Bee Joyful opens up shop in downtown Dexter

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The Bee Joyful Shop had its ribbon cutting/grand opening ceremony on April 2. Founder and owner Jessica Thompson is seen here in the middle with the scissors. photo by the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce.

From being an Etsy shop, to wholesaling and then into a small work space and eventually setting up its first shop in a zero waste, brick and mortar location in Kalamazoo, the Bee Joyful Shop has now taken its eco-friendly know-how to Dexter.

After its ribbon cutting on April 2, the Bee Joyful zero waste, refill shop is calling downtown Dexter home to its second location.

Bringing with it an upbeat spirit, Bee Joyful is a business with some simple yet important goals.

Founder and owner Jessica Thompson said this family business is Michigan’s first zero waste and retail shop.

No waste is the goal. It might sound impossible, but it’s something Bee Joyful strives for.

Bee Joyful founder and owner Jessica Thompson

Thompson said Dexter was the perfect spot to set up their shop for customers on the east side of the state. She said they had many people traveling to Kalamazoo from places like the Detroit area, Ann Arbor and Rochester Hills to see them, so they sought out to find a location a bit closer to those customers.

When Thompson saw the building along Main and Broad Street, near the clock tower, she said this was the one.

“I love this,” she said of the location and community she and her family have gotten to know as they researched and explored it.

Bee Joyful offers plastic free alternatives to the items that are most commonly used for personal and home care. It strives to keep packaging material coming into the store a bare minimum, using 100 percent recycled materials and zero plastic going out to customers.

The shop has different themed areas, such as kitchen, self-care, bath, food wraps and on the go. There’s also a section where you can bring your own bottle and fill it up at the Refill Station, which has a variety of liquid home products.

Thompson said Bee Joyful isn’t just a company name; it’s a mindset, a way of thinking, and a way of living at peace.

The motivation for the shop came from the idea of creating and using sustainable, Earth-friendly materials to store food, instead of harmful plastic wraps. 

Which isn’t a new idea, Thompson said.

She remembers her grandmother using cloth wraps as a way of sealing food long before plastic wrap was invented. 

The name of the business was also inspired in part by her grandmother.

Part of the name comes from the bee’s wax they used to make food wraps while the other part came from the words of encouragement Thompson’s grandmother used to give her. She remembers her grandmother saying to be joyful in the face of life’s problems and challenges, and things will turn around.

At Bee Joyful, Thompson said people can know eco-responsible alternatives are out there for those everyday products we all use. She said the world is full of plastic trash, but there is a place one can start in working to do their own part to help make it a less wasteful place.

The shop is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12-4 on Saturday and Sunday. It’s located at 3203 Broad Street in downtown Dexter. To learn more about it, go to www.beejoyfulshop.com.

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