Detroit's Snack Camp is the new international tea and treat shop of your dreams

click to enlarge Cicchetti. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SNACK CAMP
Photo courtesy of Snack Camp

Snack Camp, a new tea and treat shop in West Village, offers a taste of something different.

Snack enthusiasts Vanessa Loftis-Canich and Mike Canich opened Snack Camp last week, and the eatery offers international food that you may never have heard of, in snack-sized portions — for when you need a quick bite and are craving something new.

"Our whole thing is that we are trying to bring things to Detroit that are not here," Vanessa says. "To be blunt, I’m just tired of seeing burgers and coneys and tacos. I just really would love to see more diversity here with food."

On the menu is currywurst, a popular German fast-food option that includes bratwurst with sweet and spicy ketchup curry sauce and a side of fries. Onigiri, a Japanese snack, consists of rice balls with different fillings wrapped in a sheet of nori; and Hong Kong toast is a thick piece of bread prepared with peanut butter and condensed milk. Each dish is priced at less than $7.

A vegan sloppy joe is also on the menu, and tea sandwiches are available as well — including Italian cicchetti, which are baguette slices topped with different tapenades. For dessert, patrons can purchase one of three British candy bars — a Flake, Crunchie, or Curly Wurly.

Photo courtesy of Snack Camp

The restaurant specializes in international and luxury teas as well, and offers homemade baked goods like image cookies, stuffed Nutella cookies, and brightly frosted cupcakes. All snacks and baked goods are prepared by Vanessa.

Michael and Vanessa are originally from the Detroit area, and had previously opened Yummy Town candy shop in Macomb Township in 2004. Yummy Town offered nostalgic and international candies that would otherwise be hard to find in the area — but after being hit by the recession, the couple chose to shutter the candy spot in 2008 and eventually moved to Queens, New York, for a new experience.

After traveling abroad extensively to places like Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan, as well as being exposed to the different offerings in NYC over a span of eight years, the couple chose to bring the treats back home to Detroit.

"Basically, both of our businesses were opened out of pure selfishness," Vanessa says with a laugh. "It really just comes down to us trying to turn people on to things that have become our favorite things. That's really what it is — it's things that we've discovered along the way and inspiration that we've picked up, and trying to bring it to other people's attention."

The 544-square-foot lavender space is cute and cozy, with a laid-back artsy vibe and a mural by Michael decorating one of the walls. Vanessa, a former nanny and dance teacher, says she hopes to start a biweekly children's craft circle in the space, where children can decorate a cookie and do a paper craft.

Snack Camp is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1464 Van Dyke, Detroit; 313-420-8047;

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