Q&A with the owners of downtown Rochester's new artisan market, Bizzy Buzz

Pamela and Ryan Walther have been working on their downtown Rochester storefront for the past seven months, restoring the old Heller’s Jewelry space to its former glory. This Saturday, the couple will be celebrating the grand opening of their Bizzy Buzz Artisan Market. Locally made clothing, jewelry, and home décor items make up just some of the new store’s inventory. We asked Pamela all about it.

Q: We last talked in March. Any exciting developments since then?

A: There have been a lot of renovations done since March to restore this historical building, the gold leaf on the tin tile ceiling came out spectacular! Our Artisans have helped in adding some special artistic touches to make it unique as well. We have hand-blown glass pendants from Marc Vandenberg Studios and Flower Power, a back-lit homemade slat wall, and a custom designed piece of metal under our 5-thousand-pound bank vault from Metal Artwork by Dion.

We have over 50 very talented local Artists with products in Home Decor, Jewelry, Detroit Centric Novelties, Pet Products, Third Man Records, Michigan cherry products from Traverse City's Benjamin Twiggs, local honey from Hardy Honey Bee Farm, Fashionable wears and much more! We also are very close to getting our liquor license with the plan to offer craft beer and wine. The space is truly an experience in it of itself; that paired with the truly breathtaking art from our Artisans is something you have to come to experience for yourself. There is also a Man Cave section complete with a Royal Rumble pinball machine to keep the guys happy!

Q: Bizzy Buzz had hoped for a spring opening, but grand openings get pushed back all the time. What delayed your opening and how did you overcome it?

A: Our contractor, Jay Noonan with Design Resources, has done a phenomenal job bringing in talented professionals to make this renovation a truly spectacular transformation. Geoff Davis with GP Davis, Inc. was our Jack of all Trades, Master of ALL and did such a quality job on all the detail work. He was our MVP! We lost a few weeks when we found out the roof needed to be replaced, as we thought we could wait a few more years before having to take that under as well. We had to wait on a neighbor to repair their shared wall as water was getting behind their brick and that would void a warranty on our new roof. Our project would have come to a screeching halt if that brick wasn't fixed. Thankfully two weeks later the owner got the wall repaired, and our project could proceed!

Q: Any advice for future entrepreneurs?

A: My advice for future entrepreneurs is to seek out people with the skill sets that you lack, invest in yourself with business classes and seek Him first! I prayed a lot! I knew I couldn't control everything and rather than stressing over those things I couldn't control I asked Him for help. I prayed for the right people to come and help us with the things my husband and I couldn't tackle ourselves and help always showed up! These people were truly Godsends!

Q: How are you feeling now that you're days away from opening?

A: We are excited to be opening this Saturday! This has been a ten-month-long full-time job to get this all set up. We started hunting for artists back in October last year. We started our renovation on the store seven months ago and are so happy to see the Artists moving their product in now! It has been a whirlwind of a time getting a whole new business started up, but our faith, the support from our family and friends, and our desire to live our dream has kept us going!

Q: What can patrons expect at the grand opening party?

A: For our Grand Opening we will have a ribbon cutting at 10 am, Yates Cider and donuts, The Toffee Store basket giveaway and a balloon artist making little bees for your wrist in the afternoon. Word on the street is there are little Bizzy Buzz bee decorated rocks hidden all over downtown Rochester; bring one in and get a prize! Also, look out for our bee buzzing around downtown to spread the Grand Opening buzz!

Bizzy Buzz Artisan Market is celebrating its Grand Opening on Saturday, July 28. It is located at 409 S. Main St. in downtown Rochester.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet@mikegalbraith.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
Signup for Email Alerts