Pages, a small locally-owned bookshop in Detroit. Susan Murphy is the owner of Pages, a small bookstore in Detroit. Pages, its publishers, and its property management came to a halt with the hold placed on in person operations. “March 16, I will never forget that day, that’s when I closed the store,” said Murphy. Inside of Pages, you can find tons of books and a cat named Pip.
Children’s toys litter the floor amongst a COVID-19 mask. Photo credits: Jaiyda Tyler
BATTLE CREEK— Children frolic, color and play throughout the various learning rooms inside of Lens Learning Center, bringing joy to business owner Nita Hinton throughout her daily workweek. “It’s something I’ve been planning for many years and knew that my community needed. We have so many working parents in the community who needed access to affordable, and safe child care. That’s why I chose to create Lens Learning Center,” She said.
The Williamston Roadhouse, located on 3700 E. Grand River Ave., featured Fox News on its TVs Tuesday night for patrons watching the presidential election coverage. Credit: Brian Goldsmith
Election night at the Williamston Roadhouse is a relaxing sight for people looking to wind down in the company of their peers, said Sammual L. Hitchcock, 30, a Leroy Township farmer. The Trump supporting-patrons are in high spirits on Tuesday night as they watch the presidential election coverage on Fox News. The restaurant is decorated in Trump-Pence 2020 banners and signs.
Watching the election coverage at the Williamston Roadhouse is a great place because the bar is located only a mile and a half from his house, said Hitchcock. “There’s great people here, we all get along, [and] we’re all hard-working people,” he said.
The 20th annual Mid-Michigan Women’s Expo was a celebration of women, entrepreneurs and bringing people together. There were over 300 businesses with products catered to women, including healthy eating. One of the businesses at the event was Vitamix, a company that manufactures blenders for restaurants and every day consumers. Every booth at the event showcased their products, ranging from cakes, hair styling tools and jewelry, but Vitamix promoted something bigger.
“Love hearing stories about how we changed people’s lives, that they’ve gotten healthier, they’ve beat their healthy obstacles etc.,” said Nancy Spruiell, a Vitamix demonstrator. Spruiell said the blender also helps parents get their kids to eat fruits and vegetables.
“Raising healthier kids, that’s a huge thing these days, especially with the way they make our food these days,” Spruiell said.
Williamston has all the markings of an American small town: historic buildings comprising its downtown section, local family owned restaurants, a bridal shop, a glass blowing studio and the local hardware store. Nestled above the affairs of the main Williamston strip on Grand River is a somewhat unknown plaza that even local Williamston residents may pass by: Keller’s Plaza, home to “Williamston’s hidden gem” as nearly all of the Plaza’s shop owners called their little hideaway. Keller’s Plaza is home to a small candle shop Mud Country Candles, a small party store, a glass engravings shop called the Glass Fox, a dance studio, and Peculiar Perspective’s. Matt Mulford runs Peculiar Perspectives, a studio and art gallery at the top of the landing on the second floor of the plaza, along with Tony Steele. Mulford and Steele’s friendship and passion for art goes back years Mulford says.
It’s been busy inside the bright teal building at 118 W. Grand River Ave. in downtown Williamston. The building now occupies The Bunkhouse, which opened on Feb. 16 and was founded by 141 Design Company owners Chantelle and Brian Deimling. “The Bunkhouse is where paint classes are held and it’s also a fun little store,” co-owner Chantelle Deimling said.
One must bypass a bright red door before they can step inside 141 Design Company in Williamston. Once inside, they will be surrounded by vibrant furniture that has lived a life of its own. Unlike traditional furniture produced by the masses every day, 141 Design Company creates custom furniture from salvaged wood for anyone who desires it. “We’d like to consider them heirloom pieces,” said co-owner Chantelle Deimling. “These aren’t pieces that you sell in a garage sale in two years; these are pieces that become functional in your home—they’re art.”
On Feb. 13, downtown DeWitt will be home to a new craft coffee shop owned by 31-year-old Justin Hartig. “My goal is to kind of change the culture of coffee,” said Hartig, “to kind of put a little edge to the coffee shop scene.”
The Crafted Bean will have a modern atmosphere with a 50’s twist to it. Using vinyl records provided by East Lansing’s “The Record Lounge,” Hartig plans to cover the floor with them to add to the shop’s character. “I had notebooks full of different ideas,” said Hartig.
By Zachary Barnes
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter
Networking and collaboration is vital to the growth of Old Town. To accomplish this, the Old Town Commercial Association has been putting on an event called Wake Up Old Town. “Wake Up Old Town first and foremost is a networking event for people to come together, both Old Town and people that can serve Old Town businesses,” said Old Town Commercial Association Executive Director, Austin Ashley. “It’s a great time for us to collaborate and come together as a community.” During the event that takes place the first Friday of every month, it looks like a family reunion.