Most people spend their retirement years kicking back and relaxing. Not Mary Youngblood. Three years ago at the age of 66 she started her first business, Beach Bites, a snack stand at the local beach in Marysville, MI.
Originally Mary put her entrepreneur dreams on hold to raise her four kids in Marysville. For decades she accrued experience in the restaurant industry and cooked for family weddings and weekly church luncheons. In 2019, she approached the city about opening the then-vacant concession building because she felt the location needed more community presence and pride of ownership.
Mary shares, “Our neighbors that use and enjoy the beach are so respectful of the property and water we are blessed with, and we were confident in our ability to deliver success as well as smiles they deserve.”
After a rigorous vetting process, Mary and her husband Jerry, a retired firefighter, received the keys. The only problem? The concrete building was completely void of anything, save for a utility sink and electricity outlets.
Mary laughs, “It was just four concrete walls! Nowhere to sit. Nowhere to stock food. Nowhere to prep food!”
Mary and Jerry went to work, outfitting the space inside and adding warm, welcoming touches to the outside.
Beach Bites is now bustling, open seven days a week from Memorial Day through October. Beach goers can buy snacks, candy, and beverages, and even homemade lunch combos and dishes prepared by Mary on a rotating basis. Located on the St. Clair River, Mary and her customers enjoy scenic views of the beach and the nearby dog and family-friendly park.
Go behind the counter and behind the scenes of Beach Bites with Mary in this Collective Cribs.