Minnetonka Store Spotlight: Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts 301 E. Lake Street Petoskey, MI 49770
This week we are happy to spotlight Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts located in Petoskey, MI.
Owned and operated by third generation proprietor Jennifer Shorter, Grandpa Shorter’s has been open for over 66 years. “It is a tradition to come into Shorter’s to get your summer moccasins” they hear at Grandpa Shorter’s on a daily basis from the familiar faces that visit each summer. This is Grandpa Shorter’s story.
What’s your Minnetonka story?
Shorter’s has been selling Minnetonka Moccasins since 1946 and was one of Minnetonka’s first accounts. Before WWII, my grandfather, Carl Shorter, managed Teysen’s Souvenir shop in Mackinaw City, MI during the summers of 1940 – 1942 for Harry and Grace Teysen. Carl Shorter always credited Harry Teysen for teaching him about the souvenir/gift industry. In the Fall of 1942, Carl moved his family to Detroit to do his patriotic duty and joined the war effort. When the war ended in 1945, he and his wife Ruth moved their family back to Petoskey and began making plans to open Shorter’s Indian Craft Shop. The partnership of Shorter’s and Minnetonka then began.
Our name was originally Shorter’s Indian Gift Shop. The name was changed to Shorter’s Gift Shop in the 70’s to reflect the change in merchandise to include gifts. Carl Shorter passed away in 1983 and my parents, Bill and Mari Shorter, took over the store. They renamed the store Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts in honor of Carl Shorter. (Not to mention, that all his grandchildren called it Grandpa’s store, anyway!)
What are the most popular Minnetonka styles at Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts?
The little girls love the hot pink fringe boots. The Moosehide moccasins are a hit with the adults, and women of all ages love the fringe boots. All of the beaded moccasins are a must-have for those who have grown up wearing mocs and love the tradition of getting a new pair every summer. And of course, all the sheepskin slippers are popular since we are in the North Country where the winters are cold and the summer nights chilly.
What is your favorite style of Minnetonka mocs to wear?
I love my orange Silverthorne sandals! I’ve had all the Silverthorne colors over the years, but the orange is my favorite. My second favorite pair of Minnetonkas are my tall black sheepskin pug boots. I live in them from November through May. My daughter, Kaitlyn, is ten and she likes to rock the hot pink 3-layer fringe boots with everything. I love to hear the fringe swish when she walks.
What are a few of your favorite “must see” destinations when visiting the Petoskey area near Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts?
It’s been a tourist and resort destination for 150 years. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, there are miles and miles of bike trails in Petoskey which link the towns. You can’t come to Petoskey without taking home at least one Petoskey stone! It is a requirement. Petoskey stone is a fossilized coral that is 350 million years old. It is ONLY found in this area because Michigan was covered in a warm salt water sea when this fossil grew. It fossilized and was moved about by glaciers. Now, pieces wash ashore onto our beaches.
City Park Grill
Hemingway used to sit at the bar at this fun establishment, and their whitefish is a local favorite. After dinner, wander downtown and make your way to Sunset Park. Watch the sun slip into the azure waters of Lake Michigan. We have been known as the “land of million dollar sunsets” for over 100 years. After the sunset, stroll up Howard Street and get an ice cream come from Kilwin’s or Murdick’s. They each have traditional favorites and some that are their own signature flavors such as Petoskey stone ice cream and sea salt caramel. Delicious!