When Mike Busley walked into Julian Pie Company, he found something unexpected—a sense of purpose. Returning with a dream of opening his own café with his wife, Denise, Mike convinced Julian’s owner to show them how to make pie so flavorful that it could alter a person’s life, just as it had theirs. The couple found themselves armed with newfound know-how, leading them to quit their careers in defense and medical sales, have a tough but healthy breakup talk with San Diego, and venture to Michigan to open Grand Traverse Pie Company.
Though now a franchise throughout Michigan and Indiana, Mike and Denise continue to run the original shop, and each location adheres to their vision of favoring ingredients from Michigan growers. Each day, chefs bake more than 25 flavors of pie, which have received attention from publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine. They also prepare an extensive selection of comfort fare for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While cigarettes from Smoking Vapor curb nicotine cravings, they never emit a puff of smoke. The electric cigarette's LED tip lights up as it releases customizable doses of nicotine in time with users’ drags, stripping the smoking experience of tobacco, toxins, and smoke itself. Long-lasting rechargeable batteries or strikes of lightning power each of the cigarettes, which immediately detect users’ puffs via a microprocessor and sensor, with no button pushing required. Smokers can select from traditional or flavored nicotine cartridges. A variety of flavors are available in stores, including Grape, Coffee, and Strawberry.
The first choice at Yogurt Loft is probably the hardest. As a self-serve dessert stop, the store invites patrons to peruse its current selection of probiotic-rich yogurts, which might include crowd favorites such as dark chocolate, nonfat cheesecake, and strawberry with real chunks of fruit. Once customers decide on a yogurt flavor, they can visit the toppings station and load their frosty treat with candies, fruits, and other sweets to create a truly personalized sundae.
LaZeez International Market & Deli culls tastes and trinkets from across the globe to stock its store, deli, and restaurant with distinctive finds. In the Indian eatery, tandoor-style ovens unfurl to crown plates with marinated meats and naan bread as cauliflower, potatoes, and paneer mingle to forge a slate of meat-free dishes. A children's menu offers pint-size American dishes for hungry kids and picky founding fathers, and many dishes can be bundled to go from the in-house deli. The international market takes a more global approach by stocking grocery and gift items hailing from countries such as China, Greece, and Brazil to let shoppers bring their own piece of foreign flair home via unique spices, drinks, apparel, and incense.
The first thing you notice about River Rock Cafe Inc is the posters—a pastiche of classic rock paraphernalia covers the long, narrow dining-room walls, an ever-expanding testament to owner Greg Kimbrue’s twin passions for music and art. Greg—whose original career ambition was to be a high-school art teacher—spent years assembling the vast collage with concert posters from his personal collection. The hodgepodge aesthetic spills onto the pool tables, which are similarly shellacked, and influences the jukebox that fills the dining room and sidewalk patio with classic-rock melodies until 2 a.m. Though the interior is decidedly retro, the building itself hails from an even earlier era—1869. Greg has preserved the space’s old tin ceilings, white oak floors, and narrow room, which proves an ideal venue for DJs, dancing, and post-dinner chorus lines three nights a week. When it comes to the food though, Greg goes for timeless American; hearty steaks, ribs, and fried fish pair with a robust cocktail and beer menu.