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TCYP Member Spotlight – Emmalena Verellen

What is your day job?

By both day and night I am employed by Nolans Cigar Bar where I bartend and work in their retail store. Recently I’ve begun helping out at West Bay Handmade as well!

How long have you lived in the Grand Traverse area?

I moved here independently in 2017, but like many people, I have been coming to the area to visit throughout my entire life

What is your favorite thing about living/working in the Traverse City area?

The blend of nature amidst residency is everything to me. I love that there are always spaces I can go and be alone, but that there is a supportive community I can come back to.

What do you do for fun?

Weather permitting I love to kayak, run, bike and hike. I also enjoy reading and walking dogs, even though I do not have my own, I love to dog sit and help friends out!

How do you get involved in the community?

I believe that being in the service industry is actually a great way to meet local members of my community and foster relationships. I have learned a lot about the area this way.

What is your favorite local business (restaurant, shop, service,etc.) and why?

I really love Good Harbor coffee because their scones are like a hug on my stomach. I am biased, but I really am enthralled by West Bay Handmade and their ever changing stock of amazing, Michigan craft.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

When I was in college at MSU I worked in the recycling center and would literally play in trash all over campus

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I am pretty afraid of butterflies, but also went skydiving last year. Also, I am not particularly a cigar smoker despite my place of employment.

What is something you learned in the last week?

I learned all about this dog breed called Clumberland Spaniels and how they almost went extinct during the French Revolution! But they were saved and now we can bask in their giant, fluffy, polar bear-like presence.

How can other TCYP members support you (personally or professionally)?

I just love meeting new people and learning about their lifestyles in much the same way; come into Nolans and say hi! If the smoke is too much (understandably) then something I really want to have more of in my life is dessert dates. Let’s go somewhere and just order the best dessert on their menu.