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St. Croix Shop Knits Together a Seamless Move from Somerset Collection to Downtown Birmingham

As Victoria Knight, manager of mens’ fine apparel store, the St. Croix Shop, precisely folds (with a layer of crisp tissue) a newly arrived, handcrafted sky-blue men’s cotton luxury polo shirt, she warmly greets a customer who, while on a walk downtown, stops in.

Introducing himself as “Tom,” he shares that the spring wardrobe display of coordinated separates that he saw through the window attracted him.

“This is why I’d so strongly urged that it was time for us to leave the mall setting after 24 years and to become part of the Birmingham community,” states Knight.  “We came to Birmingham TO our clients. They run businesses here, they dine here, and they enjoy the community, which we wanted to be part of.”

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Telly’s Greenhouse in Troy: 40 Years and Still “Growing”

Angela Marino is already getting calls about her homemade tomato sauce, and it is only April.

“Every time I see someone at a family event,” laughs Marino, who generously makes hundreds of jars of Italian pasta sauce every summer to share with family, “they say, ‘I only have two jars left!’ or, ‘When will you be planting – or picking! – your Telly’s tomatoes?’”

Marino, a Troy resident, has been growing tomato plants from Telly’s Greenhouse on John R., just north of Square Lake Road, for over twenty years.

“I wouldn’t buy my Roma tomato seedlings from anywhere else!” Marino exclaims. “Telly’s truly cares about every plant and every customer.”

George Papadelis, owner of Telly’s Greenhouse, recounts the start of the business, celebrating its 40th year.

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The Thrill of Magic Never Disappears for Shop Owner

When 9-year-old Paul Nielsen dipped into the magic kit his Uncle John gave him for Christmas that year, he quickly got hooked on the thrill of having an appreciative audience.

“The tricks inside there were really awful,” Nielsen recalls. “But my parents acted amazed.”

His parents nurtured their son’s interest, permitting their miniature Houdini to buy one trick from the revolving racks at Stuckey’s convenience stores during family road trips. But his big break came during high school, when Nielsen got a job demonstrating the magic tricks sold at a local novelty shop in his hometown of Peoria, Ill.

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Custom Swimwear Shop Has You Covered as Much as You Like

Jane Rock, of Royal Oak, liked the idea of having her physical therapy for a back condition in a swimming pool, but disliked wearing a swimsuit that revealed too much in the co-ed environment. So, she ordered a custom suit that would cover her scar tissue from childhood burns at Custom Swimwear by Exelnt.

Years later, Rock estimates she has 18 suits from Custom Swimwear, along with accessories like visors and cover-ups. She’s bought suits to wear during cottage vacations, as well as other getaways, and stocked some for summer guests during Custom Swimwear’s sidewalk sales.

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The Varsity Shop: Family Business with History, Quality Products and Service for Schools and Athletes

Marc Secontine smiles as he recalls the day when, as a thirteen-year-old, he rode his bike through his Birmingham neighborhood’s streets toward his father’s then-downtown Birmingham store, The Varsity Shop.

“My dad had said, ‘Come on up, and I’ll buy you lunch!’ When I arrived, there were 150 cases of Adidas shoes for me to put away. By the time I’d finished, lunch turned out to be dinner, and my visit to the shop turned out to be a life-long career!”

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Troy Escape: A Place to Meet, Eat and Play

“When, in January, I walked into the ‘new’ Troy Escape that had been Troy Lanes, I was totally amazed,” says Baines.

“It was like Disneyland! There is a fantastic arcade, Laser Tag, numerous alleys and – best of all – an attached restaurant with great homemade pizza and many other items: no more bad bowling alley food. And everything is sparkling clean.”

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Due Venti: An Italian Restaurant with Southern Hospitality

It was 2008, and chef Nicole Pichan-Seals had already looked at a couple of storefronts with the idea of opening a prepared meals takeout business. The plan was for her to staff it during the day and her husband David Seals, executive chef at Federal-Mogul headquarters in Southfield, would work there in the evenings.

Then David learned the Federal-Mogul food services were going to be outsourced. And the landlord at an especially tempting storefront on Main Street south of 14 Mile Road in Clawson said what the city really needed was an Italian restaurant.

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Health Food Store has Rich History

At 86, Claudelle Ackerman used to park in a city-owned parking lot when she shopped at Nutri-Foods in Royal Oak, but an office building now occupies the site.

She has two realistic options to continue getting her supplements, bread, nuts, “everything and anything” from the health food store: drive up for employees to load her purchases into her vehicle or get home delivery.

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