Wixom community pitching in to help save women's new coffee shop amid COVID-19

As the owners of the Trail's Edge Cafe in Wixom, Shelby Carolan and Courtney McLean love making original coffee concoctions.

"We have gone above and beyond to learn the skills we need to make specialty coffee the right way every time," McLean said. 

These two have always wanted to own their own business and their dreams came true when they opened their doors in December. But just a few months later the coronavirus pandemic hit.

"It's been really hard to make ends meet especially because we just started and we don't have that nest egg; I even had to sell my house to try to keep the business going," Carolan said.

Making matters worse, Carolan says they weren't able to get loans through the Paycheck Protection Program or the Small Business Administration. Carolan says while business has started to pick back up, it's nowhere near where it was pre-pandemic. And now this cafe is among the many businesses struggling to survive.

"We really love everything about this business. We've put our blood sweat and tears into it. We've worked so hard and we just can't let it go," Carolan said.

According to a recent survey by the Michigan Restaurant And Lodging Association, 23% of owners say it's unlikely their restaurants can make it the next six months. That's about 4,000 locations across the state.

"We are trying to get caught up on rent. We are a few months behind right now. My landlord, thankfully, has been very flexible with us but that flexibility can only go so far," Carolan said.

Two women stand behind a restaurant counter, one on a phone call and the other speaking with a customer.

Shelby Carolan and Courtney McLean at work at Trail's Edge Cafe in Wixom

Now, while each day brings these business owners the stress of getting their bills paid, they did find somewhat of a silver lining. The community has stepped up by donating to a GoFundMe, with the proceeds going to helping them keep their dreams alive.

"I know people who want us here. They support us, they love what we do; they love us as people and we feel the same way and to see that turn out into a monetary form is overwhelming," McLean said. 

If you'd like to help contribute, you can make a donation online here