Newly remodeled Ferndale cafe wins in Vote 4 The Best Editors Pick

Red Hook gives back to their employees and keeps customers safe with a new look

Red Hook's new storefront.
Red Hook's new storefront. (WDIV)

In this year’s special edition of Vote 4 The Best Editors Pick, the winner for Best Biz for Patron Safety is The Red Hook! Red Hook has been serving the Ferndale and Detroit community for about 10 years. As with many local businesses, the pandemic meant the coffee shop had to become accustomed to curbside pickup and online ordering.

But above and beyond that, Sandi Heaselgrave, the owner of Red Hook, expressed her excitement about a recent renovation that included a new door built into the Ferndale storefront. “The Detroit location already had two doors, and we saw the difference between the two shops.”

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✨Open at 7✨ we missed you Ferndale 🌈❤️

A post shared by The Red Hook (@theredhookcoffee) on

The renovation is helping with sales as well as social distancing. Fall was normally the busiest time of year, and since they have reopened there has been an increase in business and a steady flow of customers. This is great news to Heaselgrave, because one of the biggest challenges their company has faced due to COVID-19 is getting customer return. “Currently we are serving between 60-70% of our regular customers daily,” Heaselgrave said.

Red Hook (WDIV)

With PPE and business loans, Heaselgrave said that they have allowed their staff to feel more comfortable at work and able to make it possible to operate with their 40% revenue deficit. Besides a change to the Ferndale location, they waited a long time to do curbside as well as open their shops, until they were sure their staff felt comfortable working.

Red Hook new storefront. (WDIV)

“We created workstations in the bakery part of our shop to ensure employees' comfort level and safety. Their health and safety are the most important part, and we are always looking to improve,” said Heaselgrave. At the beginning of the pandemic they even divided up the shops' food and gave it to their staff. “We helped with unemployment and ordered products to give to our staff. We knew there were food shortages so we tried to help them as much as we could.”

While treating their staff like family, the coffee shop also gave care packages to some of their regulars!

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Happy Friday! We’re open 9 AM - 2 PM!

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The Ferndale location is where Red Hook’s full production bakery is located. “We have a traditional pastries menu; think of your favorite childhood treats. We serve homemade oatmeal cream pies, pop tarts, galettes, and more.”

This summer they also introduced bottled cold brew, which was their number one seller! Heaselgrave said that they have been wanting to bottle up cold brew for a while now and with the pandemic, they finally had the chance to do so.

“The support of our customers in our community has been amazing and we’re so happy to serve them. We look forward to the day we can welcome everyone back inside the shops,” said Heaselgrave.

Red Hook is expanding, opening its third location this winter. The new shop was planned before the pandemic and will be in the Riverton Warehouse district off of East Jefferson Ave. This location will have a walk-up window, as well. Stay up to date with Red Hook and the grand opening of their new location by following them on Instagram and liking them on Facebook.

For more favorites of every type of business you can think of, chosen by locals like you, check out the winners of our main Vote 4 The Best contest!

Our Sponsor -- We’d like to thank Wallside Windows for their longtime sponsorship of Vote 4 the Best and their support of southeast Michigan’s local businesses. Wallside is a Taylor, MI-based family business that manufactures and installs custom replacement windows, now in their third generation.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington joined WSLS 10 at the beginning of 2021.