of my grandmothers house. I’m not sure exactly why but the painted tables and fresh produce just really brings back the memories for some reason. I felt at home. When you eat here, you can sit looking out at the orchards and just listen to nature. It would be nice to have a bit more of a view but I guess that’s what I get for being so short. ha-ha It really is relaxing though even if you go to just have coffee.

This is part of the view from the dining area. It was super sunny and around 90F the morning we went so it is hard to see everything. This photo shows the orchards that you can see while dining right there on the porch. There is no indoor seating available at this time.

So all in all our trip to Corey Lake Orchard was rather nice and relaxing.  We really did not purchase all that much since the produce in season right now is basically tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, hot peppers, corn and blueberries.  It will be another few weeks before we really get into the swing of summer produce.  Vegans looking to have a nice vegan breakfast, I would not recommend this bakery since there are no options besides coffee.  Vegetarians and Carnivores, go for it.  Your purchase will not only support a local business, but also support a historically run family farm and support the home grown/slow cook movement in America.  We wish we could have supported them more but unfortunately since there were no options besides coffee, it was hard to help out.

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