Kaleidoscope Coffee & Gifts opens in Lake, providing a blast of caffeine, crafts, and color

What’s happening: A new coffee shop has opened in the unincorporated community of Lake, Michigan — that’s Lake, Michigan, and not Lake Michigan, an important distinction as locals attest — one that’s notable as much for its intent as it is for its coffee, fresh-baked pastries, and eye-popping color scheme. Kaleidoscope Coffee & Gifts celebrated its grand opening in Lake earlier this April.

What it is: Kaleidoscope Coffee is the new coffee shop in town, featuring coffee and espresso-based drinks, breakfast sandwiches and lunch options, fresh-baked pastries, and more. The coffee shop also sells the work of local artists and makers. True to its name, Kaleidoscope is awash in bright colors, although natural wood accents keep it rooted with an “Up North” feel.

“It looks pretty amazing,” says Sarah Ebaugh, owner of Kaleidoscope. “It’s not typical of what you find in a coffee shop, with all the dark browns and leather. It’s vibrant.”

Backstory: Sarah and her husband Ken Ebaugh have owned the building at 7791 Mystic Lake Dr. for about seven years, she says. Their initial intent was to open a restaurant here, but infrastructure limitations pushed their restaurant plans to a building around the corner: Ebaugh’s Whistle Stop, which specializes in traditional American comfort foods and ice cream, first opened in 2017.

Giving back to the community: The Ebaughs have a cottage on nearby Crooked Lake and although it’s technically their summer home, they say that they’re pretty much here full-time now. The husband-and-wife team view opening Kaleidoscope and the Whistle Stop as their way of giving back to the community that they’ve come to love. Sarah wants to open a community center next, a place where local kids and young people have somewhere to go and engage in activities. There’s even mention of building a mini-golf course one day.

What they’re saying: “We’ve been in Lake about 20 years,” Sarah says. “We wanted to do something for the kids in town. Whistle Stop employs 13- to 18-year-olds; you have to be over 18 to work at the coffee shop. This gives them something to do, where they can learn about money and responsibility and get some type of direction. There’s no community center here yet, but we’re working on that.”