Sleepy Dog Books prepares for grand opening in downtown Mt. Pleasant

Riley and Jennifer Justis are hard at work on last-minute touches as they prepare for the grand opening of their bookstore in just over a week's time. 

Located at 120 E. Broadway St., Sleepy Dog Books stands apart from notable bookstores because the selection is curated for the community and its interests. A dedicated section featuring Michigan authors and books about Michigan will be at the store and Jennifer Justis says sideline merchandise and other items that will be available for purchase are from Michigan or women-owned businesses.

The majority of the furniture is on wheels so that space can be made to host events at the bookstore. Among those will be workshops focusing on poetry and writing as well as educational workshops on literacy and authors expressing their craft. Additionally, other gatherings such as children’s storytime and a Philosopher’s Book Club where community members can get together to discuss local news and events will also be held at the bookstore.

Sleepy Dog Books is located on 120 E. Broadway St. in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.“Yes, we are a business, but we also want to be a community business - meet the needs of the community and listen to their feedback. If people are wanting this type of workshop or author, then we can work to get that to happen,” Jennifer says.

Before becoming the bookstore it is today, the building used to be an old bank that had a natural stone exterior with long and skinny interior spaces. The Justis’ wanted to continue with the building’s architectural design but add their own details.

“We worked with a sign company out in Northern Michigan that created a three-dimensional kind of blade sign that sticks out, which is super cool. Then, we have the logo on the windows because we have big picture windows right in front,” Riley says. “When we’re inside, it’s darker blues, but with lighter cabinets. It feels cozy and warm inside.”

To celebrate the bookstore’s opening, the Justis family is planning a block party event on May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. on Broadway Street in downtown Mt. Pleasant. Local businesses are invited to organize activities for residents to participate in and live music, crafts, and giveaways are all on the bill for the evening.

To stay up to date about the bookstore’s opening or current offerings, visit or

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Read more articles by Danielle Patrick.

Danielle Patrick is a Chesterfield resident who finds passion in writing about the Mt. Pleasant community. In addition to her freelance work with Epicenter Mt. Pleasant, she also journals for Ignite Donuts and is an editor for Grand Central Magazine. She is set to graduate from Central Michigan University in Dec. 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Follow her on Instagram @_daniellepatrick_.