If you've attended any kind of art or craft show in the area the last few years or attended any of our events like Wine Not?, you've most likely come across Jessica Thompson, wife of WWMT's Keith Thompson, who runs the Bee Joyful brand. What is now the “Bee Joyful Shop” started as a simple idea. Creating and using sustainable, Earth-friendly materials to store food, instead of harmful plastic wraps. The idea isn’t new. In fact, wax coated cloths date back to the Egyptians. But what she makes is unique to us and our city.

She started her journey with her Etsy shop, then moved to wholesaling, then to a small work space and now to her very own, zero-waste brick and mortar location located at 243 South Kalamazoo Mall. They'll be offering plastic free alternatives to the items you most commonly use for personal and home care. Thompson says she, "Strives to keep packaging material coming into the store a bare minimum, using 100% recycled materials and zero plastic going out to customers."

The store, which was set to open back in April before the Covid-19 outbreak, is now preparing for a soft opening this Friday, July 3 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Due to the July 4th holiday, this Friday is not an Art Hop or Downtown Market Day. Those will be on July 10 which is when they’ll be celebrating their Grand Opening 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. to coincide with the July Art Hop.

Bee Joyful is the state’s first and only 100% plastic free store and refill station. Plus all your storage and wraps will smell like honey, so that's a win.

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