LBN Covers Local Business News

Royal Oak Welcomes LifeWorks Chiropractic

Royal Oak Welcomes LifeWorks Chiropractic

Royal Oak Welcomes LifeWorks Chiropractic




LBN Community Series
Royal Oak

Royal Oak threw out the welcome mat for a new chiropractic clinic, LifeWorks Chiropractic, on Aug. 15.

A grand opening at LifeWorks, located on Catalpa Drive near Main and Crooks, drew local business people, Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce members and friends and family members of the practitioner, Franklin Norton. There were hors d’oeuvres, clinic tours and door prizes donated by area businesses and even a local church, and visitors lined up out front for a formal ribbon-cutting and picture-taking session.



Norton, who’ll be assisted by chiropractor Eric Axmacher, said chiropractic care, which focuses on the spine and neurological system that “controls and coordinates every other part of the body,” can successfully manage a range of conditions, such as headaches, back pain and more.

“We’re basically removing any pressure off the nerves and allowing the body to function the best,” Norton said. “You can see different systems of the body start to work a little bit better through chiropractic care.”

Norton said he wants to help people without drugs that, in his view, treat the symptoms instead of the root causes of bodily dysfunction.

“We are the most medicated country in the entire world. I want to try to treat people naturally without, you know, opiod drugs,” he said.

“I have yet to see a condition that I don’t think chiropractic can benefit,” said Axmacher.


Nick Miko, a longtime friend of Norton who was giving clinic tours during the grand opening, said Norton successfully treated his back injury several years ago. It was the first time he’d visited a chiropractor and he was “a little nervous,” Miko said. The pain in his back, though, had become hard to bear with a job in retail that kept him on his feet for most of the work day.

“I felt great again” after treatment, Miko said. “Got back to biking, running, all the physical stuff I used to do.”

Norton, who majored in biology at Oakland University and graduated in 2013 after four years of chiropractic study at Life University in Marietta, Georgia, said he had intended to become a neurosurgeon when he was bumped off that career path through his family’s personal experience.

His athletic younger sister, he said, was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, as a teenager; the condition affected her lung function and she had trouble staying active. She underwent surgery to straighten her spine with the help of metal rods, and though the surgery was successful, her mobility at age 27 remains partially affected, he said.

Later, their younger brother was also diagnosed with scoliosis, and his situation was complicated by injuries suffered in a vehicle crash. But chiropractic treatment and physical therapy, Norton said, helped keep his brother’s spine curvature below the point at which surgery would have been recommended.


Check Out This Week's Royal Oak City News

His siblings’ challenges, and the differences in the way they were addressed, changed Norton’s mind about what kind of medicine he wanted to pursue. “I wanted to go more of a preventative route,” he said. He wanted to help people like his sister, he added.

LifeWorks office assistant Moria Austin also came to the field because of personal experience. Austin, who’s previously worked in medical settings, said she’s battled several health issues and has spent the last two years working to manage them. She credits chiropractic care with helping her maintain her ability to walk several years after being told she would lose it.

“I’m really fortunate I’m able to do something I’m passionate about,” Austin said.

LifeWorks uses technology in patient diagnoses, including X-Rays and a machine that measures heat differentials on the skin, which could indicate areas of inflammation and thus pressure on the nerves.

Norton said he plans for LifeWorks to become a family practice, and that the clinic makes it affordable for families with a capped family treatment fee. LifeWorks accepts a variety of insurance plans and will do insurance checks free of charge.

Norton, who lives in St. Clair Shores, has long been drawn to Royal Oak, which, he said, has a vibe that works for his clinic.

“It’s a lot of young families. It’s an up-and-coming area,” Norton said. “There’s a lot of new building happening. There’s a lot of energy in this area.”

116 Catalpa Drive
Royal Oak, MI














Elements Jewelry Studio in Royal Oak Celebrates 30 Years of E.P.I.C. Creations

Elements Jewelry Studio in Royal Oak Celebrates 30 Years of E.P.I.C. Creations

Elements Jewelry Studio in Royal Oak Celebrates 30 Years of E.P.I.C. Creations




LBN Community Series
Royal Oak

Brendan Sherwood, owner of Royal Oak’s Elements Jewelry Studio, is a very good listener.

Stepping forward from his workshop full of jewelers’ tools, precious and alloyed metals,  intricately carved wax wedding ring molds; medallions-in-progress for the D.I.A.’s Founders Society; pendants, bracelets and earrings being re-worked and re-fashioned from heirlooms and family gifts; production pieces for golf courses, colleges and yacht clubs; and one-of-a-kind works of wearable art he’s created from rare stones or jewels, Sherwood smiles as he talks about his business.



“This shop,” he says, “is not about me and what I do.”

“What sets this shop apart,” he explains, “is the diversity of what we do for our clients. We listen, and then we put principles of design behind what our clients want, what they like, what resonates with them.”

“There is no sales counter here,” Sherwood continues. “We’re not here to sell you something. People come here to have things made, and they always say how much they enjoy the process, the experience, of co-creating.”

Working with their clients, Elements has made rings inspired by Detroit’s Guardian Building, Catalan architecture, and even the video game “Zelda.”


“It’s personally fulfilling for our clients to be able to design such special items for their loved ones,” says Sherwood. “One of the engagement rings we designed has a side view that only the wearer can see, like a little crown with diamonds at the base of each prong. The wearer says ‘it melts her heart every time it catches her eye.’”

“Another client, a recent widow, came in to have her wedding ring made into a necklace. She shared how much the personal and touching process – including some tears — meant to her, how great the staff was, and how much she loves the necklace. We are glad to have so many stories like these, and we love working toward each one.”

Sherwood and his two employees use many design aids.

“We use the right technique for the right project,” Sherwood says, “including hand-carved models, CAD (computer-aided design) programs, rapid prototyping with CNC (custom machining) milling, laser welding and 3-D printing.”


Check Out This Week's Royal Oak City News

“I was always encouraged to be making things,” Sherwood shares. “My father was an architect and my mother a decorator.”

Sherwood studied sculpture at the College for Creative Studies.

“Metals worked well for me as a medium,” he says. “After graduation, I worked for local jewelers and gained practical skills while developing artistically.”

“I was not interested in the art fair or gallery life. I wanted a shop that services the community, where clients could walk in and have help in creating their visions.”

Thirty years ago, Sherwood opened Elements and implemented what he calls the E.P.I.C. Principle: design that embodies engagement, passion, integrity and collaboration.

“With those four elements of operation – and the physical elements of metals and stones – we have so many interactions on so many different levels,” says Sherwood.

“Whether we’re making a 20th-anniversary ring embedded with twenty stones or creating a personalized   memento of a special achievement, the work we do is really a pleasure. And we hope to be here for another thirty years.”

512 South Center Street
Royal Oak, MI 48067











Celebrity Founders Visit New Royal Oak Wahlburgers

Celebrity Founders Visit New Royal Oak Wahlburgers

Celebrity Founders Visit New Royal Oak Wahlburgers

LBN Community Series
Royal Oak
Royal Oak’s newest burger joint got a star-powered boost on Monday.

Actor Mark Wahlberg and chef Paul Wahlberg, two of the trio of famous brothers behind the restaurant chain that bears — sort of — their name, stopped in at the just-opened Wahlburgers at 13 Mile and Woodward early Monday evening for a meet-and-greet with local movers and shakers and area celebrities.

The restaurant was packed by the time Mark Wahlberg, who was fashionably late, showed up, but the VIP crowd, munching on mini-burgers and sipping complimentary glasses of beer and wine, didn’t seem to mind. The actor, formerly known as Marky Mark from his days leading the hip-hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, was mobbed as he made his way through the dining areas, stopping often to pose with fans for photographs.

Wahlburgers, the first business to open in a still-developing plaza, Woodward Corners by Beaumont, officially fired up the grill on Aug. 8 and is building a philanthropic partnership with Beaumont Health, which runs Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and several affiliated area hospitals and medical centers, including an urgent care clinic in the new plaza.


The restaurant donated $1 for each burger sold over the previous weekend — a total of $1,150 — to Beaumont, and the Wahlberg brothers, earlier Monday, had stopped at the hospital to visit with patients. Beaumont executive vice president and chief operating officer Carolyn Wilson, in welcoming the Wahlbergs, said it was the beginning of a long partnership between them and Beaumont.

“I’ve never been to a hospital where I’ve felt so much love, so much joy, compassion and caring,” said Mark Wahlberg.

Wahlberg, a founding member of the boy band New Kids on the Block (he left after a short time), later took to acting and has appeared in “Boogie Nights,” “The Departed,” a “Planet of the Apes” remake, “The Fighter” and many other films.

Standing on a bench and using a microphone to be heard over the din, Wahlberg also gave a shout-out to Nino Cutraro, the Royal Oak Wahlburgers franchisee. The location is Cutraro’s 10th Walburgers franchise; he and the restaurateur had become “fast friends,” Mark Wahlberg said.

“He had no idea that he’d be running all over the planet opening restaurants” and becoming a celebrity with Paul Wahlberg, the actor said. Paul Wahlberg, a longtime chef, stars in “Wahlburgers,” an A&E Network reality show about the chain.


Check Out This Week's Royal Oak City News

Cutraro, who has been in the restaurant business for more than 40 years, said the Royal Oak location and the quality food and attention to service behind the Wahlburgers concept make the restaurant stand out. Cutraro and wife Liz also own Bella Piatti, an upscale Italian restaurant in Birmingham.

The Wahlburgers menu offers three kinds of house burgers (single-, double- and triple-decker), specialty burgers like The Fiesta Burger (a half-pounder with Southwestern accents like jalapeños and salsa) and The Beast (two five-ounce burgers with pulled pork, barbecue sauce and more), sandwiches (Portobello, chicken, fish and a sloppy Joe), salads and sides. There are also turkey burgers and plant-based Impossible Burgers for those looking for alternatives to beef.

Paul, the oldest of the Wahlberg boys — middle brother Donnie, also an actor and founding New Kids member, didn’t make Monday’s event — praised the new location and its first few days in business.

“It’s been unbelievable. The whole development is spectacular,” Paul said as guests waited to pose with him for selfies. “We’re just very, very blessed.”

Partnering with Beaumont, Paul Wahlberg said, is important for himself and his brothers because they came from humble origins and want to give back.

Wahlburgers guest Pat Brown, of Grosse Pointe Farms, was at the hospital Monday for Mark Wahlberg’s visit with himself, his wife and their three children, including son Hudson, 6, who has been treated for brain cancer. The actor sent Hudson a video greeting when Hudson finished radiation treatment earlier this year, Brown said, and said they could meet in person the next time he came to town. Treatments appear to have worked, and Hudson is having “a nice, normal summer,” Brown said.

“Super kind,” Brown said of Wahlberg. “He came in with a little bag of gifts for the kids” and stayed and talked with them, he said.

Wahlburgers is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays.

30955 Woodward
Royal Oak













Royal Oak’s Frentz & Sons Hardware: 87 Years of Having “Everything!”

Royal Oak’s Frentz & Sons Hardware: 87 Years of Having “Everything!”

Royal Oak’s Frentz & Sons Hardware: 87 Years of Having “Everything!”


MARCH 2019


LBN Community Series
Royal Oak

When repairmen from Clinton Township’s Hoover Plumbing need a special part for a Dishmaster faucet, they drive miles past the many large-chain home improvement outlets and head straight to Frentz & Sons Hardware in Royal Oak.

“We’d rather come here than the ‘big box’ stores for those parts,” they say. “Frentz & Sons has whatever we need.”



“We hear that all the time,” says Mike Frentz, who owns and runs, along with his brother, John Frentz, the iconic hardware store that was started by their father and grandfather and has been in Royal Oak for 87 years — and has been named Hour Magazine’s Best Hardware Store thirteen years in a row as well as one of the twelve best hardware stores in the country by Popular Mechanics magazine.

“We have 1.2 million items of inventory,” says Mike. “If someone comes in and asks for something and we don’t have it, we try to stock it. And we end up having what people in this area need.”

“And,” he continues, “though people expect our prices to be high because we are a single, small business, customers are always telling us that what they’re buying here actually often costs less than at the big-chain stores.”

“We don’t have a lot of just one thing,” John adds. “We have a few of just about everything.”

“I came in with my husband when he needed a special lightbulb,” says Ferndale resident Gretchen Salsby. “I hadn’t been here in a while, and I ended up staying for almost two hours! Walking up and down the aisles of linoleum tiles and wood and concrete floor, I found so many treasures: large pottery crocks, storage and kitchen tools and gadgets, books, and even craft supplies.”

“I bought an ‘old-school’ enamel Dutch oven,” she says, “in a perfect, small size that I didn’t even know existed! And everything is so neatly displayed.”

“I hadn’t been here in a while, and I ended up staying for almost two hours! Walking up and down the aisles of linoleum tiles and wood and concrete floor, I found so many treasures…”

Mike chuckles when he is complimented on the store’s orderliness.

“Well,” he smiles, “in 2010, we installed our first computer system.”

“From that time on,” he explains, “we no longer had to price items individually, but have prices on the actual shelves. I said, ‘If I have to go through and re-arrange everything anyway, I might as well really organize it!’”

One of those organized areas is the store’s displays of nuts, bolts, nails, and screws.

“We have one of the largest assortments, anywhere,” Mike says.

“Since a lot of it is metric, we have people come in from car dealerships and automotive stores needing a special nut or bolt for a vehicle.”

“We also get lots of woodworkers and flea market shoppers who can find the replacement nails and screws they need for knobs, cupboards, pictures, etc.,” John says. “And we can advise people about what exactly is best to use for their particular picture-hanging project.”

“People come in and sometimes look at the nuts, bolts, nails, and screws for hours. When we offer them help, quite often they say they are enjoying just looking on their own.”

For customers who do need help with products or projects, there is always an associate available.

“Our staff is great,” Mike says.

“When we hire them, we throw them right into the deep end of the pool,” John jokes.

“Since one of us is always here,” he adds, “when someone needs help, we say, ‘Stay with us while we explain, so you learn this.’ They learn as they’re doing.”

Recalling an outstanding past employees, John and Mike simultaneously begin sharing stories about “Mr. B.”

“We give all our employees nicknames,” John says. “We had a worker, ‘Mr. B.,’ whose mom would bring him here on Saturdays when he was just a young child. She’d take him up and down the aisles and pick up things to show him, explaining what they were.”

“Years later,” John continues, “some high school kids were in the store and this now-teenaged kid was asking for a job. When he left the store, his friend approached us and said, ‘You’d better hire him! He’s the smartest kid I know and has helped me get through all my math classes!”

“We did hire him,” Mike says. “Within two weeks, he knew where every single item was. He worked here through college and was hired directly from here, with an engineering degree, to be a steel plant manager. He’s a great guy and still keeps in touch.”

Generations of customers also keep in touch, bringing their children and grandchildren to run up and down the aisles’ small hills that are part of the building’s original floor.

“People have come in and told us, when they buy a new home and will be moving away, that the one thing they are going to miss is our store,” Mike says. “They will travel from Mt. Clemens or Plymouth – or anywhere – to come back to shop here.”

When customers purchase an older home, Frentz & Sons Hardware supplies the items and services they need for repairs and décor.

“We have lots of people who buy our glass doorknobs and skeleton keys for ‘vintage-style’ interior doors,” Mike says.

“And, in our warehouse, we are able to cut replacement glass for older windows — as well as for picture frames. We also have a pipe cutter to replace and thread steel pipes, including for gas lines.”

For older homes or businesses, they offer historic plaques with the building’s date, specially made in Rapid City.

“The plaques are beautiful,” Mike says, “and their sale benefits the Royal Oak Historical Commission.”

“We’ve been here for 87 years. And we’re happy to continue being part of this city’s history and part of the lives of so many customers.”

Frentz & Sons Hardware
1010 N. Main Street
Royal Oak, MI  48067












‘Dapper’ Plan Cuts Inroads in Royal Oak Hair Industry

‘Dapper’ Plan Cuts Inroads in Royal Oak Hair Industry

‘Dapper’ Plan Cuts Inroads in Royal Oak Hair Industry
MARCH 2019
LBN Community Series
Royal Oak
Sean Klosky always wanted to open his own business.

After teaching special-education at the Burger Center in Garden City and then following eight years working at a Royal Oak restaurant, Klosky decided it was time. After surveilling the neighborhood he was eyeing, Klosky launched his first-time business in an industry – hair care – about which he knew nothing.


Klosky opened Dapper House Barber Shop on Main Street in Royal Oak in May 2016. It wasn’t long before he was questioning the decision.

“If you asked me after (the first six months), I was like ‘Why did I do this?'” Klosky said, laughing. “Now I can sit here and say, ‘it changed my life.’ I couldn’t be in a better place right now.”

That’s because Dapper House is about to celebrate it’s third anniversary with a rate of growth that has the owner thinking about additional locations.

It’s difficult to estimate how much hair is actually being cut in the store, but in the three years Klosky has been in business, he’s gone from just three barbers to eight. Not bad for a barber shop you have to climb a huge staircase to reach.

“The first six months it was tough getting our name out…We’re upstairs, not everyone is seeing the bay window,” Klosky said.

“Through word of mouth and consistent cuts and consistent customer service, the word is really starting to get out there. We just keep growing.”

All of that was just a pipe dream when Klosky first started considering opening his own business. After all, he knew nothing about cutting hair, so the idea was a little out-there to begin with. But he’d worked eight years as a bartender at Monterrey Cantina, just a couple of doors down from where Dapper House is now, so he had the bedrock of small business success – customer service – covered.

As a Royal Oak resident, he knew he wanted to open in the area (in addition to Royal Oak, he considered Ferndale and Birmingham), and he knew about the upstairs space at 306 1/2 Main.

“It’s a really cool place. It’d be hard to find a good barbershop…This place feels very comfortable.”
The space previously had been leased as office space, but it had been vacant for a year, according to Klosky. After finding the space, it was a matter of convincing the landlord his business plan was sound.

“He was in need of a tenant, and I was in need of someone to trust me and my business idea,” Klosky said. “I gave him my business plan, I sat down and talked to him, and I guess I talked him into it. Not only was I a first-time business owner, but I’d never been in this industry. I sold him, and I’m grateful for him taking a chance on me.”

With a lease in hand, Klosky set about creating his vision. He hired his first three cutters and made sure they had an environment conducive to success.

“For the first six months, having the staff believe in your vision, and in you as the owner, especially when I don’t cut and I wasn’t in the trenches with them, was a big challenge,” Klosky said. “But when they see my passion, and they see what kind of person I am, and with us starting to get busy, has created an atmosphere where everyone believes in what we’re doing and in the brand.”

One of those who believes is cutter Paige Agostini, who has been with Klosky from the start.

“It’s a really accepting atmosphere,” Agostini said. “I work with all my friends. It’s like family here.”

Plymouth resident Chloe Sambrone recognizes the atmosphere created in Dapper House. She followed Agostini from a previous salon to Royal Oak.

I really like the atmosphere,” Sambrone said. “It’s a really cool place. It’d be hard to find a good barbershop…This place feels very comfortable.”

Klosky has no real interest in grabbing some scissors and joining his own staff. He’s quite content managing the place from behind the scenes.

“No, I’m going to stick with being the businessman,” he said, laughing again. “We’ve grown to be successful, so my energy and time is going into hopefully opening a second location, somewhere in metro Detroit. We’ll see, we have things in the works.”

The goal when he first leaped into his own business, Klosky said, was to have something “that could pay my bills.” He’s done better than that.

“I remember telling my family … if I can run a business that pays my bills I would feel good, because I’m doing something I want to do, it’s my own thing. It turned into something greater than that. It’s just more than I ever imagined. It really changed my life.”

306 1/2 S. Main Street
Royal Oak, MI 48067














Announcing the Grand Opening of Kaydense Galleria in Royal Oak

Announcing the Grand Opening of Kaydense Galleria in Royal Oak

Announcing the Grand Opening of Kaydense Galleria in Royal Oak
LBN Community Series
Royal Oak
On Feb. 1, Danielle Penson left her job as a high school counselor in her hometown of Detroit and followed her calling.


Penson has a doctorate degree in counseling and had been helping teenagers in high school.


“I kind of felt like, ‘What’s next?’ I’m making these little pennies, I have all this stuff going on, I’m making sacrifices,” she said. “I feel like we have jobs and they’re distracting us from our purpose. If we would just use the gifts and talents we have, everybody would be doing great things.”

And so, she created Kaydense Galleria in Royal Oak. The store is dedicated to the chic woman looking to up her fashion game. Penson had an online store for a while, but when the chance came to open a storefront on 4th Street, she jumped at it.

“My fashion is big on women empowerment and making sure women feel pretty inside and out,” Penson said. “The pieces are unique for the chic woman and they’re flexible, too. I shop really hard for pieces that people don’t have in other boutiques.”

Kaydense is full of clothing that can transition from work to going out to Saturday afternoon. Additionally, she carries sizes small through 3XL, giving women of all shapes and sizes the opportunity to look and feel their best.

The name of the store is a combination of her name as well as her husband two daughters: Danielle, Darren, Kaylee and Karynton Penson. The family lives in Oak Park.

“I’m excited. My goal is for this to expand and maintain the style for your story. Whatever we have to make you feel beautiful,” said Penson.

Tiffany M. Burnett has been a loyal customer of Penson’s for more than three years.

“Her clothes are different, very classy and you really don’t find too many of the same pieces that other people have. They definitely match your personality”
“Her clothes are different, very classy and you really don’t find too many of the same pieces that other people have. They definitely match your personality,” Burnett said.

As a curvy woman, Burnett appreciates the selection of highly fashionable clothes that fit a range of body types. However, when Penson is choosing clothes, Burnett says she takes you out of your comfort zone.

“I have to look at the clothes she chooses for me for a little bit because Danielle is the type to make you expand. I have to look at it for a minute. She has definitely broadened my horizons on fashion,” said Burnett.

But Kaydense Galleria isn’t just about helping women with their fashion. It’s also about supporting other women’s goals and giving others the opportunity to grow a business.

“I like to give women the opportunity to do pop ups,” said Penson. “I want to support other women. I went through a lot of the things in business. If I can help someone else not go through what I went through, I’m perfectly ok with that.”

During the winter months, Kaydense Galleria will be open Thursday through Sunday until the seasons change. Then, as foot traffic picks up in the warmer months, Penson said she’d consider expanding the store hours.

“We are here to serve the community and I’m looking forward to doing great things in Royal Oak and I’m real excited about what’s to come,” said Penson.

202 West 4th Street
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067