Beulah is an old town on the Eastern shore of Crystal Lake. Once a rail stop, the downtown must have languished when the main highway, US-31, was routed through the outskirts of town. Today, it is a Small Business Saturday miracle with gift shops, a pub, a framing shop and an art gallery. Antique stores are the most common small business, and you'll find them left and right.
The Blue Caribou Coffee House has a colorful interior and a million dollar view of the expansive waters of Crystal Lake, still crystal clear after years as a tourist destination. On Sunday, the coffeehouse does a steady business; a sign painted in the window promises to have coffee and a good menu available all winter long. No going dark for the season for the Blue Caribou. That's a big promise for small town West Michigan. I have the impression that White Lake is going to turn off the light after Christmas, including a favorite restaurant, the Harbor View Grille.
The main boulevard has a bakery that sells Challah daily. All that's really missing is a yoga studio, which I probably have overlooked.
What makes Downtown Beulah worth watching for the next decade? Ann Loveless, first prize winner of the popular vote in ArtPrize 2014, maintains a framing, photography and quilting business close to the Blue Caribou. Loveless has a show in progress at the art center in Frankfort, sharing the billing with her husband, a photographer. The art center in Frankfort once served as the Coast Guard station, and the building has an immense room with access to the water once store inflatable life rafts. That two story room is where a fwide selection of Loveless's quilts hang, and a catwalk remains so people can see the quilts from all angles, even from above!