The start of the school year means something new to everyone. or small businesses in Olivet, Michigan, it means more business. For the students of Olivet, it could be their first year away from home or it could be their last year before they enter the world and begin new chapters.
Faye’s Willow Tree Café and Bakery, a small business that specializes in coffee, bakery items and a variety of other treats, located on 107 North Main St. in Olivet is a common place for college students to go get a bite to eat or a quick coffee.
Unbeknownst to the college students going there, the Willow Tree is greatly impacted by the start of a new school year in a positive way.
“It impacts a lot; it actually helps a lot that you guys are back in town” said Willow Tree employee Bre Monaghan.
The town of Olivet is unique in that the college makes up a large part of it. When asked if there would be a difference in the outcome of Willow Tree as a business if the college wasn’t here Monaghan said, “Yes, definitely.”
For Logan Allen, senior, this is her last year at Olivet but that doesn’t mean she won’t be taking Olivet with her. “While also being such a small community everyone knows everyone which makes events and games a lot more fun and creates connections for after we leave here,” said Allen. Allen recently stayed on campus this past summer and noted that, “Everything is a lot quieter.” Willow Tree is also among Allen’s favorite downtown stores at Olivet, “They have the best sugar cookie with sprinkles!”
The start of the school year for first-year college students looks and feels a little different. No one is telling you what you must do, and you are free to make your own choices. Gracie Shettler, freshman, said that her biggest adjustment was, “…balancing time with school, sports relaxing time and social life.” What makes the transition easier is going to Olivet. “My favorite part about Olivet is how small it is so it has a very homey atmosphere with very nice people,” said Shettler.
From small businesses in Olivet to the students that attend Olivet College, the start of a new school year marks the start of a community that relies and grows together.
Photo by Andy Sadler