As a wine and cheese lover living in Europe for two years, Heather Baehre grew to appreciate the fantastic variety of good artisan cheeses available there. When she returned to the US, she noticed a lack of those same quality cheeses in Rockford, where she lives. So, when she found herself facing a layoff after 16 years working in corporate America, Baehre decided it was the perfect time to make a 20-year dream come true.
From the old bones of a remodeled Sinclair gas station, Heilman’s Nuts & Confections has been serving the Kalamazoo community with delightful treats since 1988. Carefully curated nuts from the US and Brazil are roasted on the premises, and a wide selection of handmade white, milk, and dark chocolates fill several glass cases.
Gearhart’s legacy grew, and after more than 75 years, North Star Gardens remains a family-owned Northern Michigan business. Now, at almost 1,000 acres with multiple locations, North Star Gardens has become a trusted source for home gardeners, landscaping engineers, and outdoor design professionals across the region.
It’s all about the kitchen at The Seasoned Home. With everything from soothing teas, kitchen gadgets and accessories of every kind, spices with a twang, and the utmost in decadent gourmet foods from all over Michigan and around the world, this dynamic duo has your kitchen needs covered – and then some.
Eagle Street Market in the heart of downtown South Haven is the answer to any antique shopper’s dream. This giant indoor market spans 9,500 square feet and is home to more than 50 antique vendors. Fittingly, the building itself is more than 100 years old and was one of the first Ford dealerships in the state.
James Roth adheres to the techniques of a true blacksmith. If he needs a decorative leaf or an acorn, a bunch of grapes or a tree branch, or even nuts and bolts, he creates every piece from raw steel. He has even crafted most of his own tools.
Jason Thelen, the owner of Little Bay Boards, had no idea that by building his daughter one wooden paddleboard, he would end up launching a business. On his search for an eco-friendly paddleboard, he learned that most foam and fiberboard pieces would last no more than ten years before starting to break down.
Magic Mud continued to grow, and, in 2014, Claus and her partner Christopher Piper purchased a home on 12 acres near Ludington. They converted the walkout basement into a combination studio and retail location and opened for business in 2018. Now open year-round, customers can visit, peruse her wares, and take home one-of-a-kind pieces.
Soltysiak’s style of ceramic artwork is organic and earthy. She employs a wide variety of firing techniques -- wood fired, stoneware, Raku, smoke fired, pit fired, salt and soda fired -- and each creates a distinct look in the finished work.
After several years of blood, sweat, and tears, Wagner had assembled an amazing team of people that included five other glassblowers and was ready to begin work in her dream studio. Epiphany Glass became a reality.