Seasonings Becomes Oakland Township's Newest Café
The restaurant opens Tuesday with a homey atmosphere, homemade goodies and "lots of little touches to make it special."
Local residents and business partners Dinah Brinson and Sue Wood are entering the New Year with a leap of faith.
On Tuesday, the women officially open the doors to Seasonings, a café located in the former home of Nice Day Cafe at 4505 Collins Rd. Brinson had initially hoped to open the doors two months earlier but unexpectedly had to undergo foot surgery, so Brinson and Wood decided to hold off until after the holidays.
On Monday, both women were bustling about, preparing fresh baked goods and specialties to fill its display case. Brinson was focusing much of her time on the appeal of the café, ensuring that the artwork was properly placed on the yellow walls and that settings at the diner were prepared.
“I want it to feel homey,” Brinson said. “We have lots of little touches to make it special.”
What to expect on the menu
Aside from providing an appealing, homey atmosphere, Wood noted that Seasonings will specialize in homemade goodies. The duo will craft their own salad dressings, soups and more. Homemade "sweet patooties," as Brinson refers to the sweets they offer, will be a must-have at Seasonings.
Wood had a hard time deciding which dish on the menu is best, but she did note that the Reuben is scrumptious, as are the specialty potato and bean salads and coleslaw the restaurant will have prepared at times.
Though Seasonings has a fixed menu for breakfast and lunch, a slew of specialties will be available throughout the week as well. Wood noted there are so many things they want to make, but there not enough room on the menu — so they decided to circulate some of the delicious dishes into the week as specials.
“We want to make so much stuff, so we’re going to have our specials,” Wood said.
Some items available to customers on its menu include omelets, egg sandwiches and French toast for breakfast. Seasonings' Morning Glory, a dish on the lighter side, includes yogurt parfait layered with homemade granola and fresh fruit. Local honey drizzled over the creation tops off the breakfast item, which is available for $4.
Chicken salad, tuna salad and veggie sandwiches are all on the menu for $5-$6.50, all served with chips. The menu details that the veggie sandwich can come with hummus or cream cheese with a variety of vegetables on veggie bread — with the promise that they'll "make it yummy.” Garden and Greek salad options are available, along with a Goodison Station salad that incorporates Michigan dried cherries, toasted walnuts and apples, among other delectable ingredients.
Burgers fresh off the grill and combo specials are available as well.
“Healthy and delicious, appealing to the eye, appealing to the tummy,” Brinson said, describing much of the food that will be served.
For customers rolling through and in a hurry, carryout is available, as is catering services for events. In fact, Seasonings offers brown bag lunch combos to aid customers on the go. To ensure getting back on the road quickly, Brinson asks that customers try to call ahead.
A background in cooking
Neither Brinson nor Wood has experience running a restaurant, but for Brinson, this is fulfilling her lifelong dream. Brinson, who retired from General Motors three years ago, has been waiting tables for a year now, including working at the InTown Cafe and then at Nice Day Cafe — two of the three restaurants that opened and closed at the location within the past year.
Wood has dabbled in private catering but mostly has cooked and baked for friends and family through the years. Wood, who has lived in Oakland Township for the past 30 years, used to co-own a road construction company, working as the company’s bookkeeper — so throwing on an apron professionally is quite an adventure.
“I am very excited, and it’s a new venture for me; I’m excited to see what it’s going to bring," Wood said happily. "We're out on a limb here."
When Brinson decided to open the café, she was still trying to find the right person to help her man the operation. Wood responded to a help wanted ad that Brinson put out, and according to Brinson, Wood was the right person for the job. Brinson went on to note that their personalities complement each other.
“When I walked in here for the first time, it just looked so cute, it’s so nice and homey; and we just hit it off,” Wood said.
Serving the community
Like Brinson, Wood wants to make a difference in the community and is on board with operating the business with the community and local charities in mind. Wood is accustomed to community service by lending a hand at her church and cooking and serving food for the homeless at HOPE Hospitality and Warming Center* in Pontiac.
“We both have community service in mind,” Wood said.
Both women are in a place in their lives where they want to give back as much as possible, which is why the pair will routinely donate a portion of their profits to area nonprofit organizations, such as HOPE Hospitality and Warming Center* or Blessings in a Backpack. Preparing dinners for community members in need as part of their Warm Bellies, Warm Hearts program is another option. For example, Brinson noted that if someone notified them of a house fire in the community, they would provide the victim with meals.
If the community comes to them with a need, Brinson said, they will do their best to meet it.
“We plan on being here and serving the community a long time,” Brinson said.
Seasonings will be open 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. To contact the café, call 248-652-7933.
*We initially reported that Sue Wood donates her time to Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac and noted that organization as a nonprofit that Seasonings might contribute proceeds to from time to time. When in fact Wood donates her time to HOPE Hospitality and Warming Center in Pontiac; which she said her business would try to help when needed.