Making Waves Muskegon: Subscription Box REVIEW!


A few weeks ago I was looking for something to send to my grandmother and aunt that would bring them some joy from Muskegon (they moved south a few years ago and my uncle had just passed). Like magic, Making Waves Muskegon jumps out at me. Just after a few minutes of viewing their offerings, I became super excited. Making Waves Muskegon is an entrepreneur collaboration featuring different, local items so you gain exposure to great new businesses and products. If ‘making waves’ doesn’t give it away…you’re about to find out what Making Waves Muskegon is really all about!

What’s in the box?

4 brands. One box. Different flavors each month. Wave-making change.

Lumbertown Coffee Co. available at Drip Drop Drink

You know that feeling when you walk into the coffee shop and the aroma of possibility fills your soul? That’s the first feeling I had opening the Making Waves Muskegon subscription box.

My nose holes got a high-five style greeting with Lumbertown Coffee Co.’s Guatemala Manos De Mujer (try saying THAT ten times fast!).

Taste: Now, I’m not MUCH of a coffee connoisseur (Hills Bros is generally how I roll), but this is yummy coffee! I usually experience a lot of bitterness with coffee (again, Hills Bros haha), but this coffee was smooth with a little bit of a fruity after-taste. It lingers on the bitter taste buds…but smoothly, if that makes since.

Seeing as coffee’s not my forte, here’s what got me: Sustainability.

We exercise environmental responsibility so that our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren can enjoy a life from economic and ecological deprivation.

Lumbertown coffee co.

Lumbertown Coffee is roasted, in house, with zero-emissions in their Bellwether Roaster. Oh, I am so here for this. Peace out Hills Bros! They “exercise environmental responsibility so that our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren can enjoy a life from economic and ecological deprivation.” I love this sentiment, and would love to see this reflected in their packaging. (Elevate Packaging and Biotre are excellent choices).

Price: $17 (depending on the flavor-flav.)

The 490 Bakery

Davine & Brian Calkins are the owners at The 490 Bakery. Their mission: restoration of lives impacted by poverty, addiction and returning home after incarceration. This is a wonderful way to build up Muskegon and spread the love! They are literally bringing hope into my home town and, with purchasing through Making Waves Muskegon, you can too!

Taste: The Making Waves Muskegon box included 7 of The Bluffton cream cheese cookies. I was not able to try the cookies from The 490 Bakery (gluten free diet) but they smell delicious and I’m told by my product-tester-helpers that they are amazing. (“Mom! They are my little energy bites!” & “It’s like a biscuit- cheesecake- cookie!”) Upon a little keyboard clickity-clack I found they have gluten free on their website. This is excellent news for me and all my gluten free pals. Eeeeek!

Our mission is to bring hope to those struggling with poverty and addiction after returning home from incarceration.

the 490 bakery

Can we just take a moment and appreciate the names of some of their cookies? There’s The Nelson, Nims, Lakeside, Roosevelt Park, etc…all different cookies giving love to different areas in Muskegon. This sentiment for our town with special cookie names gets me right in my heart space! Can you make a ‘Dalton Dirty’, please?!

Packaging: Their packaging looks eco friendly but I don’t see labels that tell me it is. If not, I encourage them to look into brands of packaging so support our environment, as well as giving love to their mission. Because, who doesn’t enjoy a cookie with a huge purpose? (Elevate Packaging has some eco friendly bags specifically for the plastic bag the cookies are in.)

Price: 7 cookies, $9- go gluten free for $13.

What’s Your Jam? by Colleen

Okay. HIEEE! This is literally NOT your granny’s jam, it’s YOUR jam, and I’m here for it.

For Colleen, home is important: “Michigan agriculture is a part of our lives every day. The energy we use, the clothes we wear and the food we enjoy are products of hardworking farm families across the nation and right here in Michigan. Our fridges, freezers and pantries are filled with food grown, raised and processed in our great state.” This jam comes to you from the farm to the jar. Which is totally my ‘jam’ because I do this with my own garden. Man I love this brand !

Taste: Thus far, Poppin Pineapple Pepper is my jam. It’s flavorful, not too hot (jalapeños I imagine) and I’ve never had pineapple in a jam before which intrigues me. Far more intriguing is Colleen’s Raspberry Latte jam. At first I was not a fan. I spoke to my girl, Ashley, about it and she said, “try it on pancakes.” THAT is why there’s coffee in jam, my doods! Such a perfect combo with maple syrup. Okay…now I want pancakes.

Michigan agriculture is a part of our lives every day. The energy we use, the clothes we wear and the food we enjoy are products of hardworking farm families across the nation and right here in Michigan. Our fridges, freezers and pantries are filled with food grown, raised and processed in our great state.

what’s your jam

Speaking of ways to use jam….Colleen has recipes on her website for ways to use her jam in your cooking. Check it out! (I just saw a great fried tofu recipe Colleen did on her Facebook, and boy that looked good. I’m gonna try it with chicken.)

Price: $9 a jar on the website. They are not the same size as the little doods I got in the Making Waves Muskegon subscription box, and I’m not sure how much you get in the jars off the site. As a result, I would like to see sizes, ingredients, and either expiration date or jarring date. I would love to know What’s IN Your Jam, Colleen. <3

Now you gotta try it and let me know…What’s YOUR Jam?

Refu Tea

Want a tea that helps change the world? Creator, Autumn has that covered. ‘RefuTea supports refugee efforts and needs by selling blends of loose leaf teas and donating ten percent of profits at the end of each quarter to local refugee ​resettlement agencies.’

Autumn’s mission is to “sell a product people enjoy, help educate (the) local community and inspire refugees to thrive.” Her end goal is to employee refugee’s after resettlement with her own Refu Tea Café. This is not only heart warming, but it’s amazing. We need more people like Autumn in the world. This is more proof of what Making Waves Muskegon is all about!

Refu Tea supports refugee efforts and needs by selling blends of loose leaf teas and donating ten percent of profits at the end of each quarter to local refugee resettlements agencies.

Refu tea

You should see my tea collection. It’s getting out of control! But I’m never going to say no to my favorite tea, Earl Grey. I got super pumped when I opened my box to see the Colombo Creme Earl Grey staring me in the eye. (Hey Earl, hey!) My only suggestion to make this tea even better: have packaging that is compostable, or refillable. (Biotre has a ton of excellent choices- for refillable I would suggest a tin).

Taste: Smooth. Creamy. Earthy. Delicious. (did I mention I lurv Earl Grey?!) I’m not usually one for adding cream or sweetener to my tea, and with this blend there’s no need anyway!

Price: $8-$10 depending on the blend.

Room for more wave-making change

I have so much love for each of the entrepreneurs above and believe in their wave-making change. I also believe in a strong, sustainable Muskegon, and there’s always room for growth. It is with great sincerity that I hope they take my suggestions and run with them. Honestly, I love this box. I can use the actual box for giving or shipping gifts, and there’s no single use plastics or anything wrapped in plastic. Just a box and loads of love.

That being said, there are some improvements I would like to see from Making Waves Muskegon are with their website:

I’d love an option for whole bean or ground coffee. I’m cool with whole bean as I have a grinder, but that’s not how all folks roll.

I would also like to see an option for gluten free, so that in my monthly subscription I’m getting the chance to sample those delicious baked goods! (I’m drooling thinking about that Bluffton cookie.) Perhaps this would mean raising the subscription price ever so slightly for the gluten free folks. No worries, we are used to it. *wink*

Lastly, I think it would be super cool to have a “give the box back” program. This way they are used again and again. <3

Is it worth the price?


If you were to purchase each of these items separately, online, it would run you about $47-$50 (sans gluten free) plus tax & shipping. But with ONE purchase ($54.95 per month) you are supporting multiple Muskegon businesses and investing in our community. That’s a win/win/win in my book. Subscription, here I come!

Happy Tasting!


*The Making Waves Muskegon box was purchased at half price for reviewing purposes. All product opinions & photos are my own. (With exception to the Making Waves Muskegon logo witch I snagged for the cute coupon 😉 )

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