2012-06-23 / News

Twist-n-Sprouts Adds New, Healthy Dimensions to Island Dining

By James Dau


Jack and Terrie Armstrong outside their new frozen yogurt and salad bar, Twist-n-Sprouts, on Main Street. “We saw the need for a place like this, that we could put something different downtown,” Mr. Armstrong said. Twist-n-Sprouts opened May 26. Jack and Terrie Armstrong outside their new frozen yogurt and salad bar, Twist-n-Sprouts, on Main Street. “We saw the need for a place like this, that we could put something different downtown,” Mr. Armstrong said. Twist-n-Sprouts opened May 26. This season a new restaurant brings a new style of dining to Mackinac Island’s Main Street. Jack and Terrie Armstrong have opened Twist-n-Sprouts in what is being referred to as the Opera House building Saturday, May 26, bringing renewed life to an old structure.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Mrs. Armstrong said. “This community has just been so interested and supportive of what we’re doing here.”

Twist-n-Sprouts features selfserve salad and yogurt bars.

“It’s different and it’s healthier,” Mr. Armstrong added.

The Armstrongs moved here from Traverse City and became permanent residents on the Island 10 years ago.

“It started as just a vacation home for us, but it always felt like something more for us,” Mrs. Armstrong said. “We feel like it’s always been home.”

The couple already owns and operates another restaurant, the Cannonball, at British Landing, as well as two clothing stores, Mackinac Tuxedo and Some Wear on Mackinac women’s boutique.

“We just have the entrepreneurial spirit,” Mrs. Armstrong said. “We saw the need for a place like this, that we could put something different downtown, and we went for it.”

Mr. Armstrong echoed his wife’s sentiments. “We knew the time was right, and here we are.”

Twist-n-Sprouts is a departure from the norm. Its pastel green interior is dominated by two large bars, one for salads and the other for yogurt toppings. Each features between 20 and 30 items.

“We want our customers to have options, to be able to be creative with their meals,” Mrs. Armstrong explained. “We want to give them an experience as well as a meal.”

The building itself went through extensive renovations before Twist-n-Sprouts could open. Originally built in the 1870s, the building once housed a theater on the upper floor and has gone through many occupants in the last near-century-and-a-half. The building most recently housed a T-shirt shop, but sat vacant for the last two years, during which time its condition further deteriorated. The shop was renovated last winter.

“I’ve been so pleased with the work that was done here by everyone,” Mr. Armstrong said. “They really did a phenomenal job.” Work was carried out by Mike Gamble Construction, St. Onge Latex and Groove, and Mackinac Plumbing and Heating during the winter. “It was challenging and fun to remodel the place, and I love seeing the way it’s transformed,” Mrs. Armstrong said. “We really cared about preserving this historic building, and I’m so glad we found people to work on it who showed the same concern.”

Now in its second week of operation, customers have been responding to the new fare and appearance of Twist-n-Sprouts.

“We’ve already been having return customers, which is a great sign early on,” Mrs. Armstrong said, “and I pass people on the street who tell me the place is on their list to come visit.”

“It’s really taken off, especially since the weather warmed up for us,” Mr. Armstrong said. “We’ve had 40 or more people in here at a time.

For the foreseeable future, the Armstrongs are going work on building their business.

“It’s sort of a crawl-walk-run thing,” Mrs. Armstrong explained. “We’ll see how it goes as the season moves forward, and we’re very excited to see what it brings for us.”

“It’s been really well received, and we have a lot of enthusiasm for the place,” Mr. Armstrong said with a smile. “It’s only going to get better from here.”

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