Beyond the Bus blog logo

Exploring Women-Owned Businesses with CATA

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Categories: Community


In honor of Women's History Month, CATA is thrilled to spotlight the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of women in the Capital Area. From cozy coffee shops to innovative learning centers, these three women-owned businesses not only enrich our community but also serve as shining examples of dedication, creativity, and resilience. Join us as we celebrate the remarkable contributions of these inspiring women and discover the unique experiences they bring to Lansing's cultural tapestry. Whether you're a local resident or just passing through, be sure to add these must-visit establishments to your list and show your support for women-owned businesses in our city.


The Emerging Parent creates a fun and supportive community for parents and their little ones too! Join their space to play, talk with other parents, and enjoy curated play and parent support with a focus on development and connection for young children and their grown-ups. The Emerging Parent is a local hub for parents with children ages 4 and under to connect. They strive to be the ultimate space in Lansing where caregivers can find the place they need to thrive and grow during early parenthood. They also offer classes, small group style open play, private events, birthday parties, parents-only gatherings, support groups and more. The founder and CEO is Miranda Zoumbaris, a parent educator, group facilitator, parent coach, early interventionist and entrepreneur. She is dedicated to providing a space where caregivers can connect, learn, and grow together during the early years of parenthood.


With three locations in the Lansing area including Downtown Lansing, Eastside Neighborhood and MSU's campus, Strange Matter Coffee has become a beloved community hub known for its exceptional coffee and vibrant atmosphere. What sets it apart, however, is not just the quality of its brews but the story behind its creation. Cara Nadar, a passionate coffee enthusiast and entrepreneur, founded Strange Matter Coffee with a vision to create more than just a cafe. She wanted to cultivate a space where people could gather, connect, and be inspired—a place where creativity flourishes and community thrives Since its inception, Strange Matter Coffee has not only become a local favorite but also a testament to the power of women in business. Cara has worked in the coffee industry for over a decade. Her dedication, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit have not only fueled the success of her venture but have also served as an inspiration to aspiring business owners, particularly women, in the Lansing area. At CATA, we recognize the importance of supporting women-owned businesses like Strange Matter Coffee. They not only contribute to the economic vitality of our community but also enrich the cultural fabric of Lansing. 


Located in the vibrant downtown area, TinkrLAB is a haven for young minds, sparking creativity and curiosity through hands-on learning experiences. What sets TinkrLAB apart is not just its dedication to STEM education but also its commitment to fostering a love for learning in children of all ages—a vision brought to life by founder, Melissa Rabideau. Driven by her passion for education and innovation, Melissa established TinkrLAB with the belief that every child has the potential to become a problem-solver, thinker and creator. Through engaging workshops, camps, and classes, TinkrLAB provides children with the tools and encouragement they need to explore, experiment, and unleash their imagination. TinkrLAB not only enriches the lives of families in our community but also inspires the next generation of innovators and leaders. We encourage you to discover the wonder of TinkrLAB and the transformative impact it has on young minds.

Capital Hippie is a hidden gem located downtown Lansing. The founder Laura Castle, started this business in 2019 when she struggled to find plus size tie dye clothing. Having started her business out of the trunk of her car, it wasn’t until Fall of 2021 that she moved Capital Hippie into the Middle Village Micro Market She was there for six months before moving into  her own store front on Washington Ave. Capital Hippie is well known for tie dye clothing, but you can find much more than just shirts. From cozy winter flannels, summer dresses, to hats, and a plethora of fashionable accessories, there's something for everyone to add a splash of color to their look. In addition to having their own brand, the company is now collaborating with other Lansing businesses. Capital Hippie has partnered with Elderly Instruments to create a line of tie dyed shirts, and they've also teamed up with LanArtBus. With these partnerships and no doubt more to come, Laura is putting a colorful twist on Lansing's fashion with her innovative clothing. 


As Women’s History Month comes to a close, let us carry forward the spirit of celebration and support for women-owned businesses beyond March. CATA is proud to champion the achievements of these remarkable women and encourages everyone to continue patronizing and uplifting women-owned businesses in Lansing and beyond. Remember, when planning your visit to these incredible establishments, utilize CATA's convenient trip planner tool on our website to ensure a seamless and stress-free journey. 


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Exploring Black-Owned Businesses with CATA

Monday, February 26, 2024

Categories: Community

Amidst the rich fabric of the Capital City region’s business scene, Black-owned businesses emerge as vibrant symbols of culture, innovation and community spirit. At CATA, we honor and uplift local businesses in the region. This Black History Month, we proudly amplify their voices, stories and contributions. CATA is thrilled to share just a few remarkable Black-owned businesses that infuse our community with their distinctive charm and vitality. 


True Styles and Fades | Ramon Pea is passionate about his business which opened back in May of 2010. This barbershop’s team of stylists are true hair enthusiasts, who are committed to the art of all things hair care. Located at 3420 Pleasant Grove, Lansing, you can hop on Route 2 to get you there. 



Lotus Beauty Lounge |Owned by Melissalyn Terry, Lotus Beauty Lounge is an all-inclusive environment which prioritizes your style, comfort and needs! Lotus Beauty Lounge is a thriving Black-owned business in the Meridian Mall, accessible via Route 1.



Altu's Ethiopian Restaurant | Owned and operated by Altu Tadesse, Altu's Ethiopian Restaurant features an array of traditional Ethiopian dishes, from savory stews to aromatic lentil dishes, all served with injera, a spongy Ethiopian flatbread. Altu’s is located on East Michigan Avenue just south of the Frandor Shopping Center making it very accessible for riders to visit by using Route 1.  


Salt Yoga | Founded by Toni Thomas, Salt Yoga provides a welcoming space for individuals from all walks of life to come together, breathe and move in harmony. Salt Yoga is conveniently located directly next to Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine meaning it’s accessible to riders via Route 1. 




With CATA's fixed routes providing convenient access to these establishments, supporting local Black-owned businesses has never been easier. Riders can easily plan their trip using CATA’s trip planner on our website! We encourage residents to continue exploring and supporting other Black-owned enterprises in our community. From boutiques to bakeries, countless hidden gems are waiting to be discovered. 

Together, let's celebrate diversity, champion entrepreneurship and make the Capital City region a place where every business can thrive. And remember, with CATA, the journey to supporting local businesses is just a bus ride away. 

Interested in discovering more ways to adventure around with CATA? Visit our other blogs like Top 5 Destinations to Discover by CATA This Fall, 5 Fun Things for Students to Do in Lansing This Summer, A Day out on Route 18 and 7 Things to Do in Lansing this Winter

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

5 Halloween Events You Can't Miss While Riding CATA

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Categories: Blog

Spooky and family friendly nights are just around the corner while riding CATA’s fixed routes! Hop on a CATA bus to enjoy some of the best Halloween events the Capital Area region has to offer this season. Let CATA take you to some of the most exciting and memorable events that you and your family won’t forget. Happy Halloween season!
Potter Park Zoo - Boo at the Zoo
Enjoy an exciting day full of your favorite candy, a variety of costumes and creatures all around the zoo! This event is bewitching for the whole family and Halloween attire is highly encouraged to immerse yourself in the magic. We recommend using our ‘plan my trip’ feature to take advantage of Route 8 for an easy ride without parking hassles. Don’t miss the last weekend of Boo at the Zoo on Saturday, Oct. 28, ad Sunday, Oct. 29 from noon to 5 p.m.
Downtown Lansing - Trick or Treat on the Square 
This super spooktacular and interactive event is perfect for an exciting night out with your kiddos! Meetup on Washington Square to visit Downtown Lansing businesses all around the block. The event will take place on Friday, October 27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., you won’t want to miss out on this exciting adventure! Getting in on the fun couldn't be simpler with CATA, since the fun is easily within walking distance from the downtown CATA Transportation Center (CTC), or you can take Route 1 to get there in no time. We hope you and your loved ones have the best time sightseeing and loading up on the best sweet candies. Be sure to join CATA at this event, we will have a ghostly decorated bus passing out treats!

Dog Trick-or-Treating in Old Town
Who doesn’t want to watch the cutest pups dress up this Halloween season? Come check out Dogs-Trick-or-Treating through Old Town Streets wearing the most adorable costumes! This event will take place on October 27 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. To attend this event, you should meet up with our furry friends at Preuss Pets where participants are given a goodie bag full of fun surprises. Also for your friends and family members, this event will have special sales located in the dog department, food trucks, and vendors galore. If you are interested in attending this event, we recommend taking a CATA bus to the CTC and then hopping on Route 16, to get you there as efficiently as possible.

Halloween Costume Giveaway
In need of a super last-minute Halloween costume? Join the local “All Washed Up” Laundromat located on MLK and Holmes Road, Saturday, October 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a perfect opportunity to donate old or used costumes! There is also a chance to come in and enter to win a costume from this exciting giveaway! In order to attend this event, we recommend you take Route 2 to get you there with no hassle.
Breakout Escape Rooms
For top thrill and scavenger hunt fans we have the Halloween activity of your dreams! Check out Breakout Escape Rooms located in Lansing on October 27, 28 and 29. By reservation, you and the whole family can enjoy 9 various themed rooms to accommodate any size group! Children will also be rewarded with prizes for completing the Escape rooms! Be sure to check out their website here to learn more information.
How to plan your trip
If you and your favorite ghoul tag-a-longs used CATA to get you there, please tag @ridecata on your social media platforms! We would love to see everyone out and about and make all of the best Halloween memories while riding CATA. Whether you're haunting the town for Halloween or just riding CATA to work, CATA will always have you covered with the latest information on the front page of our website! Looking for more once you hang up your costume? Check out our blog on the best winter activities around Lansing here.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Theme picker

Submit your story

We want to hear from you! Share your story about a great ride, a driver that went above and beyond or how CATA helps you get around the community for a chance to be featured in a future blog post.

If you have a customer experience question or concern, please use our Contact Us form or call us directly at 517-394-1000.

Subscribe to blog updates