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Fika with Lynn Makela of Fresh Coast Cabins

Keweenaw Coffee Works at Fresh Coast Cabins Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan
If you tuned in for our last couple of blog posts, you've learned along with us that fika is more than just another cup of coffee. It’s a state of mind, a conscious choice to schedule time for putting the schedule away, an intentional focus on nourishing yourself with simple pleasures. A cup of coffee made just the way you like it, a little something sweet, a few minutes for whatever suits your fancy.

A great view doesn’t hurt, either. Just ask the guests at Fresh Coast Cabins, where our pals Lynn and Jason craft a dreamy getaway experience for their fellow Great Lake lovers.

We sat down with Lynn to hear more about her inspiration for transforming this antique property into the Keweenaw’s finest retro-rustic resort, how she gets into a Superior state of mind, and what goes into the legendary Fresh Coast guest welcome baskets.

Keweenaw Coffee Works at Fresh Coast Cabins Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan

We can remember driving past the Fresh Coast Cabins property hundreds of times, back when it was just a vacant lodge surrounded by a bunch of dilapidated shacks. You’ve done an incredible transformation in just a couple of years. What was the inspiration that kept you going?   

The main experience we’re trying to give people is slowing down to reconnect with nature and with each other. There’s so much overwhelm in life—so much happening all the time in the world, technology infiltrating more and more of our space and time, people getting busier. Sometimes we need help disconnecting from the phone, the internet, the things we’re so used to having charge us up. Something to kick out the crutches, you know? Fresh Coast Cabins force you in a friendly way to just take a minute to breathe.

Cabins naturally lend themselves to that by inviting you to leave your cubicle, your city block, your day-to-day routine for something simpler. The Keweenaw itself builds on that experience because of Lake Superior and the sheer abundance of nature. We’re just trying to encourage that transformative process of being able to find energy in being disconnected.

Keweenaw Coffee Works at Fresh Coast Cabins Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan

Just looking at your IG photos gives me “fika feels." What are a few ways you’ve designed the cabins to encourage slowed-down self-care?

The biggest thing was simplifying. When we came in, the cabins were filled with things collected from Goodwill and garage sales for the past 30 years. Now we’re slowly adding things that we feel have meaning for the area and the experience we want to offer.

We’re working with lots of intention. There are 27 acres there, and we’re thinking really hard about what would help people enjoy the property, like new trails, or areas where you can go to take a moment for yourself. The Keweenaw is a tourist location—there’s a lot going on. Downtown in the summer is bustling, but it’s hard to find a place for yourself. What I love so much about the cabins is that you’re never around more than 10 guest groups. You truly can just sit by the water and feel like you’re the only one there.

Keweenaw Coffee Works at Fresh Coast Cabins Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan

One big thing that Keweenaw Coffee Works has in common with Fresh Coast Cabins is our devotion to small-batch goods from local makers. What are some Michigan brands that you think do a great job of cultivating the fika experience of “take a moment for me” enjoyment?

Well, to start, we love our coffee provider (wink!). Keweenaw Coffee Works does a great job of creating a moment that can be enjoyed both in the intentional space that is the storefront, but is also portable. For outdoor lovers, being able to just grab a product and go is huge. 

We’ve recently brought in Daisey Mae Designs, a company that puts vintage Keweenaw maps on pillows. If people haven’t looked at a map before they come here (which happens surprisingly often), it’s a great way to showcase the area on something that makes you happy to look at. It’s nostalgic, cushy, and fun.

Keweenaw Coffee Works at Fresh Coast Cabins Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan

This year was the first that we started receiving holiday cards from our guests…and five of them had pictures of Fresh Coast Cabins in the photos! It blew our minds that people were sharing their whole year through the time they spent in the Keweenaw. With that in mind, we’re partnering with Joya Kits to create custom photo memory boxes for guests to use. This little kit has a collection of items and props—an iPhone stand, a Rumpl blanket, other stuff you can use to create your own photo shoot. When you stay at the cabins, you can take the kit with you for 24 hours, use all the stuff in it, and create these moments for yourself or to share with family and friends.

And then there’s our gift baskets. We really like to lean into the brands that are near us and share those with people who wouldn’t find them otherwise. The offerings change from time to time, but you’ll always find things like KCW coffee, Vollwerth’s meat sticks, Sayklly’s chocolate, Shurm's Candy, Great Lakes Potato Chips, and a gift card to Jamsen’s bakery in Copper Harbor.

Keweenaw Coffee Works at Fresh Coast Cabins Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan

What are some of your favorite testimonials from guests about how they’ve experienced a “fika state of mind” at FCC?

It’s funny you ask—our property manager Jill just went through all the guest books and pulled out all the interesting things people have said. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • "We had a wonderful time on our first trip to the Keweenaw staying at Fresh Coast Cabins! It was a much-needed getaway from city life. We saw a bald eagle, many cool rocks and other geological formations, and best of all: Lake Superior!"
  • "Everything was just perfect! We connected with friends in the area to explore the trails around Lake Superior and took some magnificent photos...we even got a glimpse of the Northern Lights on our last night."
  • "I have NEVER seen or imagined such a variety of ripe berries and beautiful wildflowers in one area. Thank you again for providing us with a comfortable home for our vacation."
  • "This place is beautiful in every way and we are grateful we found this piece of paradise. The water, the mountains, and the colorful trees have exceeded every expectation...and we even saw a bear!"
  • "How do you describe the indescribable? This is a truly special place."
  • "It feels like home away from home. ... We love views from the living room, could sit and watch for hours."

Keweenaw Coffee Works at Fresh Coast Cabins Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fika up at the cabins? 

We love to take coffee down to the water in the morning. You can walk out there, take a blanket, a drink and some bakery, read a book, go find some interesting stones. Waking up on the shoreline is the best way to drop the weight of the world.

Keweenaw Coffee Works at Fresh Coast Cabins Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan

Planning a Keweenaw vacation this year? Don't miss out on Keweenawland, the amazing first-of-its-kind Keweenaw guidebook created by Fresh Coast Cabins. Packed with 30 adventures into the natural wonders and historic curiosities of our little peninsula, this book will ensure your visit to Copper Country is unforgettable.

All photos courtesy of Fresh Coast Cabins.

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