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Surprises Abound at Mount Clemens Vintage Boutique

Surprises Abound at Mount Clemens Vintage Boutique

Surprises Abound at Mount Clemens
Vintage Boutique




LBN Community Series

Mount Clemens

There’s nothing ho-hum about Max & Ollie’s Vintage Boutique in downtown Mount Clemens. From the array of throw-back merchandise to the owner, the store is chock-full of pleasant surprises.

Diane Kubik has owned Max & Ollie’s for 15 years, but the whole thing was a bit of an accident. Her sister saw the empty storefront just around the corner from where the store is now located. The deal was, Diane would put up the money and her recently unemployed sister would run the shop. When the sister was unexpectedly called back to work, Diane, then a stay-at-home mom of five, found herself in an unfamiliar position.




“I could get diapers snowy white, but I knew nothing about vintage, antiques or running a business,” Kubik said.

When Max & Ollie’s first opened, Kubik’s youngest sons and the store’s namesakes, Max and Ollie, were 6 and 8 years old. Originally, the store was evenly split between crafts and vintage, but keeping up on the crafting was unrealistic, so Kubik converted over to strictly vintage.

“We had just one goal: Keep the doors open,” said Kubik. “We just filled the shop with things we loved. We’re not a high-end store and we don’t want to be. We want people to buy things that are fun. People come in and reminisce and relive memories, and we hear a lot of, ‘My grandma had that.’”

Within six years, Max & Ollie’s had outgrown its 300-square-foot space. When a larger space opened on Macomb Place eight years ago, Kubik made the move.

The store is beautifully organized and displayed in a manner not typical for vintage stores. Instead of stacks of dishes and piles of knick-knacks, Kubik thoughtfully arranges her wares. Kitchen and home goods are on one side of the store, while the clothing is on the other.

“The biggest part of that is to make people fall in love with things. Keep it clean, keep it neat keep it fun,” she said. “My strong background was crafting, but it really ended up that creative problem-solving was my strongest. You have to get really creative with the solutions and it worked out OK.”

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Customers can find anything from costume jewelry and clothing to kitchenware and linens at Max & Ollie’s.

“Aprons are a huge seller,” said Kubik. “We sell the sheer aprons for when something other than dinner is cooking. Valentine’s is coming!”


In addition to the unique merchandise, Kubik likes to make a visit to her store an experience.  Her dynamic personality comes through in conversation. To each customer, she offers freshly baked cookies right out of a toaster oven next to the cash register.

You can also find Kubik in other shops in downtown Mount Clemens, helping with displays or giving a bit of business advice. It’s just the kind of person she is.

“We’ve morphed a lot over the years, but the thing I wanted to be most is fun,” said Kubik. “We managed to hold it through the toughest economy since the Depression. My favorite part has got to be the customers. I love the stuff, but the people have been incredible. It’s been an adventure. It’s the greatest job ever.”

Max & Ollie’s is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Closed Monday.

65 Macomb Place
Mount Clemens, MI 48043
















From a 2 KB Memory to Today’s Laptops, Tech Has Seen it All

From a 2 KB Memory to Today’s Laptops, Tech Has Seen it All

From a 2 KB Memory to Today’s Laptops, Tech Has Seen it All
LBN Community Series Royal Oak

Ray Lareau has been working on computers for a long time — about 44 years, which takes him back to the dark ages of personal computing.

The owner of Royal Oak-based Computer Services of Michigan, Lareau built his first computer at age 9.

Armed with some computer books given to him by a brother-in-law, including one on building a computer, Lareau said, he also taught himself to program.




  “I built a computer that would flash eight lights. I didn’t care what it did — I was interested in the process,” said Lareau, who has learned about embroidery, cookie-decorating and other skills while writing programs on those tasks. In the 1970s, Lareau got a TRS 80, a cheap computer from Radio Shack. Having saved up $200 in paper-route money, he said, he went to a store to buy what he needed to expand the computer memory from 2 kilobytes to 64 KB. (The typical laptop today has 8 gigabytes — that’s more than a million KB.)
“The store owner didn’t want to sell it to me. He figured I’d just burn it up. He finally agreed to sell me the memory after a second visit,” said Lareau. “I installed the memory. The computer still works — it’s in the back (of the business).” With his partner Maureen Landau, Lareau opened their business on Rochester Road just south of 13 Mile in Royal Oak 22 years ago. They had met while working at Michigan Bell/Ameritech and originally struck out on their own with a voice-mail business.
Eventually, the primary business became servicing computers, and Lareau and Landau have seen public preference move from desktops to laptops, with the latter now predominant in the market. “No one has been doing this longer than Ray. He’s very picky,” said Landau. Having a background in psychology, Landau had worked in communications and marketing. That’s a role she still has with Computer Services. “Ray is the technology, I’m customer service. I talk to the customers. I calm them down and serve candy,” said Landau. “I adopt the customers like they are my kids.”
“She talks to people about their kids and puts them at ease. I listen to figure out what they need,” Lareau added. Flyers about the business say, “You Click It We Fix It.” “People believe what they see on the Internet,” Lareau said, and that causes them to click on things they should leave alone.

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Landau points out, for example, that before clicking on an e-mail about a package delivery problem, it’s a good idea to think about whether you were expecting a delivery. An even more common problem, especially with laptop computers, comes from food and beverages. “Your laptop is not meant to be eaten over,” Lareau said. When it comes to soft drinks, he said, diet pop can cause more problems than drinks with sugar — because the sugar residue can be more easily be cleaned up than that left by diet pop. “Kids will tell us that they spilled orange juice on the computer but we can tell it was beer,” said Landau. “We had one laptop come in just stuffed with cat hair. The husband would turn on the computer at night for the cat, who liked to sleep on it because it is warm. Never do that — get the cat an electric blanket.” Physically cleaning the computer when it is brought into the shop is always the first step on any service, Lareau said, even if it turns out the computer won’t run again. The two are proponents of customers getting what they need from their computers and keeping the devices running well. “It’s always cool to get a new computer. Do you know where your data is and all your passwords are? No? We have a sheet for people,” Lareau said. 
When it comes to computer services at a big-box store, the emphasis will likely be on getting the customer to buy a new computer rather than providing his or her existing computer with needed repairs or upgrades, the couple said. For many customers who are getting a new computer, Landau said, a popular service is to have Computer Services transfer data and software to the new device.  
Customer Pat McKinley stopped in with her old laptop and a new one to have it set up in the same way the old one has operated. “I’m keeping both computers. I love my old computer — I’m used to it. Windows 7 isn’t supported anymore. They can fix that for me,” said McKinley. “I’ve been in here a few times. They do a great job. I had a really old computer. It was 15 years old and the screen went out on it. They fixed it.” For customers used to a certain setup on their computers, Landau said, the company can set up a new computer in a way that is familiar and easy to use. Along with servicing personal computers, Computer Service also works on corporate accounts and handles forensic work, often involving divorce cases. Landau and Lareau, the latter one of 16 siblings who grew up on a Commerce Township farm, operate a self-described mom-and-pop business. The lobby has some computer accessories on display along with photos of family members, including grandchildren. On a recent day off from school, granddaughter Sadie Falcon, 10, was spending the day at the business. She sometimes helps with intake as customers drop off computers. Sadie noted she has sometimes provided some technical support when it comes to her grandmother’s cell phone. “People feel more comfortable with a family business. Customers will ask if Ray can see all their personal data when he works on their computer, and he can,” said Landau. “I had a customer say, then, he’d take the computer somewhere else. I told him anyone who tells you they can’t see your personal information is lying. There has to be some trust.” Computer Services of Michigan is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday.

3125 Rochester Road
Royal Oak, MI 48073





Royal Oak – January 27, 2020

Royal Oak – January 27, 2020

Stagecrafters Partners with SAY Detroit

Stagecrafters in Royal Oak announced SAY Detroit is the third community partner in their inaugural Community Cares campaign for the 2020–2021 season. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness for worthy nonprofits in the area.

Before each show, patrons can stop by the SAY Detroit display in the lobby and donate to the charity. A limited supply of signed copies of Mitch Albom’s latest book, Finding Chika, will be available for a $25 donation. All proceeds go to SAY Detroit.

Stagecrafters will be performing Forever Plaid during the Community Cares campaign. Click here for ticket information.


Spring Tree Planting Program Online Now

Help the environment of Royal Oak by planting a tree or two. Select from a number of lovely trees for planting on public or private property at a very reasonable price.

Learn more here.

Leap into Conservation by Joining FrogWatch

The Detroit Zoological Society is inviting citizen scientists from Southeast Michigan to hop to it and join the local chapter of FrogWatch USA. This program teaches volunteers how to identify frogs and toads by their breeding calls and to gather and record data that supports a national network.

FrogWatch volunteers choose from locations throughout the Tri-County area and monitor the sites for several months. Their observations provide valuable information about whether amphibians in Michigan are declining or increasing, or if new species are being found in areas where they have not been identified before.

FrogWatch training classes for 2020 will be offered free of charge at the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center on the following dates: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 5 to 9 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 25, 5 to 9 p.m.; Thursday, March 5, 5 to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, March 14, noon to 4 p.m.

Register for a FrogWatch training class or contact DZS Associate Curator of Amphibians Rebecca Johnson at

Proving Grounds Coffee

On Jan. 20, Downtown Royal Oak welcomed Proving Grounds Coffee. The new shop is on Washington Avenue.

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor

Storm Water Utility Workshop

The city is hosting several meetings in 2020 to help property owners understand the new utility. For residents the workshops will be held:

-Saturday, Feb. 29, at 10:30 a.m. in the Library Auditorium

-Wednesday, March 18, 3 p.m. at the MM Senior Center, rooms 4-5

Tuesday, April 14, 6:30 p.m. in the Library Auditorium

This event is FREE; RSVP.

To share your news, announcements, and events, please email
Farmington – January 27, 2020

Farmington – January 27, 2020

Farmington Public Schools Launches New Mobile App

Farmington Public Schools launched the district’s new mobile app. The FPS mobile app provides information about the school district streamlined into one location. It provides access to important FPS notifications such as school closings, calendars for the district and individual schools, a staff directory, news feed, MiStar Parent Portal, MiStar Student Portal, athletic schedules and scores, PaySchools, menus, Facebook and much more. To download the app on OSx, enter the App Store via your Apple mobile device, type “Farmington Public Schools, MI” into the store search bar. For Android and the Chrome OS, download the app through the Google Play Store. If you have feedback about the App, please contact School/Community Relations at 248-489-3349. .

Farmington Seeks to Fill Planning Commission Vacancy

At the Jan. 13 Planning Commission Meeting, Kenneth Chiara, board member, announced he was not planning to seek reappointment. Farmington is now seeking a city resident to fill the vacancy, which is a three-year term ending June 30, 2022. Those interested should fill out a board and commission application and return it to Farmington City Hall, 23600 Liberty Street; email it to; or call 248-474-5500, ext. 2221. Applications are also available at City Hall. The Planning Commission develops the City’s Master Plan, establishes zoning districts and regulations applicable to each district covering the use of the land, accommodating and promoting land uses that are compatible with the city’s character, conserving property values and long-term stability of residential neighborhoods, commercial districts, and industrial areas. The Planning Commission meets on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

Oscar Shorts Evening

Get glammed up on Feb. 6 for the annual Oscar Shorts Evening supporting the Farmington Friends of the Library. The evening begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are now available at both library locations. The event features a viewing of the 2020 animated and live-action Oscar-nominated short films. Your $25 ticket includes the movies, a small pop and popcorn, a red carpet photo op and live music. A pre-show event will be hosted by KickstArt Gallery in downtown Farmington. For $25, participants can enjoy wine, light apps, and music. For more information, call Jaclyn at 248-553-0300 ext. 307.

Mi.Mosa Re-Opens

After a two-month closure, Farmington favorite Mi.Mosa has reopened. According to a recent article in Home Town Life, the restaurant closed to fix plumbing issues. The owners hope patrons will once again be brunching at Mi.Mosa.

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor
To share your news, announcements, and events, please email
Rochester – January 27, 2020

Rochester – January 27, 2020

Tuberculosis Exposure Investigated at Rochester Doctor’s Office

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is working with the Macomb County Health Department, Oakland County Health Division, Lakeview Pediatrics and its Ascension Medical Group Michigan location in Rochester to determine the health status of patients who could have been in close contact with a health care associate recently diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis.

The health care associate, who was unknowingly ill with TB, worked in the Rochester Lakeview Pediatrics practice location between April 1, 2019, and Jan. 9, 2020. All individuals who may have been exposed are being notified and encouraged to get testing. Testing is being offered at no cost.

Ascension Medical Group Michigan has set up a call center for scheduling tests and responding to questions. The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. It can be reached by calling 855-757-4376.

Roundtable Discussion with State Representative Michael Webber

Join the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders in the community for a sit-down with State Rep. Michael Webber to discuss challenges and issues specific to businesses in the greater Rochester area.

The meet-and-greet will be held at the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm in the Calf Barn on Friday, Jan. 31. Doors open for networking and coffee at 8:30 a.m.

There is no cost to attend and the event is open to members of the Rochester Regional Chamber and businesses within the greater Rochester area.

Register here.

Help Wanted

The city is looking for a variety of talent to join our Finance, Building, and Public Works Departments. We are currently hiring a part-time Payroll Specialist, Electrical Inspector and Building Inspector. View the full list of job opportunities.

Art Deck Registration

Registration for Deck Art begins Monday, Feb. 3. Registration forms can be found online at Submit completed registration forms to South Street Skateshop at 410 Main. There is a registration Fee of $20 plus tax for one blank skateboard deck. The registration deadline is Friday, April 10.

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor
To share your news, announcements, and events, please email