HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The store called WeekEnding grows out of how owners Zach and Jennifer DeKuiper like to spent their leisure time.
Turning their relaxation into work? The key is doing what they love, says Zach, “being out in the garden, being in our yard, working on our koi ponds, being in our home in the kitchen, gathering around the table with a big spread of charcuterie and spending time with our loved ones. So, our store is sort of an offshoot of all the things that we love to do.”
As a result, WeekEnding is a store full of items with a dual purpose: They can either be displayed or be used. Or both.
“Custom charcuterie boards and cutting boards, a lot of our home decor and signs, all those products are stuff that we make,” Zach says. In fact, the couple makes half of all the items in the store.
That creates an advantage for them. You can either buy what’s in stock on the shelves, or you can have an item custom engraved. “We can custom bespoke a board for them,” Zach explains. “They can come in and choose the wood and the size the handles. We can do complete inlays on the front, we can do custom engraving on the back, we can change the shapes. It's pretty much anything that they want.”
The fact the DeKuipers make so much of what they sell meant they turned a damaging pandemic shutdown into a chance to be prepared when the time came to reopen. “At first we kind of didn't know what to do, but what we ended up really doing is going down into our home shop,” he says. “What ended up happening is when the store was allowed to reopen is we actually came back with more product than we've ever had before.”
It may be a stretch to go from talking about charcuterie boards to koi ponds, but not for the DeKuipers. They have been stocking koi pond material, including the fish, for 17 years. “It's really grown and developed out of our hobby and our passion of doing it at home.” Again, the couple puts their leisure loves into their store. Zach says they probably have 1,000 koi and goldfish in their store.
The process of obtaining their pond supplies is a reflection of their commitment to shopping local. All of their pond supplies come from a source in Grand, Mich. They work hard to obtain their other materials locally, too.
And the DeKuipers are glad when people choose to shop local at their store, too. “The biggest thing that's become a love for me and I think for my wife is our customers. We've developed incredible relationships, incredible friendships.”
The web site for WeekEnders is being reworked into an ecommerce site, so soon orders can be accepted online.