Shortly after emigrating to Grand Rapids from his native Netherlands, 14-year-old Herman Baker began part-time work at this uncle's bookstore. Among the shelves, Herman developed a love for religious texts that prompted him to found Baker Book House in 1939, with 500 books from his personal library. These days, Baker Book House's faith-based stock has expanded to include more than 100,000 used and remainder titles, out-of-print Christian works, Bibles of every stripe, and new books and eBooks.
Along with enticing reads, the store supplies religious DVDs, CDs by popular Christian artists such as Third Day, and church supplies including stoles, which supply an engaging alternative to watching your pastor reenact his favorite Transformers movie. In addition to its Christian inventory, Baker Book House hosts frequent events such as lectures and Q&As with religious authors and scholars.
Not only does the staff at Gamer Doc of Grand Rapids know how to unite the Triforce and rescue Princess Zelda, turn the tide of the Covenant invasion, or defend against a Zergling Rush as Protoss, they share the exultation of these triumphs with others. The gaming experts equip players with both retro Nintendo favorites and the latest games. They rent thousands of games, in addition to selling and buying new and used games. Technicians can also repair injured gaming consoles, including XBox 360s, Sony PlayStations, and Nintendo Wiis, in addition to cell phones and laptops suffering from cholera.
Adjacent to the store?s main room, a group gaming room sprawls out over 1,100 square feet, where combatants recline in black leather chairs during parties and tournaments. The room boasts nine networked gaming consoles and a 10-foot high-definition projector that reveals even Princess Peach gets zits on occasion.
Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and football to snowboarding, skis, and ice skates. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups, and even sharpen skates or wax snowboards. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
Named after the patron saint of music, St. Cecilia Music Center is considered to be the ?mother of the arts? in Grand Rapids. After all, it?s not just a fixture; it?s the establishment that started it all. Area women formed the center in 1883, performing in each other's homes until a steadily growing audience forced them to find bigger and bigger temporary residences. By 1894, they had a permanent headquarters in their very own building. The 800-seat auditorium, twinkling chandeliers, and reception room?anchored by arched windows?quickly attracted world-renowned musicians to the city to play for larger audiences. Today, the center continues to bring high-quality programs to its confines and even houses a School of Music, where young minds can grow to be great musicians.
The idea for jb and me came from a mother and daughter who wanted to create a place where women of any age could go to find clothes they’d like to wear. In 1997, they opened jb and me, and they've been serving ladies of all age brackets ever since. Customers can call ahead to set up a complimentary personal-shopping appointment, or they can walk in to wander the racks filled with brands such as Free People, Splendid, and AG Jeans. On any given visit, they might find a rickrack-printed Leota dress, chunky silver earrings from jb and me's own brand, or a sophisticated pair of black Nicole Nook wedges. To ensure that their customers' homes are as stylish as the people who live and cry in them, the staff also curates home decor such as printed throw pillows and wall art.
Michigan Awesome's collection of tank tops, tees, hoodies, and baby onesies burst at the seams with civic pride for the Great Lakes State. The company's apparel comes emblazoned with clever geographical slogans “Smitten with the Mitten” and “Home Is Where The Hand Is.” Their shirts also give shout-outs to cities such as Flint, Grand Rapids, and Detroit, and proudly state “4 out of 5 Great Lakes Prefer Michigan.” Made from durable American Apparel cotton shirt material and screen-printed in the state itself, the tops combine striking colors and cleverness to leave regional rivals green with envy. Michigan Awesome also helps drivers rep their state while on the road, slapping many of their most popular slogans on eye-catching stickers.