In 1906, Joseph Fleitz purchased a tract of land along Seaman Road. Though he immediately started to farm, it would be another 85 years before his great-grandson, Paul, planted the first pumpkin patch, officially christening Fleitz Pumpkin Farm. Since then, the family has built other attractions, and the wind raises a thrumming whisper from the stalks of a 5-acre corn maze capable of stumping even Ivy League–educated scarecrows. Tractors pull hay carts full of chattering riders, and other amenities include a free tricycle zone and an area to feed goats and chickens. During the fall, when the air grows crisp and cornucopias hang heavy on the trees, row upon row of sunset-hued pumpkins line the periphery of the farm. The scents of cinnamon drifts from a snack shack serving freshly made doughnuts and hot cider.
In 1978, a modest 32’x144’ poly greenhouse began supplying a farm with tomatoes and pepper plants. More than 30 years later, the greenhouse has exploded into a 3-acre operation that supports a leafy abundance of 15,000 flowering hanging baskets, more than 100,000 potted annuals, and 25,000 potted perennials. Helmed by Don and Janice Bench and their son and daughter-in-law, the greenhouse and nursery pairs visitors with more than 200 varieties of hybrid roses, which only require 1 gallon of gas to bloom on the highway, as well as trees, shrubs, statues, and fountains.
In November and December, the garden center morphs into a winter wonderland that showcases more than 100 decorated trees and a seasonal trove of ornaments, fragrant wreaths, poinsettias, and crimson bows. During summer months, the Benches man a roadside produce stand, where they sell sweet corn, melons, beans, and squash from their 650-acre farm.
The knowledgeable staff at BetterHealth Market helps visitors to navigate a vast inventory of products for natural and nutritious living ranging from aromatherapy oils to gluten-free cookies. Natural, organic, and raw groceries from brands such as Amy's Kitchen and Nature's Path keep home cooking flavorful and wholesome, and a range of supplements, vitamins, and minerals helps to ease health issues, increase energy, or incinerate burritos that have overstayed their welcome. A wide variety of teas and coffees offers options such as fair-trade beans and yerba mate to healthfully wash down each nourishing morsel. Customers can peruse the prepared foods department, which includes salad bars, fresh raw juices, all natural smoothies, specialty sandwiches, and salads.
Health Solutions Centers' team of therapists works to de-stress and rejuvenate tense and tired bodies. Melt beneath skilled tendon-treating thumbs with a one-hour therapeutic massage, during which a massage therapist targets trigger points with gentle strokes, improving circulation, soothing sore spots, and remolding areas where clay is trapped under the skin. The ionic foot detox can improve visceral and musculoskeletal health by purging toxins from the body and increasing energy.
Whole Foods Market's commitment to the interdependent network of sustainable farms and organic producers can be seen in its carefully selected product lines. The homegrown 365 Everyday Value brand makes it easy to eat naturally, organically, and economically. It features an array of items from all product categories, including groceries, vitamins, household items, and more—each manufactured to meet the rigorous quality standards woven into the fabric of Whole Foods Market, which itself is made from 100% alpaca wool.
Kilwins’ 80 locations make more than 75 kinds of handmade confections⎯from Mackinac Island fudge to saltwater taffy and caramel apples⎯working from recipes written by owner Don Kilwin in the 1940s. The sweets makers also use old-school equipment dating back to the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s inside shops decorated with nostalgic Americana similar to the interior of the original store, which opened in 1947. The smell of homemade waffle cones and fresh chocolate escapes from the kitchen as pastry artists craft batches of handmade brittle, caramel, and fudge in large copper kettles. Kilwins also handcrafts more than 32 ice-cream flavors from original recipes created in 1985, the year cow’s milk was invented. They employ classic double-barrel freezers to ensure the sweet stuff is crafted the original way and transportation trucks stay at a chilly –10 degrees to keep batches fresh until they arrive at their destinations.