These Michigan shops will have you shopping local as much as possible
Have you visited your local store lately, either in-person or virtually? By local, I mean your quant, locally-owned, brick-and-mortar shop. These stores need the support of their communities to survive and thrive. Small Business Saturday is a great time to visit, as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but these stores are always there for you, ready to serve. It’s because of that bond between the shops and local communities that we continue to enjoy such unique places to shop.
Even if you’re shopping online these days, many of the local shops offer easy online shopping options with reasonable shipping costs. Also, while some of these shops are seasonal and only open during the summer months, they often sell items on their website year-round.
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a birthday, graduation or holiday occasion, the only way to find something truly one-of-a-kind is to go local. Read on for 55 must-see Michigan shops that will keep you plenty busy, shopping to your heart’s content all year long.
Alan James Jewelers
Shopping for: Someone with a love for fine jewelry, pearls or watches. That’s pretty much anyone!
The lowdown: Alan James Jewelers owner Alan Soifer has worked in every capacity in the jewelry industry as an appraiser, gemologist, buyer, manager, jeweler and salesman since 1977. The store offers rings, earrings and pendants, plus specializes in men’s casual stainless-steel jewelry and more. You’ll find a treasure trove of unique jewelry here.
Location: 2061 W South Blvd, Troy
American Spoon Foods
Shopping for: Anyone who appreciates Michigan-made jams and treats. Yum!
The lowdown: American Spoon Foods is a Michigan-based company with a handful of Michigan locations. Since 1982, American Spoon Foods has been preserving fruit in their Petoskey, Michigan kitchen, and these jams pack in maximum flavor. They also have jams for every season, so you’ll have plenty of options whether it’s in the heat of the summer or the dead of winter.
Locations: 411 East Lake Street in Petoskey; 125 East Main Street in Harbor Springs; 315 Bridge Street in Charlevoix; 230 East Front Street in Traverse City; and 308 Butler Street in Saugatuck.
Aunt Candy’s Toy Company
Shopping for: If you’re looking for a special, custom-fit toy for a special little someone in your life, Aunt Candy’s is a great stop.
The lowdown: Owners Candy and David Lancioni opened the doors of their toy store in 1993, and over the past few decades, they’ve employed more than 120 employees at their local store. Aunt Candy’s offers puzzles, books, games, crafts and more items to get the little ones engaged. If you want to order from them and live outside the area, shoppers are encouraged to call the shop, get suggestions and the shop will wrap and ship the item anywhere in the United States.
Location: 63 Courtland St., Rockford
Shopping for: Someone with a taste for Traverse City cherries. If someone you love is from Traverse City and misses home, this is also a great spot to find a comforting gift.
The lowdown: Benjamin Twiggs selects “only the very best and freshest of the local bounty to make our jams, jellies and preserves,” according to their official website. That means their products have the boldest and freshest cherry taste. From dried cherries and fruits to sauces to chocolate-covered cherries, Twiggs offers a bounty of cherry options.
Location: 1213 E. Front Street, Traverse City
Shopping for: If you have a sock-lover on your list, then boldSOCKS guarantees the most unique, personality-driven socks.
The lowdown: boldSOCKS offers, well, bold socks, as its name states. The Grand Rapids-based company specializes in custom socks, novelty socks and argyle socks. They even offer customs socks for you wedding party; a true way to make your special day stand out.
Location: 17 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids
Cherry Hill Boutique
Shopping for: If the person you’re shopping for has distinctive taste, Cherry Hill Boutique will have something original and peerless to put a smile on their face.
The lowdown: For more than 20 years, Cherry Hill Boutique has offered women’s apparel and accessories at its welcoming Traverse City shop. Their brands include Brighton, Spartina, Montanaco and Parkhurst, among others.
Location: 224 E. Front Street, Traverse City
Shopping for: Anyone with a love for juicy, flavorful Michigan cherries and cherry products.
The lowdown: Cherry Republic has their flagship location in Glen Arbor, but they also have shops across Michigan. Cherry Republic, much as its name implies, offers cherries galore, with cherry products of all sorts, including coffee, chocolate and salsa. Cherry up!
Location: Flagship location at 6026 A, 5109, S Lake St, Glen Arbor, but additional locations across Michigan. Check the website for other locations.
City Bird and Nest Detroit
Shopping for: A “city bird” who loves big cities, such as Detroit, and snazzy gifts and houseware items.
The lowdown: City Bird offers Detroit-themed houseware items and gifts crafted by local, Detroit artisans. They offer a gigantic range of items, including Michigan-made greeting cards, jewelry, apparel, kitchen items, cookbooks, “Good Morning Detroit!” mugs and more. Items range from large gifts to nick-knacks. Nest Detroit is City Bird’s sister store, offering equally delightful items, and they share the same online store.
Location: 460 W Canfield St, Detroit
Conner Park Florist
Shopping for: Anyone who loves the scent of fresh flowers and plants.
The lowdown: Conner Park Florist has been a top Detroit flower shop since 1946, and when you look at their huge selection of items, you’ll see why. They offer flowers, plants and gifts, and around the holidays, their Christmas wreaths and gift baskets are a hit.
Location: 21480 Greater Mack Ave, St Clair Shores
Cravings Gourmet Popcorn
Shopping for: Someone who snacks on popcorn and spicing things up with some special, different flavors.
The lowdown: Have you ever tried Cravings’ Gourmet Popcorn’s Mackinac Island Caramel popcorn? How about Bar-B-Que White Cheddar Cheese or Vanilla Bourbon Brownie? If not, you really haven’t enjoyed the true popcorn experience. Cravings offers, hem, cravings-worthy popcorn that you truly won’t find anywhere else.
Location: 1220 Turner St., Lansing
Shopping for: Anyone who likes to dress up underneath it all.
The lowdown: Curvaceous Lingerie specializes in finding a just-right fit in lingerie for any woman, from size 00 to 24. Whether you’re looking for a basic, nude bra or something more exciting, Curvaceous Lingerie is there to help find the perfect fit and style for those curves.
Location: 513 E Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Lansing
Detroit is the New Black
Shopping for: A Motor City native or anyone who appreciates the beauty Detroit has to offer.
The lowdown: Detroit is the New Black dubs itself a “brand at the crossroads of culture, fashion & community,” according to their website. “We take pride in our city and the people who go out and make it their own every day.” The store offers clothing for men, women and children, essential oils and more.
Location: 1430 Woodward Ave, Detroit
The Detroit Shoppe
Shopping for: If someone on your list loves everything Detroit, this is the store for them.
The lowdown: The Detroit Shoppe is a museum and retail shop nestled inside Somerset Mall showcasing Detroit memorabilia, souvenirs and more. Their mission is to “showcase the people, places and products that have shaped” the great city of Detroit.
Location: 2800 W Big Beaver Rd, Troy
Dominic’s Fine Jewelry
Shopping for: If you’re looking for a custom fine jewelry piece or watch, this is a great stop.
The lowdown: Dominic’s Fine Jewelry offers fine jewelry, custom pieces and watches, plus jewelry and watch-repair services. They also have “build your own jewelry” pieces, which add a custom feel. If you don’t know anything about jewelry and want to impress someone special in your life, Dominic’s will walk you through it.
Location: 13810 Lakeside Circle, Sterling Heights
Shopping for: Anyone who loves to get dressed up. While Dress Up offers casual clothing and lounge wear, they’re best known for their glorious special occasion dresses.
The lowdown: Dress Up has been going strong in Escanaba for more than 26 years, making it a fixture in the downtown area. They offer dresses for homecoming, prom, mother of the bride and groom and more, as well as jewelry, handbags and shoes. It’s a one-stop shop for all things dressy.
Location: 1206 Ludington Street Escanaba
Shopping for: Anyone in your life who enjoys whimsical artwork and likes to support local artists.
The lowdown: Framer’s Edge not only offers the finest framing services, using archival framing materials, but they also offer art from a range of local, Michigan artists. Browse the store on the shop’s website to find more than a dozen local artists’ work available.
Location: 1856 W. Grand River Avenue, Okemos
Shopping for: The person on your list with a true fashion sense, who appreciates quality clothing that will last beyond the trends.
The lowdown: Gina’s Boutique has two West Michigan locations: one in Ada, and the other in Saugatuck. Their goal is to find you a unique clothing item that you can’t wait to put on and wear out. Customers may also browse the selection of clothing online and view the newest arrivals.
Location: 496 Ada Dr. SE, Suite 104, Ada and 214 Butler Street, Saugatuck (closed January and February)
Great Turtle Toys
Shopping for: A special kid who would thrive with a one-of-a-kind toy- or kite.
The lowdown: Great Turtle Toys offers a unique selection of toys to “stretch the imagination, encourage curiosity and expand the mind,” according to their website. Great Turtle has one of the most expansive selections of kites and kite accessories in the Midwest, to boot.
Location: 7372 Main Street, Suite 105, Mackinac Island
Howell Western Wear
Shopping for: The cowboy or cowgirl in your life. Who doesn’t love an authentic cowboy hat?
The lowdown: Howell Western Wear offers the newest and most modern fashions in western and work wear, including belts, boots, buckles, handbags, jeans and other clothing. It’s a treasure of a store tucked in Howell, and they ship worldwide.
Location: 121 N. Michigan Ave, Howell
Shopping for: A woman who loves fine clothing items, handbags, jewelry and shoes that are truly one-of-a-kind.
The lowdown: Iris is a relatively new shop, having launched in 2017, but the boutique and long-time personal stylist, Cathy Starnes, have built a strong reputation for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. The shop offers women’s accessories that are made for the “sophisticated woman” looking for custom accessories, including everything from special event pieces to everyday items.
Location: 949 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids
Kean’s Store Company
Shopping for: The person who’s really difficult to shop for, and you really have no idea going in what to get, so you need a massive selection.
The lowdown: Gus Kean and his wife Fern opened Kean’s 5 cent to 1 dollar store back in 1928. Since then, the business has grown to an entire block in downtown Mason, offering toys, fabrics and crafts, candy, housewares, a boutique and more.
Location: 406 S. Jefferson Street, Mason
Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island
Shopping for: Those who delight in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will likely appreciate a gift from a Mackinac Island shop, such as Little Luxuries.
The lowdown: Since 2009, Little Luxuries offered a charming gift shop along the picturesque Mackinaw Island streets. They offer the work of more than 200 artists, and 75 percent of their goods are Michigan-made. From stationary to accessories to home accents to body products, the store offers many different gift options.
Location: 7372-107 Main St, Mackinac Island (Note: The storefront is open May 1 through Oct. 25)
The Loon Feather and Balsam Shop
Shopping for: The person on your list who would appreciate a unique Mackinac Island-themed souvenir.
The lowdown: Balsam Shops, Inc., started in 1972 when Ron and Mary Dufina purchased the Balsam Shop. They run The Loon Feather gift shop on Main Street on Mackinac Island, plus the Little Acorn, Loon Feather, and Balsam Shop at Surrey Hills Square, one of the stops for Mackinac Island Carriage Tours. Our pick: the Seasons of Mackinac Calendar.
Location: 7427 Main Street, Mackinac Island
M-22 is a famed state trunk line highway in Michigan with picturesque views no matter the season. In that tradition, M22 celebrates the great state of Michigan, with apparel and other goodies paying tribute to all things Michigander and M-22. We love their drink wear selection with their M22 logo.
Locations: 125 E. Front St., Traverse City; and 6298 W. Western Ave (M-22), Glen Arbor
Made In The Mitten
Shopping for: The Michigan enthusiast on your list.
The lowdown: Made In The Mitten is truly, well, made in the Mitten, as the establishment carries the art of more than 70 Michigan and U.S. artisans. The assorted Michigan coasters are a delight, featuring more than 24 different coaster designs that depict the beauty and pride of Michigan. For those on a budget, the shop also offers a section of gifts exclusively under $10.
Location: 706 S Washington Avenue, Royal Oak
For: The person in your life who adores the classiest table wear, home accents and more.
The lowdown: Since 1979, Mason Jones has offered oh-inducing gifts, home decor, tableware, linens, bridal registry, and fine stationery and invitations. It’s a major destination for wedding gift registries and other special occasions.
Location: 1862 Breton Road SE, Grand Rapids
Mother & Earth Baby Boutique
Shopping for: A mother-to-be or a new mother who loves all things natural.
The lowdown: Mother & Earth Baby Boutique offers the finest baby products, all made in the U.S.A., from toys to baby gear to clothing diapering. They also offer a private shopping appointment for $20, to give customers an extra special experience. The clothing diapering is a real draw, since it’s more and more difficult to find.
Location: 100 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Lansing
My Secret Garden
Shopping for: The person who is very difficult to shop for, so you need lots of options.
The lowdown: My Secret Garden offers a treasure trove of Michigan-made products, from gourmet food items to home décor to clothing. We especially like the Polka Dot Michigan Mitten Coasters. So festive!
Location: 600 S. Saginaw Street, Bay City
Shopping for: Anyone who needs super warm, comfy outerwear for the fall and winter months.
The lowdown: Opening shop in 1903, Stormy Kromer debuted with their special cap. As the story goes, George “Stormy” Kromer asked his wife, Ida, to sew an earband on his favorite ball cap to help keep his ears snug and warm. Today, Stormy Kromer has a full line of apparel and gifts with a Michigan personality.
Location: 1238 Wall Street, Ironwood
Shopping for: A super unique gift that garners a “wow” from whoever opens it.
The lowdown: October Moon is located in the delightful Old Town, Lansing, area. They offer a bevy of original items, from strawberry roll-on lip-gloss to scarves to fannies. Their online stores is laid out in a unique way, offering different sections for different themes, such as wraps, ponchos and the “best robe ever.”
Location: 119 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., Lansing
Old Town General Store
Shopping for: Anyone who appreciates Michigan-made treats and gourmet food items, from seasoning and spices to wine.
The lowdown: The Old Town General Store is a must-see spot when visiting Lansing. The store has a true small town feel and a bevy of delightful Michigan-made products. Our favorites include the “Smitten with the Mitten” T-shirts, Michigan Awesome red wine and Michigan gift baskets.
Location: 408 E César E. Chávez Ave, Lansing
Shopping for: The person on your list who appreciates truly unique gifts.
The lowdown: Pandora’s Box prides itself on offering unique gifts, apparel, jewelry and footwear, and they truly deliver. From woven throw and afghans to Up North mugs, Pandora’s Box has a little of everything.
Location: 855 Michigan Ave., Baldwin
Shopping for: A Michigan park enthusiast or someone who simply loves unique, Michigan-bred décor and itesm.
The lowdown: Peninsulas honors all things Michigan with Mitten-inspired apparel, housewares and gifts, plus Michigan State Parks official merchandise. Our pick is the Bob Ross Michigan DNR T-shirt, available in blue and green. The Michigan State Parks T-shirts are fun, too. How fun!
Location: 3125 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley, MI
Shopping for: Someone who loves one-of-a-kind home accessories and décor. Who doesn’t?
The lowdown: Rebel offers a wide variety of items for the home, including bar and drink wear, candles, vases and more. They constantly have new items available, so it’s never difficult to find the perfect gift. They also carry home accessories with personality, to give your living space just the right touch.
Location: 1555 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids
Red Wagon Wine Shoppe
Shopping for: Stumped on a gift? Chances are, someone on your list would love a special bottle of wine or some craft beer from the Red Wagon Wine Shoppe.
The lowdown: Red Wagon Wine Shoppe opened in 1965, and since then, they’ve become Michigan’s leading retailer of premium wine and spirits, domestic and craft beers and world-class cigars, according to their website. They also have some fine wines from years ago, which have increased in value over the years.
Location: 2940 S Rochester Rd, Rochester Hills; also, 1613 Livernois Rd, Troy
Rock Paper Scissors
Shopping for: If you like gifts with attitude and real Michigan pride, Rock Paper Scissors is a great spot for you.
The lowdown: Rock Paper Scissors offers a broad selection of apparel, stationary, greeting cards, puzzles, home goods, accessories, socks- pretty much everything that would make for a great gift. I especially love their “Midwest Schwag” section, with Michigan-themed items carrying the pride of cities such as Ann Arbor, Detroit and Saline, plus Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.
Location: 216 S Main St, Ann Arbor
Shopping for: Someone who is so hip and trendy that you always have a hard time finding them an apt gift.
The lowdown: Shift prides itself on being a “unique shopping venue specializing in distinctive items you can’t find locally,” as stated on their website. They specialize in women’s clothing and accessories, but don’t worry, they also offer a wide selection of men’s, kids, and homewares goods.
Location: 140 E. Second St., Flint
Shop Counting House
Shopping for: If someone if your life has a new place and is looking for accept pieces to spruce it up and add personality, Shop Counting House has plenty of eye-catching items.
The lowdown: Shop Counting House features a range of items for every corner of the home. Kitchen items, pillows, home décor, rugs, wall artwork and greenery are among the many items they carry. Shop Counting House also offers a gift section on their website with endless gift ideas.
Location: 758 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids
Shopping for: The mother who already seems to have everything, but the hope is to surprise her with something singular.
The lowdown: Sweet Pea offers a comprehensive selection of baby items, from clothing to art supplies to toys. Brands include Angel Dear, Apple Park, Copper Pearl, EZPZ, Kyte Baby and Magnetic Me, among others.
Location: 205 E. Front Street, Traverse City
Shopping for: Someone extra cool with special and unique, fun taste.
The lowdown: Thrift Witch offers a wide range of antiques, oddities, original dark art from Michigan artists, pop-culture collectables, vintage items, new clothing and accessories and more. No matter how many times you stop in, you’ll find something you’ve never seen before!
Location: 1219 Turner St., Lansing
Shopping for: The shoe enthusiast in your life.
The lowdown: Since 1929, Verfaillie Shoes has been a staple of Saint Clair Shores, offering quality and comfortable shoes and services. The family-owned shop offers everything from work to dress to leisure shoes and more. They also offer shoe repairs, including soles, heels and leather care.
Location: 23515 9 Mack Dr., St Clair Shores
Shopping for: Those who have a love for the days, and items, of yesterday.
The lowdown: Run by mother-daughter duo Renee and Courtney, Vintage Redefined features an inviting selection of vintage items, including home décor, clothing, lifestyle lines of clothing for all ages, kitchen items, candles, jewelry and more. Shoppers are sure to find a nostalgic gift at Vintage Redefined.
Location: 471 W Western Ave, Muskegon
Zero Degrees Gallery
Shopping for: Anyone who appreciates colorful, whimsical artwork.
The lowdown: Zero Degrees Gallery is a cooperative of more than 40 Michigan artists, presenting and selling their work throughout the gallery. At Zero Degrees, you’ll find a huge variety of art, including fine art, artisan crafts, ceramics, fiber, greeting cards, jewelry, mixed media, painting, illustration, woodworking, photography, sculpture and woodblock prints. There’s truly something for everyone.
Location: 525 N. Third St., Marquette
Zingerman’s Coffee Company
Shopping for: Fans of flavorful coffee.
The Lowdown, Zingerman’s is a Michigan favorite, and for good reason: They offer so many delicious, local items, from coffee to chocolate. No matter who you’re shopping for, you’ll find something perfect for them at this longtime Michigan establishment.
Location: 3723 Plaza Dr. Suite 5, Ann Arbor,