They’re Quite the Motley Crew & They’re Not Too Shabby! (9 Photos)

Ernest Skinner

Shabby Motley!! What the heck is that?

That’s what I thought as I’ve cruised by its location on Queen over the years.

Well, it happens to be the hottest coffee shop in town; don’t trust my opinion, but trust the hundreds of others that drop in here on a weekly basis.

I was in Traverse City recently and as I always do, I popped into coffee shops in Petoskey and while in TC. I do this because I love their vibe and attention to detail.

Petoskey has Roast and Toast and one of my fav’s in TC is called Brew. Awesome place, great decor, and great customer service! A bit pricey, but hey…it’s worth it.

I’m of the opinion that I’d rather spend a bit more for the atmosphere and experience.

When I’m at home here in the Soo, I get all of this at Shabby’s.

I’ve been coming here religiously for about a year now and have introduced it to dozens of others who are now on board and stop in on a daily basis.

This coffee shop has what every hot spot has; a vibrant crowd, a hum in the air, music in the background, great decoration, top notch product, all kinds of coffee/tea drinks, the best pastries, and soup and sandwiches that are to die for.

Today I had Cordelia Black Bean Chili…honest to God, I’m going to bribe someone for the recipe. It was that good.

Every time I come in here, it seems to be getting busier and busier; Ashleigh Sauve (Owner), and Megan Fontana (Manager) are constantly redecorating and adding touches here and there to make things even better.

When you drop in…because you will, you’ll notice yarn…yarn…and lots of yarn, but don’t’ be AYARNED !! !! That is just part of the original atmosphere.

Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds and is gaining a reputation throughout the city.

Daily people come in to work, read, chat, gossip 🙂 or just people watch.

And yes, there are the regulars that come in to relax and do some needlework.

This place is teeming with life and getting to the point where they are having to make adjustments because of the high traffic.

Recently, they have added 16 charging stations for your phone, laptop etc, and have added bistro style tables to allow for more seating capacity.

Everyone from the staff to the regulars makes it a very close-knit society.

I personally come here to write my articles, people watch and talk politics with my friends.

There are lots of regulars that come here. from the lawyer next door, Bruce Icelander, and many other of downtown working society.

Shabby Motley got its name from the Neil Gaiman’s novel Neverwhere, according to owner Ashleigh Sauve.

It’s a term to describe the way someone is dressed.

Shabby’s is doing so well that Ashleigh even opened up a second location at the airport and you have to check this place out as well.

Locals near and far from the airport head out for there for their coffee and vibe fix.

There is no need to worry if you are intrigued but worried about parking.

Non-flyers going to Shabby’s West don’t pay for parking!

Cesilee Thompson the manager says that reception has been great and that one flyer even said that he loved the decor and said that that is something he would expect on Queen St in Toronto and not in an airport in SSM.

This suggests he is impressed with vibe and uniqueness that Shabbys brings. She also says that the locals near the airport and campers are happy to have a place to go to drink great java and enjoy Ray’s great baking!

I also spoke with manager Megan Fontana of the Queen (SSM) location and she said that the best part of her job is her coworkers and the community. She said it’s a warm and safe environment. “I’m home here”.

Along with everything else that I have mentioned, Shabby’s supports and sells local coffee from St.Joseph Island Coffee Company.

You have to come in and check out the many varieties and flavors!

This Motley Crue; is also very knowledgeable about the products they sell. I’ve come in here with my girlfriend who was a former manager at a Starbucks (cough, cough) and when she ordered one of those fancy drinks that I hadn’t even heard of, the girl ( I think it was Megan), didn’t even bat an eyelash and whipped it up.

I don’t even think it’s on the menu. This is called loving your job and product.

Some of the unique concoctions you can get here are the Mochachinno (expresso and hot chocolate), Bullet Proof Coffee, or my personal favorite…The CANADIANO !!!

I’ve been hooked on this drink from the git-go. It contains Espresso, hot water and Canadian Maple Syrup. Yummmm

I would advise any person that likes to support local and loves, coffee, great service, atmosphere, free wifi, and great food and sweets to stop in and tell them I sent you.

You might get a deal on your first regular coffee 😉 Wink Wink. But the trick is that you have to say you were directed by this article!!! That’s the only catch.

You can’t miss this gem downtown. It is across from Soo Blasters and there is always a nice sandwich board on the sidewalk welcoming you in. If you’re a bike enthusiast, there will be a bike rack out front in the next few weeks weather permitting.

And, being a society of social media, they have even tapped into Facebook in a unique way. From time to time Megan and Zenith will broadcast live while drinking coffee,chatting, and telling jokes from Shabby’s. Megan said it all started from there and people like it and tune in!

This is what I call being proactive and adding some spice. ! The Greyhounds have the Gerry and Spanky Show, and Shabby’s has the Megan and Zenith Show.

If you happen to pop in during the evening, you may even catch Bowser from Sha Na Na playing guitar or Ella (staff member) playing her ukulele..

$$$$$$ I’ve been advised that if you check out one of their locations (including Mill Market) anytime until the end of March and mention that you read the article on, they will discount 50% off your regular coffee.!! $$$$$$

So call your friends and check out Shabby’s! You won’t regret it.

**On a side note, a little birdie named Scott told me that the Soo is about to get another great local coffee shop in the next 4 weeks. There is a New Kid In Town. Details to follow.**

From my couch at Shabby’s

Ernest Skinner JR.