Ada schoolhouse getting new life as general store

Kent County

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — If you live or have driven in Ada lately, you know the entire downtown area is under construction.

The old schoolhouse in village was built in the mid-1800s. The last classes were dismissed in 1964, but the schoolhouse has never really gone away. On Wednesday, it was brought back with a new chapter in Ada’s history.

It’s the true definition of old school.

Ada’s newest business is the Ada Village General Store and it’s inside the renovated 150-year-old schoolhouse.

“I grew up in the village and watched all the changes take place. It’s very exciting to be a part of that,” said Ada Township Supervisor George Haga.

Haga said the building has served as a schoolhouse, an ice cream shop and most recently a flower shop throughout its years of existence.

“I’ve had a couple former students come in and just kinda share a little bit of the history of where they remember things being,” said Jennifer Welles, Ada Village General Store Manager.

Welles has brought the ice cream back. In true general store style, customers can get a little bit of everything: coffee, candy, gifts, knickknacks and a lot of Pure Michigan products.

“My favorite part of doing this was to really embrace the general store vibe. Mixing old with new, hitting up flea markets, hitting up vintage stores,” said Welles.

Wednesday’s ribbon cutting is another reminder that Ada is changing. Then again, there are reminders in the construction everywhere you look downtown. What’s old is new in Ada.

“It’s the public interest that’s changed over time from rural to now a bit of a metropolis,” said Haga.

The Ada General Store is open seven days a week year-round.

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