ALPENA — A new business open at the small boat harbor in Alpena is ready to provide unique food and drink options that can’t be found in most stores in the area.
The Cochon Gourmet Market features convenient grab-and-go products that are ideal for boaters, people visiting nearby parks, and anyone who wants to enjoy something a little bit out of the ordinary.
Owner Philippe Cabana said Cochon is a blend of a grocery store that also has a small inventory of boating equipment, and information center for visitors.
“Our main attraction are the products that are things you won’t normally find in a Walmart or Meijer,” he said. “A lot of it is made in Michigan and we offer a wide variety of products that are gluten free, vegan, allergen free, so anyone who has dietary restrictions can easily come and find something.”
Cabana and his family ran the business in Harbor Springs, before moving to Alpena in January. He said since his soft opening last weekend, he believes the market and its products have well been received.
Although food and drinks are the primary products, Cabana said simple boating products are on hand as is fishing bait. He said the store will also have an area for visitors to learn more about Alpena, its businesses, and local attractions.
“There is a part of the store saved for the city, the Alpena Downtown Development Authority, and library to kind of get information out. I’m also slowly talking to the local restaurants to get copies of their menus to have in the store,” he said. “There will also be banners outside that have pictures of what the marina looked like 100 years ago. We are trying to make this space fit with what the city is trying to do at the harbor.”
Cabana said he hopes to acquire a liquor license so he can sell alcohol. He said that would work well within the DDA’s social district, which allows people to consume alcohol outdoors within the district.
“The people can come and grab a few drinks and then go to the park, or back to their boats,” he said. “There won’t be any seating or alcohol being served in the store though.”
Since moving to Alpena, Cabana said he loves the area and so far the people have been very supportive of his family. He said he is excited to be a part of the community.
“Everything has been good and everyone has been welcoming,” Cabana said. “It has just been great so far.”