From Michigan, With Love: Shopping Local for the Holidays
New data suggests that if every household spent $40 per month on Michigan items, approximately $2-billion would be pumped into Michigan’s economy. From Michigan, With Love’s Franklin Dohanyos shows us how we can help support small businesses this holiday season.
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BETTER MADE SNACK FOODS, Detroit, MI
Now in its 91st year, Better Made continues to be Michigan’s favorite potato chip and snack maker. The company is still family-owned, and still supports Detroit and many charitable organizations in Michigan. The company continues to develop and release new, delicious products, and has a new Snack Pack assortment. Better Made’s Chocolate Covered Chips are back and still the best tasting chocolate covered chip in Michigan! They’re only here for the holidays in limited supply so it’s best to get them fast. You can buy them in stores, the Better Made retail store 10148 Gratiot Avenue in Detroit, or on-line at www.bettermade.com – available in milk or dark chocolate. For holiday gift giving, Better Made offers a sampler box of different freshly made snack foods that are sure to please everyone in the family!
MICHIGAN SOAP CO-OP, Adrian, MI
Located in Adrian, the Michigan Soap Co-op started as a way to help the many independent soap and body products makers throughout the state survive during Covid. There are currently five companies involved and the reaction to the co-op has been very positive, as customers like the expanded variety of products available through the co-op, including vegan products, products for men, palm free products, a full line of bath and body products, Envy sunless tanning products, and Hempexco CBD products, deodorants, pain creams, salves, lip balms, shampoo bars and solid conditioner bars, and fanciful soap cupcakes, soap cakes, and party favors, bath bomb donuts, bath macaroons, bath bomb cupcakes, and so much more. All of the co-op’s products are available at its retail location at 1113 West Beecher Street in Adrian, MI, as well as By Nature Store and Ghidrah’s Mystic She Ways in Adrian, Grey Fox Floral in Tecumseh, Handmade Means Love in Sylvania, OH, and Facebook Marketplace and Instagram.
PINCONNING CHEESE COMPANY, Pinconning, MI
The city of Pinconning is located in the middle of the mitten just off I-75 and is known as the “Cheese Capital” of Michigan. That’s where you’ll find The Pinconning Cheese Company – home to the famous Pinconning brand of cheese – the finest cheese made in the state. The Pinconning formula was created by Dan Horn who settled in Pinconning in 1915. The aging process is what gives Pinconning cheese its special and unique flavor. At The Pinconning Cheese Company the cheese can be aged up to ten years. Super sharp cheese is an original and can only be found in Michigan at Pinconning Cheese Company, Deli, and Fudge Shoppe. The shop is always expanding the number of Michigan made goods is offers. The tradition of the family-owned Pinconning Cheese business was kept alive when the Mastroianni family sold the store in 1987 to lifelong Pinconning residents, Debby and Brian Saha, who changed the name to
the Pinconning Cheese Co. and Fudge Shoppe. The company also offers famous cheese and custom-made cheese spreads, Michigan made meats and jerky, smoked fish, pickled items, and a wide array of specialty condiments and sauces.
THE TOFFEE STORE, Oakland Township, MI
There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh toffee made from scratch with real ingredients! The Toffee Store does just that – produces delicious small batch toffees that are made to perfection! It’s savory and sweet, easy on the teeth, and comes in six delicious varieties, including Birthday Suit (plain), Enrobed (chocolate dipped), Signature, Cherry Birthday, Cherry Chocolate, and Kona Coffee Toffee. There are four sizes from which to choose – single, three-ounce, eight-ounce, and one pound with variations/mixed selections in those sizes. The Toffee Store also creates beautiful gift boxes featuring all made in Michigan treats! There are only eight pure ingredients used: butter, sugar, vanilla, milk and dark chocolate, pecans, cherries, and Kona coffee. In 2009, owner Heidi Patterson, decided to create an elegant take on a classic treat starting with the finest and freshest ingredients. She ended up with a purely decadent confection. Through trial and error, she created the perfect batch – having a delicate balance between a smooth buttery flavor and a gentle crunch that melts in your mouth after the first bite – and it’s gluten free. These are perfect as wedding thank you gifts for table guests, birthday and anniversary gifts, corporate gifts, and for any occasion! The packaging can be personalized for any occasion.
SRODEK’S PIEROGI AND MEATS, Hamtramck and Sterling Heights, MI
The best in all things Polish since 1981! A family-owned business, Srodek’s makes over 35 variety of pierogi, including kraut, Kraut with meat, potato, cabbage, farmer’s cheese, pulled pork, spinach artichoke, breakfast, Buffalo chicken, and many other delicious flavors – including gluten free pierogi! The company also makes incredibly good sausages, Kiszka, a variety of bun-size sausages for grilling, cottage ham, smoked bacon and ribs, chunky and fine ground pork and veal sausage, fun-to-eat sausage sticks, head cheeses, jellied pigs feet, krakowska, and many other meats. Srodek’s has a large selection of Polish candies, jams, beers, other hard to find Polish treats. Their horseradish is some of the hottest in Michigan and is great by itself or in meals and salads. The new Sterling Heights store on Mound Road has a large fresh meat counter, and now offers a growing line of European cosmetics and Michigan made products. The store will soon offer fresh, delicious to-go meals like kraut and kielbasa, Hungarian Goulash, city chicken, potato pancakes, breaded schnitzel, and others, plus hot Panini sandwiches, and a fresh salad bar. Srodek’s makes any holiday party better!
PENN STREET BAKERY, Grand Rapids, MI
Penn Street Bakery makes hands down the most decadent, delicious gourmet cakes, rich, creamy hand-painted chocolates, caramel corn, chocolate lava cakes, gourmet cookies, and raw cookie dough for making delicious cookies at home or for fundraising. The company’s baked goods contain only the finest ingredients – real butter, sour cream, wholesome oats, plump raisins, brown sugar, and more. All products are prepared in-house by hand and certified Kosher so that everyone can enjoy them. The company’s cookie dough is distributed fresh or frozen to catering companies, hotels, and restaurants. Penn Street Bakery creates a variety of moist, delicious Bundt cakes for individual purchase and the cakes are also purchased by 5-star hotel chains and discriminating restaurants. The Carmel Sensations gourmet snack line is now offered to specialty grocers, coffee shops, and major retailers across the country. In 2013 the company added Aria Fine Chocolates to its line up, bringing hand crafted artisan chocolates to the marketplace. These items make terrific gifts or for keeping around the house for when friends drop by. You can order the chocolates in gift boxes, gift towers, and Gift Baskets. This is a must-have for the holidays!
CASK & KETTLE, Battle Creek, MI
Cask & Kettle in Battle Creek makes fine restaurant quality Hard Coffees & Cider, which are now available in Michigan Walmart stores. Now you can enjoy a hot cup of spiked coffee with your choice of toppings in the comfort of your own home. Cask & Kettle has five delicious flavors, including Mexican Coffee (64 proof), Spiked Irish Coffee (76 proof), Hot Blonde Coffee (74 proof), Spiked Dry Cider (50 proof), and the newest flavor – Mint Patty (75 proof). Cask & Kettle drinks come in k-pods, which can
be used in Keurig-Style coffee machines or just pour into hot kettled water. Each pod contains liquid distilled spirits, concentrated coffee, and robust curated flavors. Just add your favorite coffee finishing touches, like creamer, coffee liqueurs, ice cream or add nothing at all. They are available throughout Michigan, as well as many other states. Cask & Kettle is a certified woman-owned business co-founded in 2017 by life-long Michigan native and self-declared hot drink and cocktail lover, Lucinda Wright, along with three other partners.
2 DOGS HOT SAUCE, Ferndale, MI
It’s time to spice up holiday meals with 2Dogs Hot Sauce! The company offers up some of the best hot sauces available in Michigan. Brian Jones started making hot sauce in his kitchen and after bottling the sauce, his friends tasted it, loved it, and suggested he start a company and sell it. Brian and his business partner, Todd Larson came up with a plan to make a go of the sauces. Todd, a Graphic Designer, was contacted by Brian once 2 Dogs was being planned out. Working with Brian, Todd finalized the logo, label, website design, and became a partner in the business. Brian came up with a number of recipes and conducted formal taste tests to have people vote on their favorites. Black Garlic Habanero and Michigan Cherry Habanero were the two unanimous winners. 2 Dogs uses all premium ingredients to create sauces that have a great heat without sacrificing flavor. The sauces go well with any meat or vegetable and are also great in soups. The black garlic sauce is perfect for lamb chops and other meats, but is so versatile that its good on pretty much anything. The cherry sauce is an excellent complement for chicken dishes, especially on wings. 2 Dogs is gluten free, vegan friendly, and comes in a 5.5 oz bottle. 2 Dogs has added two new flavors; “The Green Mild” (Tomatillo, Jalapeño, Poblano blend) and “Give up the Ghost” (Citrus Ghost Pepper). The sauces are available at Plum Market, Westborn Market, Holiday Market, Western Market, Nino Salvaggio, DeVries and Company, Dos Locos Tacos, Hazel Ravines and Downtown, Old Nation Brewing, and many other locations, listed on the website.
ST. AMBROSE CELLARS, Beulah, MI
St. Ambrose Cellars just introduced a new Mead called Shotgun Wedding – it’s a Strawberry-Rhubarb combination with a kick! The company produces the best in alcoholic beverages made from honey, including wines, beers, and meads. Mead is the oldest fermented beverage known to man – It’s simply honey, water, and yeast. Of course, St Ambrose Cellers is a little more ambitious and puts its own bold, modern expression on the ancient drink. The company’s draft line of mead features a myriad of flavor profiles. Owners, Kirk and Sharon, started with a handful of beehives and delivered fresh honey in an old hatch back car, with the back seat removed. Fast forward over 40 years and St. Ambrose Cellars/Sleeping Bear Farms is now one of the Mid-West’s leading privately owned Apiaries, running over 6,000 hives and producing over 400,000 pounds of pure honey per year. St Ambrose Cellars is an award-winning Meadery and is available throughout Michigan as well as Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and 31 other states.