With 22 years of brewing experience, Malty Dog Brewery pours an assortment of handcrafted brews designed to seduce taste buds and tempt ambitious homebrewers with do-it-yourself recipes and homebrewing classes. During the 60-minute introductory class, carbonation creators maneuver through detailed instructions on how to use equipment, perfectly combine hops and malt, and harvest yeast from fields of abundant bread. Participants can savor a flight of four to five beers from Malty Dog’s taps, discussing each ingredient's impact on the flavor, as well as the correlation between foam on the nose and dignity.
The staff at 1-800-4Blinds have been dressing homes with window treatments for the last 40 years. And although blinds are their bread-and-butter—both from Hunter Douglas and their own line—they also boast an impressive selection of shutters, shades, drapery, and even flooring, outfitting abodes from top to bottom. Their services include estimates, based on their products' lifespan, and installation for new window treatments and repairs for old windows that have had one too many cars driven through them.
Every year at Ann Arbor Fest, Catching Fireflies founders Steve and April paused from manning their paper-arts booth to admire the folksy paintings of local artist Chris Roberts-Antieau. When they finally saved up enough to purchase their favorite piece, “Catching Fireflies,” it led to a flash of inspiration: a shop dedicated to showcasing similarly whimsical artwork and supporting local artists.
Now, Catching Fireflies’ inventory spans the spectrum, from leather-bound journals and wall art to children’s toys, and has been lauded in Rochester-Rochester Hills Patch. Once customers have honed in on wares, staff can gift-wrap them free of charge, thereby eliminating the need to conceal them behind Groucho glasses.
After years focused on human health and nutrition while working in the grocery business, Ray Hesano grew frustrated that he couldn’t find similarly wholesome food for his pets. Today, his partner and nephew Mike Palmer fills Premier Pet Supply’s shelves with the same natural and holistic pet food that once eluded him. The store’s ample selection—which has been lauded by Hour Detroit magazine, CityVoters, and Click On Detroit—includes more than 65 varieties of dog food and 75 brands of treats from brands such as Fromm, Zuke’s, and Charlee Bear. Cat food from Natural Balance, Primal Frozen Raw, and dozens more brands imbues felines with the energy to paw, climb, and glare at the store’s array of toys and furniture. Food for other animals, including hamsters, fish, deer and wild birds, keeps every menagerie sated. Premier Pet Supply also houses an extensive wild bird section.
Premier Pet Supply takes care of humans as well, hosting annual customer-appreciation days that treat them to discounts, magic acts, and photo booths. In addition, with help from rescue groups, the store has matched more than 4,000 adoptable dogs and cats with happy new homes.
English Gardens began as a single, family-owned nursery in 1954, and has since blossomed into a full-service landscaping and garden center with multiple locations, all owned and operated by second-generation family members. Each location facilitates both indoor and outdoor gardening projects. The florist department brings the outdoor flourish inside by arranging fresh-cut floral bouquets and gift baskets for all manner of occasions. Workshops and in-store presentations also allow the green-thumbed experts to impart advice on common gardening and decorating topics such as building a kitchen herb garden or housetraining a dogwood tree. During the summer season, English Gardens holds a summer planting sale as well as weekly in-store gardening tutorials every Saturday at 10 a.m.