Meet Jenny Soffin! Growing up, this Indiana born Aquarian spent many summer days at West Beach and fell in love with the water at a young age. She went on to enjoy the beaches in South Haven, MI during her college years at Western Michigan University, where she met her husband, Eric. Together twenty years, Eric and Jenny spent ten years on the Northern California coast where their daughter Maddie (10) was born. Eager to be close to family, they headed back in 2008, added Max (8) to the crew, and now reside in Ogden Dunes. Jenny is a Substitute Teacher at Discovery Charter School in Porter, helps coach Discovery’s Cross Country team and has also launched, The IN Coast, a fun lifestyle brand for everyone who enjoys lake life here in Northwest Indiana.
What brought you to the dunes? Our boat! We started boating at Marina Shores in Portage the summer of 2010. We were anchored in front of Ogden Dunes one day and noticed they were setting up for a party. The Ogden Dunes Women’s Club was hosting what used to be their annual Shrimp Boil. The women graciously extended us an invitation. We attended that evening, had the time of our lives and moved to Ogden Dunes a few months later. Beach life is the best!
How long have you lived here? I officially moved to this area in October of 2010 with my hubby, Eric and two kiddos, Maddie 10 and Max 8. I grew up going to West Beach and the Indiana Dunes in the summer and my husband grew up boating in Grand Haven…so this area was perfect for us! Our kids are pretty lucky!
What is your favorite thing to do in the area? My favorite thing to do here is anything outdoors where I can enjoy our beautiful Indiana coastline. I am happiest outside, whether it’s on trail with our dog Sally or boating around Lake Michigan with our friends. Toss in beach bonfires, local music and sunsets and life is pretty good on The IN Coast.
Tell us a secret about the dunes. The dunes have secretly told me that they love when we pick up after ourselves and others. It’s like giving the dunes a facial…feels so nice!
Give us your top three “hidden treasures” (restaurant, shop, trail, beach, event…really anything!)
a) Marina Shores at Dune Harbor – It’s a super fun place to be a boater.
c) The soft-serve ice cream at the Beverly Shores gas station (Jannsen’s) – We even rode the South Shore Train with our buds from Ogden Dunes to Beverly Shores to get it instead of driving. The turnaround train comes quick…so you have to eat and run! Maybe the double track will change that?
What would you like to teach people about the dunes? I would “teach” people to embrace the area around us. It has so much to offer. There are so many fantastic people creating art, running small businesses and making strides to protect the land around us. We are not just a pass through from Chicago to Michigan. Stop by sometime, really stop by and plan a day here. Camp at the Indiana Dunes State Park, add a hike to your calendar in 2017, come to a First Friday in Miller or Michigan City, take in a sunset…it’s all really great.
Anything else? In the spirit of loving where we live, my family and I created a lifestyle brand called The IN Coast. We launched in November of last year and it’s quickly becoming a beloved brand for anyone who enjoys lake life here in Indiana. We are not the East or West Coast, but WE ARE a Great Lakes Coast tucked “IN” between everything…hence our name, The IN Coast. We are a small team with big plans, come check us out at www.theincoast.com or follow us on Facebook. We have awesome t-shirts, car decals, stemless wine glasses and coffee mugs with more swag on the way! Stay tuned for The IN Coast Cares which is a program in the works to give back to this place that makes us all SO happy.