Ken Snook wasn't like the other boys in school. His classmates dreamed of becoming basketball players, astronauts, and rock stars, but Ken wanted to be a butcher. The teenager hadn't known it when he took a part-time job at a small butcher shop in Detroit, but he soon fell in love with the trade, developing a knack with the knife and a keen eye for quality cuts. After working as a butcher for years, Ken purchased Colasanti's Market and set up his own butcher shop amid its shelves of groceries and rows of produce.
Today, Ken continues to slice up fresh cuts of USDA Choice black Angus beef, housemade sausages, and fresh seafood. He can even provide an entire hog for a pig roast, complete with electric rotisserie, charcoal, and grill. Beyond his butcher shop lies an entire market of fine foods and groceries where friendly staff members bustle, directing customers to gluten-free goods and refereeing shopping-cart races down the dairy aisle. A deli staff whips up fresh sandwiches, salads, and party trays, and customers sip on complimentary coffee and peruse selections of imported wine and beer. Above their heads, a cheerful model train loops around tracks suspended from the ceiling. Outside, the sun beams on pots of colorful flowers, and ducks amble around a duck pond. The lively market even hosts special weekend events, from wine tastings to summer parties.
The popcorn gourmands at Pop Daddy Popcorn aim to elevate the classic snack above its movie-time reputation. They strive to craft the healthiest?and tastiest?popcorn possible, pouring all of their culinary energy into just four varieties. For starters, they keep a tight watch over quality by cooking each variety in small batches using 100% pure olive oil. Rather than powdered concoctions, the team flavors the treat with top-shelf seasonings, such as pink himalayan salt and black Malabar pepper from India.
And while the spices may come from far-flung locations, the kernels themselves are locally sourced. For three of the varieties, Pop Daddy uses red corn harvested from the Bloomer family farm in Ann Arbor and prized for its bevy of the same antioxidants found in cherries. The standalone Sugar Daddy kettle corn, on the other hand, uses goldenrod popcorn that comes direct from Riehle Farms in Indiana before getting seasoned with a secret-recipe sweet-savory mix. No matter the type of kernal, every batch is guaranteed GMO- and gluten-free, leaving folks feeling as guilt-free as a baby after its acquittal.
Game Headz powers up electronic arsenals with its selection of pre-owned games and machines. With portable systems such as a used Nintendo Game Boy Advance ($19.99), nature-loving gamers entertain themselves while basking in summer’s embrace. Button mashers whip lazy thumbs into shape with recent titles ($20–$30) such as Grand Theft Auto IV, Saints Row 2, Fable II, and Resident Evil 4. Classic Atari games let customers dust off their “Tilden 4 President” bumper stickers and revisit an earlier chapter in video-game history. An affable staff of console buffs is always on hand to point visitors to exciting titles and engage in debates about the finer points of pixilated entertainment.
An almost overwhelming selection of cigars, pipes, hookahs, and various accessories surrounds customers as they enter the walk-in humidors at each Wild Bill's Tobacco location. Thankfully, this mystifying world isn't all smoke and mirrors. A trained staff is always on hand to help tobacco enthusiasts navigate all the available items?which often include different-shaped cigars from around the world.
This international selection sure has helped Wild Bill's Tobacco expand its reach throughout the U.S. Since the first store opened in 1994, the company has billowed into an empire with more than 50 locations stocked with cigars, cigarettes, and roll-your-own items. Many locations also house a lounge area, where friends can relax while puffing on cigars and trying to hula-hoop through each other's smoke rings. In recent years, the stores have branched out into the world of e-cigarettes, selling kits and liquids in more than 20 flavors.
Wholesale Mattress Warehouse started selling mattresses long before cell phones were invented, disco pants went out of style, and dolphins overthrew the United Nations. Since then, their stock has been updated to include modern-day innovations such as memory foam and organic latex mattresses, but their commitment to keeping a diverse, high-quality selection remains the same. Their warehouse abounds with mattresses of all sizes from Easy Rest, Posturecraft, and other manufacturers. The store also features an extensive selection of bed frames, foundations, and plush memory foam pillows.
Viewtech Cellular puts people back in touch with the world by repairing anything from flip phones to smartphones and tablets. The shop's certified technicians confidently work with devices by popular manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, and Blackberry. Replacing cracked screens, updating malfunctioning software, and installing rotary dials are all simple tasks for the team. Additionally, the staff includes micro-soldering experts, who specialize in repairing even the smallest damaged components.