Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Buy Local in Ann Arbor: South Main Street

6. December 2007 • Juliew
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Sometimes, being slightly off the beaten path is a good thing. Walk a few blocks south (downhill) of the “traditional” end of the Main Street retail district to find these interesting local businesses. Many are family-owned and operated and have been around for decades.

For the most amazing flower arrangements in town, order from Tom Thompson Flowers. They cater to your budget and the results are always breathtaking.

You might still think of Leopold Brothers as a brewpub, but forget the beer and go for their on-site distilled top-shelf spirits. Their vodka and gin are nationwide award winners (the Silver Tree vodka is the highest rated vodka distilled and bottled in America) as are many of their other flavored liqueurs. You can’t buy everything they distill here (stupid Michigan liquor laws), but what you can buy makes for great presents and, heck, a good shopping experience!

Fingerles is our local full-service lumberyard (family-owned and operated since 1931). You can order online and they will deliver, but it is fun to go into their store too. They even have a custom mill house where they can match your wood trim.

Ivory Photo will restore your old family photo to tip-top shape, among many other photo services. Overture Audio sells great audio equipment that you can’t get online. Delux Drapery is a third-generation family-owned business that has been around since 1942. They sell drapes, shades, wallpaper, and custom bedding. Fox Tent and Awning has been family owned and operated since 1920. Don’t think you need a tent or awning? They will make anything out of canvas, including sturdy canvas bags to your order. The Washtenaw Dairy of course sells milk, ice cream, malteds, shakes, and doughnuts, but they also have t-shirts, hats, and gift certificates. Summer or winter, it is a great place to hang out.

Austin & Warburton has beautiful custom-made jewelry and Washtenaw Woodwrights has beautiful custom-made kitchens. They share a big parking lot so it is easy to stop in.

Take a mini-vacation in the South Main Market by shopping at Copernicus for Polish pierogi, kielbasa, and candies. Brazamerica has Brazilian specialty food. By the Pound has snacks, baking goods, and spices available in bulk. They have a lot of Indian ingredients including lots of dried peas and beans.

Want to get something for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list? A pre-paid card of car washes or detailing from Don’s Soft-Touch Auto Wash next to South Main Market is a great gift or stocking stuffer. Don’t forget a gift certificate or tickets to that special concert at the Firefly Club. People are saying a lot of good things about their new South Main venue.



  1. Hey, my old neighborhood. Don’t forget that framing place, I used it once. Also, Fox sells flags.

    Also, rumor is that the old Madison House is both for sale or rent. Someone should move in there. Great backyard.

    There’s some pizza place in the old Cingular store?


       —Brandon    Dec. 7 '07 - 05:44AM    #
  2. Ann Arbor Framing Co. does a great job. Unfortunately, although they are still around right now, Lori is selling the business and the four houses she owns around it.

    Yes, Madison House is both for sale and for rent. Lots of houses for sale and/or rent in the area.

    Happy’s Pizza is in the old Cingular store. They are a franchise of a small Detroit-based company. Their food is OK (they have a lot of fans) and they have a pretty good beer cooler for a pizza store. Kind of a fun addition to the area.


       —Juliew    Dec. 7 '07 - 08:56PM    #