Issue 8

Issue 8 | 12.6.2018 | Holland, MI

Porfirio and Ivonne Colin of Colin's Bakery pose in their chef's whites with arms around each other.
Porfirio and Ivonne Colin of Colin’s Bakery. Photo courtesy of Ivonne Colin.

Holland Weekly Feature Article: New Holland Bakery Offers A Taste Of Home

 

The Ghostbusters logo is holding a bouquet of tulips and springs from a wooden shoe.
Local Non-profit: Tulip City Ghostbusters

 

Two oatmeal cookies sit atop a red and white checkered tablecloth.
Holland Weekly’s Recipe Of The Week: Mike’s CrAzY Cookies

 

Madam puppy dog astrologer, Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.
Weekly Horoscope: Sylvia Reads The Stars

Porfirio and Ivonne Colin of Colin's Bakery pose in their chef's whites with arms around each other.
Porfirio and Ivonne Colin of Colin’s Bakery. Photo courtesy of Ivonne Colin.

Colin’s Bakery Gives Hollanders A Taste Of Home

By Kathleen Schenck
December 6, 2018

When is the last time you walked into a business that made you so happy you wanted to give the owners a hug? It happens all the time at Colin’s Bakery, a new business on Holland’s south side near Black River Public School.

“What I notice is people telling us, like, almost every day, as soon as they walk in here they feel like they’re in Mexico. Because of the smell, and I guess the way it looks,” explains Ivonne Colin, who owns Colin’s Bakery along with her husband, Porfirio. “Some people get so happy they’re like, ‘Oh, I wanna give you a hug, just for having this bakery here.'” Her voice softens a bit, “And it’s nice, yeah, to hear those comments.”

As she talks, customers walk in, pausing to stomp their snowy feet at the door. Ivonne greets each one with Buenas tardes, and adds ¿Cómo estás? for the regulars. And there are quite a few regulars. A gentleman at the counter, Hector, says the reason he comes here from Fennville is “because the bread is freshly made every day and because I like the taste.”

With only two other Mexican bakeries in town, Colin’s fills a need on Holland’s south side. When asked how people find Colin’s since it is on a side street that dead ends at the railroad tracks, Ivonne answers, “I think our best advertisement is the people. We get a lot of people from everywhere, and we’re like how did you hear about us? ‘Oh my aunt took us some and we love it.'” Customers come from Holland, sure. But also from Fennville, Pullman, and Grand Rapids.

Owners Ivonne and Porfirio do all the baking. Ivonne bakes the cakes and runs the front of the shop, and Porfirio makes all the breads, which puts him at the shop at 3:30 in the morning. In the dark. In the cold. “Every day” he affirms, somehow with a smile. Ivonne always made cakes growing up with her mom, but ditched the boxed versions for her own recipes because to her they tasted so much better. This helps to explain the philosophy at Colin’s: “Everything we do is from scratch,” she says.

Porfirio took baking classes in Mexico before moving to Holland, and upon moving here couldn’t find the breads he was used to. “When I came here, I started to make my own breads. But sometimes I make too much,” he recalls. Ivonne continues the story: “So we started sharing with friends, with family, and they’re like Why don’t you make your own bakery?” She points to a bread basket in the corner of the store, “We used to just fill that basket at home and we started selling everything in less than 2 hours.”

They sell the same bread today: bolillo, pan francés, or French bread, depending on where you are from. The crust is crunchy like a French baguette but a bit more delicate, and the inside is very, very, extremely soft and light. The bakers have wisely posted a video illustrating this combination of textures on their Facebook page. Same goes for concha, a Mexican sweet bread typically enjoyed with coffee or simply on its own:  here is a video showing how soft and resilient this pan dulce is as it’s pressed down and allowed to rise back up.

“We have the sweet potato empañadas right now,” Ivonne says as she nods towards one of the pastry cases. “We got that from one of my mom’s recipes. It’s not 100% the same as she used to make them, but it’s close enough, and that’s probably why people love it.”

Other treats include the ever popular tres leches cake, cinnamon rolls (Ivonne sighs, “I love the cinnamon rolls”), and miniature pecan pies and pineapple pies, which were just coming out of the oven and placed on top of the refrigerated case to cool.

We all have an emotional connection to food. The 2007 animated film Ratatouille illustrates this truth during a scene in which the serious and stern food critic takes his first bite of the Parisian restaurant’s ratatouille, and is instantly transported back to his youth in the French countryside. As a young boy he falls off his bicycle, skins his knee, and comes home with tears on his cheeks only to be met by his mother, who places a dish of ratatouille in front of him at the humble kitchen table, and briefly cups his chin as if to say everything will be alright. He is transformed with his first bite, as he is years later at the table in Paris.

Colin’s Bakery gives Hollanders that emotional connection by warming hearts and stomachs with freshly baked goods. Ivonne humbly says with a shrug, “Just happy that everything’s going well. We have all kinds of people, not just Hispanic, we have all kinds of people coming over and trying our Mexican bread. So far everyone seems to like it.”

Asked how she feels about it all, she replies, “I love Holland. We love Holland.”

A close-up of bolillo loaves.
Bolillo. Photo courtesy of Ivonne Colin.
Slices of chocolate layer cake each with a glazed strawberry on top.
Photo courtesy of Ivonne Colin.

Colin’s Bakery https://www.facebook.com/colinsbakery/ is located at 175 E 19th St, Holland, MI 49423. (616) 848-7532. They are open 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. till 3 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sunday.


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A mother and son dressed in Ghostbuster garb pose by a white Ghostbuster Jeep.
Who ya gonna call? Tulip City Ghostbusters! Photo courtesy of Kim Kolean.

For The Joy Of It: Tulip City Ghostbusters

By Kim Kolean
December 6, 2018

Tulip City Ghostbusters is a non-profit cosplay (short for costume play) group in Holland, Michigan. We dress up like Ghostbusters from the original 1984 Ghostbusters movie and the newer 2016 female version reboot. Our mission is to simply spread love and joy to others.

The group was created in 2016 when I brought my then 18-year-old special needs son to his first comic con (short for comic book convention) in Holland at the Civic Center. We met a group of Ghostbusters from Kalamazoo, and my son immediately fell in love with the idea of “becoming” a Ghostbuster. After months of researching and purchasing pieces for the uniform, his first event was the release showing of the reboot movie with a bunch of other local Ghostbusters.

Our group now consists of 26 members. As the founder and leader of the group, I organize events, help current and new members get acquainted with the worldwide fandom, and help them create their uniforms. I also initiate fundraisers to support local non-profit organizations we feel passionate about, such as Shields of Hope, DC Strong, and Project Light Night at DeVos Children’s Hospital. We help families during Thanksgiving and Christmas by providing meals and gifts.

Tulip City Ghostbusters is here to give a smile. People like to have their pictures taken with group members and the “Ecto-1 J”—our team’s white Jeep Wrangler detailed with our Tulip City Ghostbusters’ logo, hazard striping, and oozing slime. We participate in local festivals, parades, charity events, and comic cons. Some of our members dress up in uniform, some help drive the Jeep, some help with fundraisers, some help behind the scenes with marketing materials and the like. But we all feel like a family. I am especially proud of the fact that we have welcomed a number of special needs young people into our group and opened them up to sense of belonging and teamwork.

This past summer, I was attending a military Jeep fundraising event when a young man, his brother, and a woman came up to me to interact and see the Jeep. I learned that these two boys recently lost their mother, and their aunt was now their caregiver. I could see that this young man had some form of autism and was challenged to communicate verbally. He obviously knew about the Ghostbusters’ movies and was very excited to meet me. I invited him to ride with me in the Jeep sometime at parades or events. So began an amazing relationship with this family. He has become what we call an official Junior Cadet Ghostbuster, and his aunt brings him to events in uniform. It’s been wonderful.

One of the biggest fundraisers we did was during the spring Tulip City Comic Con where we sold tickets for Ghostbuster-themed items and raffled them off to raise money for Shields of Hope. We raised almost $800.00, which can now go to help families affected by cancer.

Every month we have been a part of the Silent Observer Project Night Light at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. It’s an opportunity to show the kids in the hospital we care about them by shining flashlights towards their hospital windows. It’s so cool to see all the lights shining stories above the ground and to feel a part of something bigger than us. One night we placed our big slimer statue on the Jeep’s roof and set up spotlights. I was hoping the kids could see it from high above. I was thrilled to discover a few parents came down to say that their child could see us way up on the 7th floor, and loved it so much.

Reaction from the community has been amazing. People see our Jeep all over town, and I get a lot of friendly waves and horn beeps. Most people are just curious about who we are and what we do. When I tell them we support local charities and promote kindness and love, they give us a big smile.

We welcome anyone interested in joining or partnering with the group to reach out with questions. There is no cost to join, and purchasing the Ghostbusters’ uniform is as easy as purchasing a tan flight suit off Amazon. If you have a huge heart and love helping people, then becoming a Ghostbuster might be your calling. You can reach us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulipCityGhostbusters or by calling 616-690-1678.


The Ghostbusters logo is holding a bouquet of tulips and springs from a wooden shoe.
Image courtesy of Kim Kolean.

Kim Kolean is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Holland with her husband and three kids. When Kolean is not busy busting ghosts, she enjoys volunteering at school, making custom Mickey Mouse ears, home decorating, and Jeep trail riding.  

 

Two oatmeal cookies sit atop a red and white checkered tablecloth.
Mike’s CrAzY cookies. Photo by Michael Tuccini.

Holland Weekly’s Recipe Of The Week:
Mike’s CrAzY Cookies

(aka Peanut Butter Oatmeal Maple Cinnamon Cranberry Walnut Cookies)

By Michael Tuccini
December 6, 2018

The crispy edges of these cookies are reminiscent of peanut brittle.

Yield: About 30 cookies

Preparation: 15 minutes

Bake time: 10-13 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 ounces salted butter, softened

1 ounce applesauce

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

3/4 cup muscovado sugar (brown sugar will do)

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 ounces maple syrup

1 large egg

1 and 1/2 cups regular oats

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Instructions

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl using a whisk or electric mixer. Cream the butter and sugars, peanut butter, maple syrup, applesauce, and eggs in another bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry, then add oats, cranberries, and walnuts.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased or parchment papered cookie sheet. Bake at 350° in the oven for 10-13 minutes. Serve warm with a glass of milk. Or try it Elvis style as a cookie sandwich with peanut butter, banana, and bacon in the middle.

Madam puppy dog astrologer, Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.
Madam Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.

Sylvia Reads The Stars

Week of Dec. 6, 2018

Sagittarius Nov 22 – Dec 23

You will feel inspired, Sagittarius, moreso this coming week than usual. What will you create? A new cake? Song? Love letter? Or all three rolled into one? Yum.

Capricorn Dec 23 – Jan 20

Capricorn, sometimes you can be a perfectionist. This week I encourage you to lay that tendency aside in order to do something simply for the joy of it. You don’t have to be good at it. You just have to do it. I predict you will find a type of joy that makes you feel like a kid again. And if you’re a kid, you’ll feel like a puppy. Now that’s some serious joy!

Aquarius Jan 20 – Feb 18

You will try something new this week that will yield results very, very different from those you intended. This is good for you. Heck, this is great for everyone you’ll come into contact with this week.

Pisces Feb 18 – Mar 20

Pisces, sometimes if not most of the time the general public does not see how strong you really are, and what a fighter you can be. This week, show them all. Align your internal self with the facade you show the world. If you get caught daydreaming, say I’m busy aligning my internal and external selves. That’ll show ’em. Unless it’s your teacher. Then say “5.”

Aries Mar 20 – Apr 20

There will be more opportunities than usual for you to laugh at what passes each day as normal, quotidian life. All of a sudden, you’ll be unable to unsee the ridiculousness of a driver in the midst of road rage, for example. Or a squirrel stealing birdseed from your backyard feeder.

Taurus Apr 20 – May 21

Taurus, you’ve had a bit of sadness enter your fortress this week. How will you deal with it? By sharing with a few close friends? This, and the gray skies over West Michigan, will be your world for the next few weeks. But you are not alone. Ever.

Gemini May 21 – Jun 21

Oh, Gemini. Instead of chasing snowflakes with your tongue, let one land right on your gloved hand. This is a metaphor. Instead of talking through a problem with your awesome gift for eloquence, sit and listen quietly and intently. Crazy, I know. But try it. I predict you will be moved to even more peaceful silence.

Cancer Jun 21 – Jul 23

Cordial crab! You avoided disaster last week by withholding criticism. Good job! Now you deserve a treat. May I suggest a generous slice of tres leches at Colin’s Bakery?

Leo Jul 23 – Aug 23

Lighthearted Leo, you find beauty in people when others cannot or will not. Who will strike you as gorgeous this week? I predict it’s not who you think.

Virgo Aug 23 – Sep 23

You’re so good at cleaning house, Virgo, literally and figuratively. What skill have you not used in a while that could use some dusting off? I predict you will find more than one as soon as you begin considering the answers to this question.

Libra Sep 23 – Oct 23

Loquacious Libra will be you this coming week. All the fine communicative skills usually awarded to Geminis seem to be at your disposal this week. I suspect you will use them at a time when the greatest number will benefit.

Scorpio Oct 23 – Nov 22

Happiness is the best revenge, and Scorpio, we know you can sometimes be a vengeful soul. This week, you get a free pass. Tell the truth about yourself. That will eliminate the wool from the rumor mill. It’s too scratchy anyways.


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Thank you for your interest in Holland Weekly.