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DIY drives Adore Eclectic Interiors home consignment store

An interior decorator who made a business out of re-using what's already in clients' homes and complementing it with affordable accessories has opened her own home consignment store in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Marleen Prater, owner of Remixed Rooms, decided to go into retail after a decade as an interior decorator and striking out too often on quality, affordable home goods stores.

Adore Eclectic Interiors opened Monday at 20725 Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Woods, and "we had a very good opening day. Things are flying out the door," says Prater.

Besides selling home furnishings and accessories from the shop, she staffs painters, furniture re-purposers to change or customize pieces and experienced designers to lead classes for customers who want to make the changes themselves.

"Number one, we want very unique, cool pieces," she says. "So many times people are re-decorating or moving and things just don't fit. We are here for them when they need a place for those nice things, and we're here for customers who need that special piece or that new arrangement that can change the look and feel of their home. Number two, we want it to be very affordable."

She and the women she works with envision Adore as a place to get advice, talk about their homes, what's good and what's bad about them, how they can make their homes what they want them to be, and to learn how to make the changes they want.

"We see it as an experience. We have fresh coffee, homemade cookies and lots to talk about," says Prater.

Source: Marleen Prater, owner, Adore Eclectic Interiors
Writer: Kim North Shine

Joe's Hamburgers moves to larger space in downtown Wyandotte

An entrepreneur's dream to open a hamburger joint like the one his grandfather took him to as a child is now a thriving business in Wyandotte.

Jeremy Sladovnik's Joe's Hamburgers opened five years ago in a tight spot on Elm Street, just off downtown Wyandotte's main drag. Several weeks ago, Joe's moved to the main street, Biddle Avenue, and took on a larger spot and added a bar.

His old spot was reborn as The Little Pierogi and Crepe Kitchen and is run by one of his former employees.

The new Joe's Hamburger at 3041 Biddle Avenue is double the size of the old place, and has rich wood booths instead of tables and chairs. It also has a bar and is making community events a bigger part of the business plan. It still serves a simple menu of sliders, poutine, pierogi, grilled cheeses, soups and milkshakes, malts and sundaes.

This week a Saturday brunch is planned as is a craft beer party with Shorts Brewing out of Bellaire, Michigan.

Source: Joe's Hamburgers
Writer: Kim North Shine


Spice Merchants brings world flavors to downtown Northville shop

A downtown Northville storefront is now home to a purveyor of spices, teas and oils from around the world

Spice Merchants of Northville opened about a month ago at 110 N. Center St. after completing renovations of the shop that is part of a 100-year old building. It's the latest franchise of the Saugatuck-based company that started in 2003 and has 17 stores in eight states, eight of them in Michigan.

The shop has a spice for every occasion. Football games? Spices for chili. Halloween? Pumpkin spices. Healthy dinner idea? Roasted vegetables with rosemary olive oil.

Spice Merchants of Northville is lined with stacked-high canisters of fresh teas and spices. Another part of the store is stocked with stainless steel dispensers filled with flavored and unflavored olive oils.

Spices are imported and also made by the owners, Chris and Christine Raymond, as are hot sauces. The shop, like other specialty food stores, thrives on browsing, sampling and educating about how to cook with the ingredients or use them for health benefits.

Source: Spice Merchants of Northville
Writer: Kim North Shine


Steeped-in-Detroit Eli Tea expands with tea bar in Birmingham

After a year of planting the seeds for a Detroit-based tea company that could lead Detroit -- and America -- to carve out its own distinctive tea culture, the founder of Eli Tea is opening the start-up's first tea bar in downtown Birmingham.

The 25-year-old company founder, Elias Majid, started Eli Tea with the help of a grant and advice from Wayne State University's Blackstone Launchpad. Eli Tea incubated and grew from Eastern Market Corp.'s Detroit Kitchen Connect, which pairs food start-ups with commercial kitchen space.

"I wanted to open up my own store to further the tea culture," he says. "Detroit is behind on the tea trend. There are tea shops on every corner in Chicago, D.C., Boston.

"It's a good market to be in for me…It attracts a health-conscious crowd, cultural creatives and everyone who wants something that's good for you and tastes good too."

The company philosophy is based on selling only natural teas, blended on site and never using syrups or artificial flavors.

During his start-up phase, Eli Teas moved into 20 metro Detroit shops and restaurants while Majid scouted a location of what he hopes will be the first of many Eli Tea's tea bars.

Majid picked a former Cold Stone Creamery on Woodward Avenue in downtown Birmingham for the first location and he expects to be fully open by Nov. 1.

"My competitors try to make English tea rooms or Chinese tea rooms," he says. "I really want to make an American tea room. I don't think that's been done yet."

He is transforming the 1000-square-foot space at 108 S. Old Woodward into a "sophisticated tea bar with an homage to Michigan, but without trying too hard," he says.

There will be a countertop made of pennies, a birch-tree stenciled wall, carved copper ceiling tiles and a tea wall featuring containers of loose leaf teas. The new store goes hand in hand with an overall expansion of Eli Tea products from 30 to 80.

"I'm trying to move past the doily culture," he says. "I want to see education, interaction with customers, and see people appreciating and loving tea the way I do."

Owning a tea company, "is no one's dream as a kid," he says, but he realized while studying and working with plants in a lab that a career in something like tea "was a way for me to interface with the public about plants and health…I'm going from laboratory to retail, and I'm able to give that unique point of view to the customers."

Source: Elias Majid, founder, Eli Tea
Writer: Kim North Shine

Little Pierogi & Crepe Kitchen opens in downtown Wyandotte

After five years of learning the ins and outs of pierogi making, 20-year-old Drew Geer has taken over her former boss's hamburger stand, which also sold homemade pierogi, and opened The Little Pierogi and Crepe Kitchen in downtown Wyandotte.

Drew Geer started working at Joe's Hamburgers when she was 15, and on the job she learned how to make the Polish staple from recipes passed down by her boss's Polish family.

When her boss Jeremy Sladovnik, owner of Joe's Hamburgers, decided to move his restaurant to a bigger space on Biddle Avenue in downtown Wyandotote and add a bar, his old space, the one where Geer grew up learning the food business, opened up. On Oct. 1, Geer opened Little Pierogi & Crepe Kitchen at 125 Elm.

"At the time I was going to Wayne County to learn to be an EMT," Geer says,  "but it just wasn't what I wanted to do."

After a week of running her own business and spending the days selling out of pierogi, experimenting with new and different flavors and learning about restaurant staffing and such, she says, "I am loving it."

She says a Facebook page she launched the day of her opening "went viral. I never imagined it would spread so fast and bring in so many people," she says.

"We are selling out every day," she says.

Favorite pierogi are traditionals such as potato and onion, farmer's cheese and sauerkraut. More unusual varieties are hitting too: homemade mac & cheese, cherry cheesecake and apple pie. Favorite crepes are spinach, feta, and vinaigrette and mulberry, a mix of strawberry, blueberry and cream cheese.

Geer plans to keep the 14 or so flavors a mix of traditional and "crazier" on the menu at all times. An Oreo cream pierogi and breakfast crepes are in development.

She runs the cozy, 850-square-foot spot with seats for 16 from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. A cheerful yellow and white awning and pressed tin tiles decorate the eatery. The menu is on a chalkboard.

Source: Drew Geer, owner, Little Pierogi & Crepe Kitchen
Writer: Kim North Shine

La Strovia Health Food Cafe opens in downtown Plymouth

The owners of downtown Plymouth's newest breakfast and lunch spot are setting out to show that healthy, organic food does not equal bland or mean sacrifice.

Bill Fryer and son Steve, along with Chef Ryan McKeon, are already seeing their La Strovia Health Food Cafe catch on with locals who are coming for omelets, crepes, salads, wraps and more.

The food served at La Strovia is made with fresh ingredients and comes from local companies as much as possible. There are vegan and vegetarian items and a juice and smoothie bar. La Strovia opened in mid-September at 581 Forest Ave.

"The hope is to teach consumers that a healthy meal can be just as delicious as traditional meals served by everyday restaurants and grills," says Fryer.

La Strovia, which comes from a Polish expression for To Your Health, has a busy grab-and-go case as well as a dining room and juice bar. The cafe is folding in other healthy approaches by hosting yoga weekly and offering meal specials on yoga nights.

Source: Bill Fryer, co-owner, La Strovia Health Food Cafe
Writer: Kim North Shine


Ferndale deemed leader in good street design, all-inclusive transportation

A coalition of groups that wants to promote transportation as an economic development tool and way to make towns more livable and equitable for all is touring Michigan cities that may be getting it right. And metro Detroit's Ferndale made the list.

Earlier this week Trans4M led the Michigan Transportation Odyssey 2014 by inviting the public on a tour and discussion of five Michigan cities. With city planners, road engineers and business owners and others the idea was to show the value and challenges of good street design. That is street design that promotes walkability and livability and makes it easy and safe to get from Point A to Point B, especially for commuters without access to cars, or with limited mobility.

Ferndale made the tour for its success at "embracing innovative solutions" such as buffered and green bike lanes, and its currently unfolding comprehensive Complete Streets plan.

Detroit, as it awaits a new light rail trolley that's now under construction, was the starting point of the tour.

Other stops were in Brighton, Lansing, Midland and Sault Ste. Marie.

Source: Laurel Burchfield, Trans4M
Writer: Kim North Shine

$12 million advanced tech education center opens in Warren

Wayne State University has built the Advanced Technology Training Center across from Macomb County Community College's Warren campus on 12 Mile Road.

The $12-million center, which replaces a former Farmer Jack grocery store, opens Oct. 2 at 14601 E. 12 Mile Rd. and is designed to be a pipeline connecting students and potential employees with Macomb County employers in fast-growing industries such as manufacturing, transportation and defense.

The location across from MCC, which has recently added a pedestrian walkway to connect the campuses, makes it easy for students at both schools to transfer or move between campuses as they work toward degrees.

The new 40,000-square-foot training center has classroom and teaching space for 900 students.

Source: Carol Baldwin, spokesperson, Wayne State University
Writer: Kim North Shine

Met 13 - Royal Oak apartments rehabbed into "upscale urban flats"

A 1950's-era apartment building near Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak has been rehabbed into what the developer describes as "upscale urban flats."

Metropolitan 13, or Met13, is located at 4000 W. 13 Mile Road. The 40-unit project offers completely renovated two-bedroom units and services and amenities meant for urban professionals who don't spend much time at home but want a living space that feels fashionable and comfortable and is close to the places they work and play.

Met13 offers free Wi-Fi, an outdoor living room and round-the-clock services. For developer Jeffrey Kaftan, president of Kaftan Communities, the renovation represents a lifestyle- and design-focused way to see the leasing market.

"We really see the Metropolitan brand as a confluence of design and living," he says. "You can find a number of examples in the marketplace where design has been brought to products like cars and watches, but there are not many examples of that in rental housing. We’re trying to bring that to the forefront in the urban flat rental market in the metro Detroit area. Young professionals are asking for a living environment that gives them the opportunity to express their individual sense of style and the Metropolitan brand’s urban flats do that beautifully."

Kaftan is nephew to Sheldon Kaftan, who in 1960 moved into an apartment at what is now Met13. Kaftan Communities invests in and rehabs residential and commercial properties throughout metro Detroit.

Source: Sue Voyles, Logos Communication
Writer: Kim North Shine

Novi hotel caters to daytime guests with Workspace on Demand

The Baronette Renaissance Hotel in Novi has turned part of its lobby, a conference room and another common area in the hotel into free and rentable workspaces.

Marriott, owner of the hotel, has partnered with LiquidSpace, an organizer and booker of workspaces in all sorts of places in several cities. Together the hotel chain and LiquidSpace launched Workplace on Demand after some minor renovations. LiquidSpace guarantees the space, and Baronette provides and services it.

"We have great spaces in our hotel that are sometimes not being used during the day. These include both our public spaces as well as meeting rooms. It’s a great opportunity for us to welcome in people who may not be staying at our hotel to see how great the experience is," says Sora Chan, director of sales for the Baronette Renaissance.

The 155-room Baronette Renaissance property, at Twelve Oaks Mall, is one of a handful of metro Detroit hotels offering the service, which is commonplace in some cities. In the six months since Workspace on Demand began, bookings have stacked up, says Chan.
"Our public space has been regularly booked on a weekly basis and it has been very popular with our guests," she says.
"This is very common in bigger cities like in NY and LA. We see a lot of sales people and consultants who are in need of a place to 'touch down' in between client meetings. Often they find coffee shops to be too crowded and unreliable, so they like the assurance of knowing they have a reserved space."

At the Baronette, the "Corner Seating" workspace is a comfy corner couch, chairs and a table for free. The "Library" is also in the hotel lobby and is free. It offers intimate seating for eight. The "Maple Boardroom" is a private meeting space for eight and is wired for presentations at a cost of $400 a day, $300 for a half-day.

All spaces include WiFi, internet service, printing, scanning and copying, TVs, coffee and tea service.

Source: Dave Jones, account executive, Shazaaam Public Relations and Sora Chan, director of sales, Baronette Renaissance Hotel
Writer: Kim North Shine

Scott Shuptrine Interiors adds Grosse Pointe store

Grosse Pointe's most noticeably empty storefront, the former Borders bookstore in the Village shopping district, is coming back as a Scott Shuptrine Interiors and St. John Health System medical center.

The St. John Medical Center Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Campus opened this week, and Royal Oak-based Scott Shuptrine will open in March inside the nearly 20,000-square-foot property, 7,600 of it for Shuptrine's store and design center. 

Grosse Pointe is the birthplace of Scott Shuptrine, and the new Grosse Pointe store will emphasize community education in art and design. It will be the company's only freestanding location. Other Scott Shuptrines are adjacent to Art Van Furniture stores. Scott Shuptrine is in the midst of an expansion that will add a Novi store, which will pilot a design lab, and the first out-of-state location with a 10,000-square-foot store in Downers Grove, IL.

St. John Health System spearheaded the $5-million renovation of the building at 17141 Kercheval Ave. in Grosse Pointe, and it found the major retail tenant to occupy the front side of the building along Kercheval. That portion of the building goes to Scott Shuptrine. The back portion, with an alley entrance and new parking lot, is for St. John's.

Until this week, St. John had not released information on the retailer that would occupy the property, which city officials required be mixed use rather than completely medical.

Both tenants of the building have deep Grosse Pointe connections. Wilson, the medical center's namesake, was a longtime Grosse Pointer and former owner of the Buffalo Bills NFL franchise. He died in March, and the foundation named after him donated $1 million to St. John to build a medical center that combines doctors' offices and other medical services in one spot in the center of the community.

Besides opening its first store in Grosse Pointe, Scott Shuptrine, which was acquired by Art Van Furniture in 1987, is owned by Art Van Elslander. He raised his family locally and built one of the largest homes in the Pointes.

The rebirth of the former Borders is the largest piece in an overall revitalization of the Village, a three-block-long area where at least seven new businesses have opened in the last year and at least three more are soon to open.

Source: St. John Health System & Scott Shuptrine Interiors
Writer: Kim North Shine

West Elm opens first Michigan store in downtown Birmingham

Michigan's first West Elm home and furniture store will open in downtown Birmingham Oct. 2.

The 15,000-square-foot store at 215 W. Maple will sell Michigan-made products in support of the Brooklyn, New York-based retailer's LOCAL initiative to support entrepreneurs working in or near the cities where West Elm has stores.

Among the 10 entrepreneurs whose goods will be sold are Marcy Davy's handmade prints from Ypsilanti, soaps and balms from Ferndale-based Babylon Soap Company and Cellar Door Soap from Plymouth, Warpaint Studio's prints and posters, also from Ypsilanti, Detroit-based Jody Lynn Burton's whimsical doodle art, and more.

The renovated store is designed to reflect the environment, culture and heritage of Oakland County, Detroit, and Michigan. A mosaic made of industrial molds in different shapes and colors and previously used in metal fabrications hangs on a feature wall that is an homage to Michigan's manufacturing heritage.

The store will have a design center, where home stylists guide customers through room designs at no charge. The opening builds on a series of national retailers to open locations in Birmingham in the last two years.

Source: Sophie Zunz, partner at The Moxie Agency, and spokesperson, West Elm
Writer: Kim North Shine

New $3 million Chaldean community center set for Sterling Heights

Ground will be broken this week on a $3 million Chaldean community center in Sterling Heights.

The 11,500-square-foot project of the Chaldean Community Foundation will replace a 2,400-square-foot building nearby and offer social services to Chaldean refugees, most of them relocating from Iraq. The new building will be located at 15 Mile and Ryan roads.

The goal, says Martin Manna, foundation president, is to provide "a vital, expanded resource for the community, primarily Chaldean refugees seeking sanctuary from persecution and new lives in Michigan."

Since 2011, the foundation has served more than 14,000 refugees annually from its existing 2,400 square-foot Sterling Heights location and the need for CCF’s services is growing as an estimate of 300 Chaldeans arrive in the region each month.

“With the ongoing tragic genocide and unrest in Iraq, we are continuing to see an ever-increasing influx of individuals seeking to regain their lives,” says Manna. “We continue to welcome them with open arms; providing the resources to help them acculturate, gain independence and succeed.”

The center is expected to open mid to late 2015.

Source: Martin Manna, Chaldean Community Foundation
Writer: Kim North Shine

High fashion Birmingham boutique opens second studio in Grosse Pointe

A former stockbroker who swapped a career in finance for one in fashion is expanding from one store and studio in Birmingham to a second in Grosse Pointe.

Bonnie Foley will bring her Christane Larue boutique with designer clothing, including resort wear, casual day wear and formal evening wear, to a spot being renovated at 17114  Kercheval Avenue. The store is scheduled to open in October.

It will be the latest business arrival for The Village in Grosse Pointe, where the main street, Kercheval Avenue, was spotted with several vacant storefronts until of late, when a series of restaurants, a dance studio, a hair salon, a fabric store and other businesses moved in.

The Birmingham studio is located at 2243 Cole St. It opened in 2008.

Source: Christiane Larue
Writer: Kim North Shine


Hampton Inn hotel & retail planned for Michigan Ave in Dearborn

A vacant fitness center on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn will be demolished and replaced by a hotel and retail spaces.

The project of Hallmark Ventures LLC will include a 5-story, 96-room Hampton Inn and four retail spaces totaling 1,500 square feet at 22324 Michigan Avenue.

The state has approved a $1 million, performance-based grant for the project, and the city of Dearborn's Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is capturing $943,700 in local and school taxes for demolition and asbestos abatement.

The development will create 52 full-time jobs and cost about $8.6 million to complete, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Source: Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Writer: Kim North Shine
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