Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Buy Local in Ann Arbor: Online Retailers

1. December 2007 • Juliew
Email this article

Don’t want to leave your cozy house to do your shopping? Need to send a present to your great-Aunt in Paducah? You can still shop locally at these Ann Arbor-based online retailers.

Zingermans is the King of mail order in Ann Arbor and they do it well. You never find people disappointed in a gift from Zingermans. Order now and they will ship your gift whenever you want. Tracklements is one of those amazing businesses that people outside of Ann Arbor rave about, but many people here don’t even know it exists (although they do have a small storefront in Kerrytown). Their smoked fish makes for an amazing gift.

If your friends and family are coffee and chocolate lovers, try any of these local businesses: Roos Roast is coffee roasted by an artist, or car salesman, or coffee educator, or general Renaissance man—whichever you prefer, John Roos is all of them put together. Competition is always good for buyers and now Mighty Good Coffee is giving John a run for his money. Mighty Good Coffee roasts their coffee to order and ships it within 24 hours of roasting. If you live in Ann Arbor, they deliver it to your door the day after it is roasted. This week our coffee came with a lovely Might Good Truffle from Tammy’s Tastings and it was mighty good. She is doing a partnership with the University’s Exhibit Museum and if you buy a “Puma Box” with truffle replicas of the pumas at the door of the museum, she donates $5 to the museum. Speaking of truffles, Sweet Gem Confections is another local chocolate maker. You have seen their yummy treats inside Morgan and York, and you can also order them online. Should you need a large order of truffles for that holiday event, try Truffle Junkies. They currently only accept larger orders like weddings and parties but this is that time of year, and their truffles look delicious!

If you prefer to ship less decadent, but no less tasty treats, try Al Dente Pasta. They have great gift baskets. In another one of the cool interactions between local merchants, tonight (Friday night) Monique Deschaine of Al Dente Pasta will be showing some of her gift bags and baskets at Heavenly Metal near Kerrytown. Join Vicki and Monique from 6-9pm tonight and have a chance to look at (or buy) some of Al Dente’s much-requested Goodie Bags and Vicki’s gifts. Rumor has it there might be wine and chocolate too. I might venture out for that kind of shopping!

If food isn’t your thing, try Old House Gardens for lovely heirloom presents. You can even order bulbs now and they will ship them when the time is right for planting. A neat gift that people love. Old House Garden’s bulbs have been featured in Martha Stewart magazine and just about every gardening magazine in the country and they are right here in Ann Arbor!

  1. Tree City Diapers ( is another local business that also has an online commerce presence. Not only do they carry all sorts of cloth diapering supplies, they also have toys, clothing, slings, and more. I highly recommend!

       —Lane Maiden    Dec. 1 '07 - 02:47AM    #
  2. FYI, if you’ve looked for 16 Hands online you may have come across a place in Virginia with the same name at The AA store is at

    Jill and Rick have been very supportive of the efforts of Lisa and Think Local First!. (For example, see their ad in the December Observer promoting Buy Local Week.)

       —Steve Bean    Dec. 1 '07 - 04:21AM    #
  3. Julie…I don’t know what kind of research you’ve done but you’ve come up with some GREAT ideas, some of which I didn’t even know about. A couple of other places which come to mind off the top of my head are Acme’s online store (for the uncle who appreciates anti-Bush mugs/etc), Maggie’s Organics, Wilkinson’s Luggage, and Nicola’s Books (always good for those who think they can only get it on Amazon). I’d love to hear of other places… it seems I know a number of people who do 80% of their shopping for almost everything online…

       —Lisa    Dec. 1 '07 - 07:42AM    #
  4. Oooh, Motawi Tile Works has an online store too!

       —Juliew    Dec. 1 '07 - 08:53AM    #
  5. Don’t forget the Severed Unicorn Head Superstore , for all of your locally-produced severed unicorn head needs!

    Or, check them out in person, today, Dec. 1, at the Shadow Art Fair.

    (Another post in the Hijacking AU for Ypsi Advocacy series…)

       —Murph.    Dec. 1 '07 - 06:55PM    #
  6. Tush ( is an Ann Arbor-based baby boutique. They have gift baskets!

       —Patrick Hunt    Dec. 1 '07 - 07:17PM    #
  7. Tracklements is truly wonderful. Good idea!

       —Cooler Heads    Dec. 2 '07 - 02:01AM    #
  8. Also, if you are in to teas (and fair trade ones at that) check out Arbor Teas

    There was just an article about them in the paper today and they seem super cool.

       —Nancy    Dec. 4 '07 - 07:27AM    #