FACES of Flint & Genesee Business: Patty Plant, Cranberries Café

Owning Cranberries Café in Goodrich for the past 27 years has given owner Patty Plant a sense of pride in her community.

“We aren’t competitive here,” says Plant. “We have a brewpub next door, and we’ll go out of our way to support each other if either is ever in need.”

Plant describes the area as a bedroom community with a very tight-knit social network. She mentions school plays that the whole town attends and volunteer groups that support each other for the betterment of the community.

“People are willing to give and support each other,” says Plant. “We opened Cranberries in Goodrich because it’s my hometown. I can walk to work – and usually, if I do, someone will stop and give me a ride.”

The local restaurant that started as a breakfast and lunch café and has since evolved to lunch and dinner with a full-service bar is just as popular as it’s ever been. And Plant credits the community support for its success.

“It’s more than just a restaurant, we make personal connections,” says Plant. “Our staff is longstanding, and our customers are more to us than just people buying food.”

What is your business philosophy?

The Fred Factor. It’s a book by Mark Sanborn that someone gave me years ago. It’s about a mailman that went a little above and beyond what was needed. That’s the philosophy – go a little above and beyond and you’ll have success.

Outside of business, what do you like to do?

Kayaking! I love to kayak with my dog. She’s about 70 pounds and rides along in the kayak with me.

How is Cranberries Café involved in the community?

Good times in Goodrich is an annual festival we always try to be involved with. We support all types of school events, whether it’s plays or sports. The school has a great Leader in Me program and we have provided food for that many times.

What is one of your favorite memories?

A few years ago, we had our 25 anniversary, and it was very exciting. We had an open house party and many people attended. It’s been 27 years, but it just seems like a couple. However, my daughter was four when we opened and now, she’s in her 30s!

What advice would you offer future entrepreneurs?

Be willing to work. I have been on this block a long time and have seen businesses come and go. People make a great business, dress it up cute and expect people to just come. But you have to work hard and get a good reputation. You have to keep regular business hours and you have to be open when you say you’re open.