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Rachel Shelley

An Enigmatically Named Cafe in Scio

"Joe and Rosie" means coffee and tea.

by Sabine Bickford

From the March, 2018 issue

"I often get called Rosie," laughs Rachel Shelley, owner of Joe and Rosie Creamery. The new name of the former Coffee House Creamery on Jackson is actually a play on words. "Joe" of course is coffee--and according to Shelley, who moved to Michigan from England fifteen years ago with her husband Mike, "Rosie Lee is cockney rhyming slang for tea!"

Shelley's purchase of the coffee shop near Quality 16 feels predestined. She worked at the Coffee House Creamery when it first opened in 2009 and became close to owner Natalie Park. In 2010, she left to open the original Joe and Rosie Coffee and Tea in Dexter.

In 2016, Park approached Shelley about purchasing the Creamery. The timing wasn't right, so she found other buyers. When that didn't work out, the buyers called Shelley. "I just thought, we've been offered it twice now. We need to go for it!" Shelley says. So she did.

The strip mall location is different from her cozy downtown Dexter spot, but Shelley's hoping to bring over some key elements: "family-friendly, nice atmosphere, good-quality products," and "friendly staff."

In February the old Coffee House Creamery sign was still up, but Shelley had already made a few changes in decor and added a selection of what she calls "across the pond specialty stuff," including seventeen different teas, English chocolates, marmite, and Branston Pickle--a jarred chutney spread.

The Dexter location does not serve any ice cream, but the new spot will offer the same selection of Hershey's ice cream as did Coffee House Creamery. "We're actually gonna be 'Joe and Rosie Coffee and Tea' and then 'Creamery' is going to be underneath that sign, so that people know that we have ice cream," Shelley says. "It's not identical to my store in Dexter." Trained as a chef in England, she wants to add crepes to the menu, and she's in the process of arranging a display space for work by members of the Ann Arbor Women Artists. She also hopes to start booking local bands at night.

Joe and Rosie Creamery, 3780 Jackson (Scio Towne Plaza). 222-0555. Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.     (end of article)

[Originally published in March, 2018.]


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