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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. 


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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

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Top 5 Destinations to Discover by CATA This Fall

Monday, October 16, 2023

Categories: Community

As autumn paints the Capital City region  with vibrant color, it's the perfect time to discover all of the fantastic fall activities the community  has to offer. From corn mazes to scenic hikes, we'll explore the top attractions. Plus, we'll show you how easy it is to get around using CATA. Here are five fall activities that residents can enjoy by hopping on a CATA bus!

Visit a Corn Maze at Cottage GardensBestmaze II entrance


A visit to a local corn maze is the perfect family outing this fall! It's an opportunity for quality time, laughter and a little friendly competition. Whether you're navigating the twists and turns or racing to find the exit, the corn maze promises unforgettable memories.

The original “Bestmaze in Williamston” unfortunately shut down last year after 22 years, but there’s good news: Bestmaze II is here, designed and installed by the original owner, and residents can take Route 9 to get there!

Visit a Local Farmers Market 

The vibrant local farmers market scene is booming in the region, with many opportunities to shop and support local farmers and artisans. These markets offer a diverse array of fresh produce and handcrafted goods, making it a true epicenter of community and sustainable living.

Every Sunday until October 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the East Lansing Farmers Market. The East Lansing Farmers Market is a market supplied exclusively by growers. Located within easy reach of both the MSU campus and the downtown East Lansing area, residents can take Route 1 and have the opportunity to stock up on a wide variety of Michigan-grown produce and goods. This includes items such as vegetables, fruits, artisan bread, cheese, meats, coffee, maple syrup, honey, flowers and much more to fill their shopping bags with.

Take a Color Tour

During the fall, Lansing becomes a lively, beautiful place with colorful foliage. You can visit local parks and nature centers to see pretty sights and go for walks or bike rides. It's a great time for people who like being outside and enjoying nature.

Here’s a brief list of places you can visit to take a color tour:

There are also plenty of other areas in the Capital City region for people to discover and enjoy nature. The possibilities are endless!

Watch a Football Game at Spartan Stadium 


Community members have a convenient way to enjoy the excitement of Michigan State University football games during the fall by taking Route 1 to East Lansing. CATA offers well-connected routes that take fans directly to Spartan Stadium, where they can cheer on the team. By using the bus, residents can skip the hassle of parking and traffic, making game day a stress-free experience. CATA also offers multiple game day shuttles to get you to the game. 

Attending the football games is an incredibly fun activity for families. It's a chance to bond over the thrilling atmosphere of the stadium, share team spirit and create lasting memories. Kids and parents alike can enjoy the excitement of the game, the halftime shows and the overall camaraderie, making it a memorable outing that unites generations in their support for the Spartans.

Visit Potter Park Zoo 

Fall is a great time to visit Potter Park Zoo with the cooler weather and gorgeous fall colors. Families can also enjoy  Boo at the Zoo events taking place on weekends during the month of October from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Kids can come dressed in their Halloween costumes and enjoy activities such as straw mazes, hayrides, cider and donuts, obstacle courses and more. For families looking for a fun weekend outing this fall, Route 8 provides a convenient way to reach Potter Park for the Boo at the Zoo event. 


From navigating corn mazes to cheering on the Spartans at Spartan Stadium, the possibilities are boundless. Thanks to CATA's well-connected routes, residents can effortlessly explore these fall delights without the hassles of traffic and parking. Embrace this season of togetherness, create everlasting memories and plan your trip with CATA!

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