Posted by: Kath Usitalo | June 24, 2010

A Jolly Good Place In Petoskey

Stop at our friend Keith Jolly's cafe in Petoskey for good eats, sweet treats, and WiFi, too (all photos by Keith Jolly)

Even as a young lad Keith Jolly knew what he wanted to do when he grew up: bake cookies. He persevered and just opened his own cafe, though along the way his passion led him into some crummy situations.

Way back in the sandbox, as his friends filled and emptied toy dump trucks, Keith was busy mixing water with the dirt to make mud cookies; sometimes he’d add pebbles and say they were chocolate chips. His friend Tommy broke a tooth trying to eat one.

Keith recalls another day when he had just put a batch of mud cookies into his cardboard box “oven” when little Freddie, who wanted to be a fireman, rushed over with the garden hose and washed the perfectly-formed discs away, claiming they were burning.

As Keith grew up he perfected his cookie recipes using edible ingredients. He won State Fair ribbons and praise from everyone who tried his baked goods.

He traveled the world, baking cookies for kings, queens, and his high school reunion (toothless Tommy—my husband TJ—and fireman Freddie were there and had a good laugh while munching Keith’s award-winning orange chocolate chip cookies).

Keith recently fulfilled his dream of sharing his cookies with the world (or at least with those who visit the northwest corner of the Lower Peninsula) by opening Jolly’s Cookies & Cafe in a renovated building in Petoskey’s Gaslight District.

Jolly's serves cupcakes, too

By the way, none of this story is true, except the part about Keith opening Jolly’s Cookies & Cafe in Petoskey. And that he has won awards and praise for his baked goods.

Read the real deal about Keith’s path to his new venture in  Marney Rich Keenan’s column in The Detroit News .

Here’s a story in a Petoskey paper and the reporter’s review of Keith’s latte and chocolate chip cookies—YUM!

It’s also true that we do know Keith—he and TJ met during their Detroit automotive advertising days—and we’ve enjoyed his mouth-watering treats (and the company of the baker and his wife Betsy) over the years.

So excited to see this Baby Boomer fulfilling his dream; can’t wait to stop and get our Jolly’s en route to da UP!

Visitor Info Click: Petoskey

Jolly’s is located at 440 East Mitchell Street in beautiful downtown Petoskey. Phone: 231-622-8900.

Website is under construction at;  in the meantime you can check out the Facebook page.



  1. Great toast to Sir Jolly!

    • Looking forward to visiting soon.

  2. What a fun story of how Keith came to make cookies….had me laughing out loud!

    • Yes, well, why reinvent the story done so well by The Detroit News and the Graphic?!? Glad you got a chuckle out of it.

  3. These were the best cookies I’ve ever eaten. Do you ship?

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