2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 6 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
By Ingrid Sjostrand
Galloway & Collens From
OR 18 YEARS, T. SCOTT GALLOWAY AND HOWARD COLLENS HAVE BEEN RUNNING THEIR LAW PRACTICE TOGETHER, serving the Metro Detroit community both legally and philanthropically. But their professional and personal relationship goes back much further. “Howard and I first met working for the UAW International Union during law school, then worked together at the UAW Legal Services Plan,” Galloway said. “We’ve worked together our entire professional careers!” When they decided to start their own practice in 2003, they knew two things: Both wanted to work closer to home and directly impact their local community, and they wouldn’t be able to bring any clients from their former jobs. “It was a little bit dicey. We had two attorneys, three computers and no clients when we opened. We’ve done nothing but build since,” Collens said. “And we really have been fortunate to be active members of the community the entire time.”
Located at 26075 Woodward Ave. in Huntington Woods, Galloway and Collens PLLC is a boutique firm dealing with a variety of issues that affect everyone living in Metro Detroit. Galloway’s practice focuses on real estate law.
BIG PART OF WHAT WE DO IS COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONAL WORK. We’ve been involved in transactions with and represented some of the biggest names in Detroit sports and entertainment,” he said. “Another interesting niche is working with houses of worship as they look to sell large buildings and plots of land. We also represent real estate brokerages and property management companies.” Collens, on the other side of the practice, handles matters surrounding estate law. “My practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration and elder law. Estate planning involves preparing wills, trusts and financial and medical powers of attorney,” Collens said. “The reality is that everyone will die eventually and some of us will become incapacitated, but you won’t necessarily know that this will be your lot. We help anticipate some of those situations, and help our clients reflect on what’s important to them to make sure their wishes are carried out as they hope.” It might be hard to see how those two worlds tie together, but the practices intersect quite often. “There’s good overlap in our practice – you could imagine a situation where someone dies and has real estate they need to sell. We can help coordinate between both parties of our practice to make that happen more smoothly and efficiently,” Collens said. “A lot of probate issues also touch on real estate. Someone tries to sell a house only to find out there was an interest that didn’t get resolved and needs to have an estate opened.”
community and to support the institutions that make our community what it is.” “The best part of being in the community is being able to integrate our personal and professional lives to serve neighbors,” Galloway added. “Howard and I are very committed to making Berkley and Huntington Woods an even better place to live than it already is, and we are always looking for ways to lend support.” n
HE LAST TWO YEARS, WITH THE PANDEMIC AND ALL ITS WEIGHT, have been eye-opening to how rapidly things can change and how quickly loss can come. This was something Collens specifically dealt with in his specialty. “The pandemic has been a tragic time and we see it directly, either dealing with people who have died of COVID or families that have suffered a loss,” he said. “People are more wellattuned with death, and dying in ways because of the pandemic and that means people are more inclined to do planning because they see the realities of what it means not to plan.” While nothing can ease the grief of loss, preparedness can lighten that burden. Much like their law firm helps people in many difficult situations, Galloway and Collens are also dedicated to making a personal, community impact in Huntington Woods and Berkley. “We’re locally-based. A lot of our clientele are people that we live near and we’re really grateful for that,” Collens said. “We’ve always felt it’s important to get involved in our 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 11 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 12 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
By Ingrid Sjostrand
MORE THAN JUST A BANK... A COMMUNITY ASSET. 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 14 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
win two $25 gift cards to a local restaurant, one for the winner and one to pay forward to someone else,” Davis said. While sponsoring city events and supporting local businesses are essential to community growth, for MSUFCU it all comes back to helping residents of Berkley reach their financial goals. As a credit union, they’re able to offer many low- or no-fee services, low loan rates and competitive saving rates by returning their earnings to their members. “Our mission is to help employees and members achieve their financial goals, and ultimately their dreams,” Davis said. “We believe it’s our responsibility to protect and improve the financial health of the communities we serve.”
M “There are certain transactions people feel more comfortable completing in person when they’re able to meet with someone face-to-face who is an expert in that area,” said Deidre Davis, MSUFCU Chief Marketing Officer. “That’s the value our employees bring each and every day to every community we are in.” Maybe the importance of that value comes from their roots. MSUFCU was founded in 1937 during the Great Depression, to help their members borrow and save. It has since grown to include 22 Michigan branches and over 315,000 members worldwide. The Berkley branch, located at 1833 Coolidge Hwy, opened in November 2019 and is one of their dualbranded locations with Oakland University Credit Union, a trade name of MSUFCU. “Our selection of Berkley as a credit union location was part of our plan to continue our expansion in Oakland County,” Davis said. “At the time, MSUFCU was serving over 16,500 members who lived within ten miles of the branch. Today, we have 19,705 members who live within ten miles of the branch, and more than 42,038 members who live in Oakland County.”
BUILD A BRANCH IN ND THEY DIDN’T BERKLEY. MSUFCU became actively integrated into the local community. They’ve sponsored many city events, including CruiseFest and the Berkley Street Art Fair, and regularly make donations to area organizations, such as the Norup International School Dance FitChallenge, Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park and Lighting the Way with Detroit Cristo Rey High School. The COVID-19 pandemic only increased MSUFCU’s commitment to the communities they serve and efforts to help local area businesses. In 2020, they introduced a “Back-toBusiness” loan program and launched #MSUFCUEatsLocal, a social media campaign, which highlighted local restaurants and rewarded residents for supporting them. “Members and employees were encouraged to order local takeout or delivery for a chance to 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 15 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
SUFCU ALSO OFFERS A VARIETY OF FINANCIAL EDUCATION RESOURCES including a podcast Wallet Watch, financial education events with topics for every age, and how-to videos on their products and services. “Berkley is a vibrant and active community that we are honored to be a part of, and we look forward to future partnerships and supporting the success of community members,” Davis said.
Membership isn’t limited to Michigan State University or Oakland University students and faculty, there are a variety of ways to become an MSUFCU member. To learn more, visit msufcu.org/whocanjoin. n MSUFCU | 1833 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley MI 48072 (800) 678-4968 Katie Searl, firstname.lastname@example.org Danielle Deneau, email@example.com Jeff Skeans, Jeff.firstname.lastname@example.org
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2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 19 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
Being a Good Banker Means Caring About People
By Lisa Howard
ANKS AND BANKERS SOME-TIMES HAVE A REPUTATION FOR BEING STUFFY, but Tamara Powell, manager of the Berkley branch of Vibe Credit Union, is the opposite. So is the branch itself. Her 20-year anniversary of working at Vibe is just around the corner, and she’s been the manager for the past 12 years. One of her main jobs, she says, is to be the face of Vibe; to get out into the community and meet people. That’s why she also joined the Berkley Area Chamber and loves to volunteer at events around town like the annual Berkley Street Art Fest and the Berkley Art Bash. “Being in Berkley is like being in a big city in a small town – everyone knows everyone,” Powell says. “The average person I meet who lives here has either lived here for 30 years or they were raised here and then moved away and now they’re back in the community with their new family. I feel like no one leaves Berkley.” That kind of neighborly connection makes it all-the-more enjoyable to net-work within her roles as both a credit union manager and a Chamber member. Perhaps not surprisingly, she’s also the Treasurer of the Chamber.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
AMARA AND HER FAMILY ARE ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY IN MANY WAYS. Tthem Her kids attend Berkley schools and played for Berkley sports teams, among the Berkley Steelers and Bears. The kids work in the community too. In other words, everyone in the family stays plenty busy, and Tamara’s days are full with work and family life. Powell says life at the credit union keeps getting busier too, especially now that the renovations are complete. The branch got a complete overhaul starting in the Winter of 2020 and finishing in the Summer of 2021, even shutting down the drivethru services for about two months while the parking lot was redone. But now business is running at full tilt, with a record number of loans issued and a thriving membership. Ever since Vibe merged with Oakland County Credit Union – which doubled the number of Vibe branches – more and more people have been coming in to find out about the credit union’s services.
Y FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING THE MANAGER IS THE PEOPLE,” Powell says. “I love meeting the new members and helping the existing ones. And I have a great team here, which makes my job easy. Every-one at the branch understands the import-ance of providing excellent member service. We get referrals because our members brag about how well they’re treated.” Some of the employees whom she originally hired are still there eight years later, a testa-ment to the branch being a great place to work. In addition to Powell volunteering at Chamber events, the branch also sponsors community initiatives like the Berkley Public Library’s summer reading program. As Powell points out, being a financial institution doesn’t mean being standoff-ish – rather, it means being at the heart of the community. n 3082 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley, MI 48072 | 248.735.9500 | www.vibecreditunion.com 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 21 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
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IVE YEARS AGO, WE OFFICIALLY OPENED OUR
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2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 23 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
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By Ingrid Sjostrand
of Eagle Rock Insurance OM BYARS HAS SPENT HIS CAREER WORKING TO PROTECT HIS NEIGHBORS IN BERKLEY and the surrounding Metro Detroit communities – but maybe not in the way you would think. Byars is president and owner of Eagle Rock Insurance, and for the last 24 years he’s been ensuring residents have protection from natural disaster, accidents and the unexpected in life. “We take the time to get to know you, and that way we can figure out those specific situations that we need to apply insurance remedies to,” he said. “That’s the basis of our being. We’re just an old-school neighborhood agency.” Byars has lived in Berkley since 1998 and to him that means more than just residing and working here. He acted on the Board of Directors for the Berkley Chamber of Commerce for eight years and currently sits on the Board of Review. Byars is also dedicated to Eagle Rock contributing to the community, too. “We’ve supported the Berkley Education Foundation for years, participated in golf outings. One of our employees, Rebecca Theriault, is in the Junior Women’s Club,” CONTINUED ON PAGE 34
Berkley’s Community Insurance Advocate
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 38
he said. “We’re certainly invested in the community. We volunteer on various projects and boards and it’s important for us to give back.”
YARS BELIEVES BEING INVESTED IN THE COMMUNITY also brings insight to his business and allows him and his team to better serve residents. “There are certain types of losses that are very frequent in this area. Water backup is a big one. I would never sell a homeowners policy without a water backup coverage because it’s not ‘IF it’s going to happen to you,’ but rather ‘WHEN it’s going to happen’ here in Berkley and Huntington Woods,” he said. “We have the advantage over someone who isn’t necessarily local, a call-center somewhere basing your policy solely on price.” Eagle Rock provides auto, business, home, life, flood and motorcycle insurance, as well as wealth management services. They are an independent insurance provider representing multiple carriers, including Progressive, Auto-Owners and six others, which to Byars, is another benefit to his clients. “We have the advantage over a provider that only has one carrier and – not to denigrate those – it’s just a different way to get the product out to market,” he said. “I’m not employed by any of my companies, I’m representing my client. So it gives me a little more flexibility in finding a good insurance solution for them.”
HERE ARE FOUR EMPLOYEES AT EAGLE ROCK, including Byars. All are licensed, accredited, and take regular classes, which Byars feels is important to provide the best for clients. “That’s what we strive for, we make sure we position ourselves as professionals in our client’s toolkit. But this is not a high-pressure sales environment, a few moments of your time could save you a lot of heartache down the road,” he said. “Pick up the phone and call us, it’s always the same people. We know about your kids, your dogs, your pets – it’s that level of familiarity that also helps us place our coverage correctly.” n Eagle Rock Insurance | firstname.lastname@example.org (248) 548-5530 1904 W Eleven Mile Rd, Berkley MI 48072
2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 34 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
People Are The Heart Of Realty EAL ESTATE INVOLVES A LOT MORE THAN SHOWING HOUSES, realtor Tim Murad points out – it’s a “relationships” business. On average, he works with clients for three to six months depending on how long it takes for them to find their dream home, do the closing, and move in. “In almost four years of being a full-time Keller Williams realtor, I’ve made so many friends! Because that’s what my clients become,” he says. Whether their clients are buying or selling, realtors need to work closely with them to understand their wants and needs and how those factors fit in with the current market.
T’S FAIR TO SAY THAT BEING A REALTOR THESE DAYS IS COMPLICATED! But that hasn’t dimmed Tim’s appreciation of real estate. As a kid, he loved drawing houses and buildings, an obsession that led him to become an architect. His work at an architecture firm eventually took him to the IT department, where he stayed for many years. Ultimately, though, he wanted to get back to working with people, so he combined that with his architectural experience and became a realtor. “I can look at homes and help guide people to decide if they want to do renovations or additions,” he says, “and I can take what the inspector is trying to explain and put it in layperson terms for the buyer.” Along with understanding the nuts and bolts of a home, over the years, he’s also acquired expertise in how cities interact with their residents; he has served on several City boards, including the Berkley Planning Commission, the Berkley Downtown Development Authority, and the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce. As a longtime Berkley resident, he was also the chair of the committee that worked on the Berkley Public Library renovations back in 1998. Despite having a strong Berkley base, Tim works with clients all over Metro Detroit. Still, he isn’t shy about his feelings regarding our city. “From a real estate standpoint, Berkley is one of the most desirable cities in this area right now,” he says. “I’ve always said to people that it feels like you’re in a small town in the middle of a big city. Everybody knows everybody and is welcoming, yet you’re minutes away from big art museums, sports teams, concert venues, you name it. It’s a great place to live and to raise a family.” n Tim Murad Realty | 423 S Washington Ave., Royal Oak, MI 48067 | (248) 288-3500 https://tjmurad.kw.com | Tim@TimMurad.com
By Lisa Howard
Last year was a particularly challenging time for anyone involved in real estate given that the traditional timeframe for selling homes was pushed back several months. “March and April are typically the hottest selling months because families want to move over the summer and be settled in before school starts, but that hot streak didn’t get started until midsummer of 2020. Now we’re seeing more of the traditional market,” Tim explains. He anticipates the market to remain competitive, though, with sellers typically receiving multiple offers over their asking price they price it right. “If you over-price a house, it’ll sit on the market forever even if the market is hot,” he warns. “Sometimes home-owners have a vision in their head of what they think their house is worth, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect the state of the market.” Another factor in the upward trajectory of selling prices has been a shortage of new housing. Ever since the recession in the late 2000s led to fewer new homes being built, construction has not gone back to prerecession levels. That puts more demand on existing houses. The trend was starting to reverse…and then the pandemic hit. Construction costs, in particular, have gone up in terms of both materials and labor. “And on top of that, the pandemic also changed where people want to live,” Tim says. “Because a lot of people can now work remotely, they no longer have to live so close to their place of employment.”
2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 37 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
OR 22 YEARS, SHANBOM EYE SPECIALISTS HAS BEEN HELPING RESIDENTS OF BERKLEY and the Metro Detroit area see clearly. Led by Dr. Steven A.
Shanbom and Dr. Amanda Salter, the practice specializes in cataracts and Lasik, but also offers a myriad of other eye care services.
Dr. Salter joined Shanbom Eye Specialists in 2021. Her specialties complement the practice, and she has even introduced some new procedures to their offerings. “She is a native Detroiter who attended the University of Michigan before studies at NYU and the prestigious Brown University,” Shanbom said. “In addition to excellence in cataract surgery, Dr. Salter has a special interest in treating dry eyes. She has also added cosmetic treatments, such as Botox and fillers to the practice.” Located at 28747 Woodward Ave., the building itself is a vision in architecture. Shanbom moved his practice into the arched, landscaped structure right off M-1 in 1999.
“Our practice has been a center of excellence in cataract and Lasik surgery for over 30 years. We have extensive experience with premium implant lenses to minimize the need for glasses after surgery,” Shanbom said. “We also see patients for glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration, dry eyes and routine medical eye care.” For individuals wanting to know how to better care for their eyes, he recommends getting a vision exam every year and said there are certain signs of cataracts and dry eye to look out for. “The annual exam will screen for glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration,” Shanbom said. “Symptoms of cataracts are glare and halo – especially with night driving. Difficulty seeing far distance or reading are also common. Dry eye symptoms include the eyes feeling heavy, tired, and sandy with fluctuations in vision. Ironically, watery eyes can be a sign of dryness.”
OARD-CERTIFIED IN BOTH OPHTHALMOLOGY AND INTERNAL MEDICINE, Shanbom attended Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed residencies at Detroit’s Sinai Hospital. As a patient of his own Lasik surgery in 1999, he still maintains perfect vision without glasses and is an advocate for the procedure. He has performed more than 30,000 corrective eye procedures.
“We purchased the practice from Dr. Spiro, who built our impressive building on Woodward in 1985” he said of the space. “We also added a state-of-theart ambulatory surgery center on the lower level of our building where we perform our cataract and cosmetic procedures. This is a convenience for the patients and allows them to avoid the hospital.”
UILDING THEIR PRACTICE OUT TO ALLOW FOR IN-OFFICE PROCEDURES is one way that Shanbom Eye is always working to make vision care convenient and comfortable for their patients. But they also work hard to make life easier for their Berkley neighbors. One way they do that is through involvement in the Berkley Chamber of Commerce. “We love being a part of the Berkley community and have supported Berkley high school events and sponsored the Dream Cruise. We’ve also sponsored many senior programs and have been involved with the Lion’s Club.” Shanbom said. “The Shanbom Eye Specialist family is proud to serve the Berkley community for their eye care needs.” n For more information or to schedule an eye-care appointment, call 248.546.2133 or visit shanbomeye.com
Shanbom EYE SPECIALISTS
A VISION FOR THE BERKLEY COMMUNITY 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 38 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
By Ingrid Sjostrand
2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 39 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
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ERKLEY PARKS & RECREATION TAKES PRIDE IN BEING A SMALL BUT MIGHTY DIVISION in a vibrant and active city. Berkley is home to nine parks (seven of which fall under Parks & Recreation’s supervision), eight baseball fields, ten tennis courts, and a Community Center.
The Department consists of five full-time staff and a number of part-time staff who work within the Community Center, our outdoor maintenance team, summer day camp, and senior transportation. Staff also partner with community groups, youth league sports organizations, and many others to offer a variety of recreation services including over 100 youth, adult, and senior programs and activities throughout the year. Following the community's 2021-2025 Recreation Master Plan, Parks & Recreation is working to implement and update new play equipment, improve seating and picnic facilities, increase accessibility in parks and open spaces and increase more shade and trees within the parks.
By Torri Matthes
Berkley Parks & Recreation 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 42 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
Over the past year, the Parks & Recreation Department eagerly held a park-naming contest and grand opening for Berkley's new Oxford Park that contains a new restroom facility, walking paths, new play equipment, and splash pad which opened in June 2021.
Additionally, the Department installed a new play structure and play equipment at the Tot Lot Park in Spring 2021, and a new play structure will be coming to the Community Park in Fall 2021.
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The Berkley Parks & Recreation Department works because of our dedicated staff and wonderful volunteers who all love Berkley and come together to provide great experiences for the residents and those in surrounding communities. n
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2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 51 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
By Jenn Goeddeke
Mongers Provisions OUNDED IN 2017 BY ZACH BERG AND WILL WARNER, MONGERS’ PROVISIONS has consistently surprised and pleased their customers with specialty food from both here and abroad.
It’s clear that Berg and Warner have a stong passion and enthusiasm for selling hard-to-find delicacies. After meeting in summer camp at age ten, the business partners formed a solid friendship before forging ahead many years later with their joint goal of forming a “store with a story.” Berg emphasized that Mongers' Provisions is designed to give their customers an experience of “going on a trip while you’re still at home!” This includes being highly detail-oriented and familiar with the background of all items sold. Although the focus is on cheese, craft chocolate and charcuterie, there are many other items on offer, along with wine (selected to pair up with food items), beer, and non-alcoholic beverages. Additionally, Berg and Warner feature a pantry section with various spices, sauces, chutneys, plus heirloom beans and grains. Both owners started out smart: They spent a couple of years trying out different locations in the form of “pop-ups” in order to gauge customer responses and preferences. Next, they set up for one year at a butcher shop in Ferndale, before opening their own Detroit locale in 2018 (at the Cass-and-Canfield area of Midtown). Part of their decision to establish a retail location in that particular area, Berg explained, is because “Detroit deserves world-class amenities!” No other store like Mongers was available for customers to enjoy, and this initial location has been going strong ever since.
After establishing themselves in Detroit for three years, Berg and Warner expanded their business operations, opening their Berkley store (at Griffith and 12 Mile) just prior to Thanksgiving 2021. At 2,800 square feet, the Berkley location is three times larger than the space in Detroit. Berg added that it's easier now to organize all store shipments, and there is plenty of retail space. It features a 12 foot deli case full of food from around the world, and a whole wall of craft chocolates.
P UNTIL THE TIME OF THE COVID19 PANDEMIC IN MARCH 2020, Mongers' Provisions catered many events, such as wed-dings. However, most of those group events are now canceled. Berg said, “We had to learn to pivot and stay on our toes!” So the E-commerce aspect of their business really took off around that time. For example, they began offering online virtual tastings, where items are ordered and shipped in advance to a specific group of people. Then the group can schedule a meet (via Zoom) to experience food and drinks together! As a sweet perk to being a Certified Cheese Professional, Berg just won an exciting trip at the beginning of January, an allexpenses paid scholarship awarded through the Comté Association (Comté is a cheese from the Jura region of France). He will spend five days this coming July in France, on a press tour which will include
traveling throughout the Jura and seeing the entire process, from fields, to the cheese- making, and finally through the caves where they are aged. Meanwhile, the retail aspect of Mongers' Provisions continues to thrive. Both owners are focused on strengthening their brand through both locations.
ERG AND WARNER STAY INVOLVED WITH LOCAL CHARITABLE EVENTS and worthy causes through donations of items and gift cards. Their efforts have been noticed by local media over the years, and their many favorable online reviews show they're popular with customers. Berg complimented his customers and neighbors at both locales, saying everyone has been, “so welcoming and incredibly warm.” He also added that foot traffic at their Berkley location has been “shocking!” Mongers’ Provisions continues add new, appealing items at each store, and they also accept suggestions or special requests. In this interactive and friendly way, they keep their loyal customers coming back, and continue to attract more. Mongers' Provisions currently has two locations: Detroit (4240 Cass Ave, #111) and Berkley (3127 W.12 Mile Rd.) Plenty of free parking is available to the rear of the Berkley location. Free shipping is offered within Michigan for any online order over $70. Masks are required for all guests. n 313.651.7119 or 248.468.4487 | www.Mongersprovisions.com www.facebook.com/mongersprovisions www.instagram.com/mongersprovisions 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 53 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
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Turning Challenges Into Opportunities, One Bite At A Time
F THE LAST TWO YEARS HAVE TAUGHT US ANYTHING, it’s that we need to find silver linings wherever we can, go with the flow and roll with the punches. Oh, and it helps if we’re eating good food while doing all of that!
By Lisa Howard
Katie Kutscher, who co-owns Berkley Common with her sister Christine Gross, has become an expert in finding innovative, positive ways to run a restaurant through some pretty turbulent times.
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“It’s been a roller-coaster of fun ideas and upsand-downs,” Katie says. “We’ve really tried to capitalize on where people are in their lives and market to them in different ways, whether that’s offering take-out family dinners or getting an outdoor dining area up-and-running when people couldn’t eat inside restaurants. When the shutdown happened, we also partnered with a PR firm and raised $15,000 for restaurant workers in Berkley.” Being nimble has meant that Berkley Common has been able to keep offering their perennially popular items – the Korean BBQ cauliflower wings with kimchee and sticky rice, the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, the BC burger – even while creating new dishes and dining experiences. CONTINUED ON PAGE 60
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During the summer months, the restaurant hosts its outdoor Uncommon Beach Bar & Bungalow, featuring tiki drinks and summer fare like oysters and lobster rolls. When the weather turns chilly, the Uncommon Lodge & Igloo winter dining program kicks into gear, providing space for up to six diners in each igloo and a menu of hearty, warming dishes.
HE SPACIOUS OUTDOOR AREA IS WHY THE RESTAURANT saw so many diners come from an hour or more away last winter. Berkley Common was one of the few restaurants with outdoor dining capacity. “Regardless of the pandemic, people want more outdoor spaces,” Katie says. “Whether Covid pushed us along or not – and I believe it did – it’s just good business to have
more visual aspects in a city, and that includes outdoor dining spaces. It makes for a more vibrant city.” She points out that Berkley’s master plan has always included a vision of robust outdoor public spaces. The idea has recently gained momentum, with the City, Schools and Downtown Development Authority teaming up to put in a plaza near the corner of Coolidge and Catalpa. Now Katie is working with the City to create a pocket park on Twelve Mile to allow people to visit restaurants and retail establishments and then enjoy their purchases in an outdoor park setting. Along with continuing to emphasize their outdoor seating, Katie and Chris have plans to open a high-end weekend cocktail bar upstairs in what’s currently the private event space.
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BIG SILVER LINING FOR BERKLEY COMMON HAS BEEN THAT THE RESTAURANT was able to attract top talent after so many other establishments had to completely close for a good chunk of 2020. The bartenders who came to work at Berkley Common have an impressive knowledge of craft cocktails, Katie says, and she wanted to find a way to showcase those skills. She’s been able to reopen the event space, too, albeit with much smaller groups than before. And, even though she has fewer seats in the main dining area, the restaurant’s total seating capacity has actually increased thanks to their outdoor tables. “We’ve had to be pretty creative throughout the pandemic and look at the opportunities,” Katie says. “What’s different? How has the landscape changed, and how can we change and grow with it? We want to capitalize on the momentum of the positive things that have happened.” As many satisfied BC diners would tell you, the restaurant has done just that. n Berkley Common | 3087 Twelve Mile, Berkley MI 48072 248.677.0795 | http://berkleycommon.com email@example.com
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ONGTIME BERKLEY RESIDENTS FONDLY REMEMBER AMICI’S PIZZA & LIVING ROOM…and they might not even know that the restaurant ever closed. That’s because the restaurant only shut its doors for one day: January 1, 2020. On January 2, 2020, they reopened under new ownership as Amici’s Kitchen & Living Room. Tim and Laura Kenrick had been regulars at Amici’s for years – their favorite was the artichoke pizza – and when Tim decided to rethink his career in corporate restaurants, serendipity and googling “restaurants for sale in Berkley” led to buying Amici’s. “It was pretty much a love connection right from the start,” Tim says. “After over 20 years of working in corporate restaurants in this market, I wanted to get back into authentic hospitality. Owning this business allows me to do what got me into this industry in the first place.” Of course, opening a restaurant in January of 2020 turned out to be an even bigger challenge than the couple had ever anticipated, when they had to revert to curbside-only service after just ten weeks. Tim, Laura and their staff spent the first six months in a hold-steady mode – or, what Tim refers to as “no hard-lefts and no hard-rights.”
and bar. They also added heaters to the patio before winter hit, which led to parkaclad guests enjoying their dinners amidst a snowy landscape.
N 2021, MENU CHANGES ARRIVED in the form of appetizers, Michigan beers on draft and new “Tim’s favorites” pizzas. (Don’t worry – the classic pizzas are still on the menu, plus you can still build your own pie.) Laura now makes Amici’s sole dessert: double-chocolate chip cookies. Not surprisingly, they sell out nearly every night. Tim and Laura have added more cocktails to the roster, too, including seasonal drinks like the wintery Brown Sugar Cinn made with house-cinnamoninfused reposado tequila, Grand Marnier and lemon juice. While diners will still find plenty of martinis on the menu, the martinis now share the spotlight with margaritas, especially in the summer months when everyone wants fruity and spicy flavors like mango-habanero and strawberry-mint.
Sometimes A Whim Becomes A Restaurant.
Gradually, they started making changes here and there, like scrapping paper plates in favor of standard plates and silverware, and renovating the sound system, interior lighting
One key to the continued success of Amici’s, Tim says, is the staff. Due to the ownership transfer only taking a single day, he and Laura didn’t have to lay anybody off. Also, having worked in the corporate restaurant industry for so long, Tim already had established relationships with hospitality professionals. “Our success is 100 percent due to the staff we’ve been able to keep and cultivate,” he says. “Not being short-staffed right now is an absolute anomaly.” That said, they’ll be closed on Sundays during the winter months to avoid putting too much pressure on their loyal staff. Martini Sundays will become $7 Martini Mondays, followed by $4 Michigan craft beers on Tuesdays, half-off bottles of wine and sangrias on Wednesdays and Thirsty Thursdays with specialty cocktails on offer.
HROUGHOUT THE RESTAURANT’S EVOLUTION, Tim says he’s loved finally owning his own restaurant. And for her part, Laura is just as much a part of the action – Tim calls her the “morale booster and restaurant mom,” roles that she fulfills along with baking the sought-after cookies and being in charge of dough production for both the sourdough-fermented dough and the gluten-free dough. “She’s the brakes and I’m the gas,” is how Tim describes their relationship. “We’ve been married for 28 years – she knows me better than I know myself. It’s a great partnership.” All of the pizza lovers in Berkley would raise a slice to that! n
By Lisa Howard
Amici’s Kitchen & Living Room 3249 Twelve Mile Rd, Berkley MI 48072 248.544.4100 www.amiciskitchenandlivingroom.com
S THE POPULARITY OF THE TV SHOW AMPLY illustrated, sometimes you just want to go where everybody knows your name. And sometimes you really want pizza.
breakfast service starting in 2022. Crispelli’s will also be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2022, a milestone Hitchcock looks forward to. Some new items will be popping up on the bakery and breakfast menus (cherry croissants, anyone?) even as the restaurant continues its tradition of making its pizza dough from scratch every day and letting it ferment for several days to create a richer flavor.
These Neighborhood Pizza Pies Are Definitely Amore.
Those two desires dovetail in the form of Crispelli’s, where Manager Eric Hitchcock says he’s never worked at a restaurant with so many regulars before. Coming from a guy who has spent literally half his life in the restaurant business, that’s saying something. “We have so many regulars that sometimes I feel like I spend my entire day sitting down and chatting with customers,” Eric says. “It feels like family coming in to visit. Some people have been here since Day One, some come in once or twice a week every week and some people make Fridays or Saturdays their regular pizza night. When they come in, you get excited to see them.” That level of loyalty kept Crispelli’s humming even when they suddenly had to switch to curbside-only in the spring of 2020. While that service model presented a host of challenges, Eric jokes that he felt like he had created the first drive-thru pizza place because so many people rolled up to grab pizzas. “People were very understanding and receptive,” he says. “Even though the dining conditions and carryout conditions may not have been the best when the pandemic first hit, customers kept coming back because they’re fans of our food and fans of our hospitality.” He says the positive community in Berkley has made Crispelli’s his favorite place to work. The restaurant continues to shift with the times. The bakery area was recently renovated, and the plan is to be open for
“We don’t buy a lot of processed stuff,” he explains. “We get vegetables six days a week and we hand-slice and make everything here. It costs more in labor and hours, but being able to offer great gourmet food at an affordable price makes our efforts worth it.”
HAT DEDICATION TO PUTTING FOOD AND customers first probably explains why the Berkley Crispelli’s is the busiest of all of the locations. They also have restaurants in West Bloomfield, Clarkston, and Troy, plus there’s a Crispelli’s Bakery in Royal Oak. And then there’s the Crispelli’s food truck, which roams Metro Detroit and dishes up their signature pizzas at events like the Berkley Street Art Fest. All of that plus donating to local teams, organizations, and causes is part of Crispelli’s commitment to being a vibrant part of the community. Along with updating the interior of the restaurant, Crispelli’s equipped its two patios with heaters last year, making it possible for diners to enjoy the great outdoors pretty much year-round. Carryouts are still in demand, too, and the Club Room continues to be a go-to venue for hosting private events like birthdays and rehearsal dinners. “It’s great being part of moments like that in people’s lives,” Eric says. “We know we wouldn’t be here without our customers, and we love to put our best face forward and take care of them.” n
By Lisa Howard
Crispelli’s Bakery & Pizzeria | 28939 Woodward Ave., Berkley MI 48072 248.591.3300 I www.crispellis.com
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Mimobilepetcare.com 888-312-Pets (7387)
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Sera credits much of the past 27 years of successful business to his employees. Two of his delivery drivers, Kyle Kleckner and Lester Jones, have been working at his Jet’s basically since the beginning, employees for over 25 years.
By Ingrid Sjostrand Photos ©2021 by Bill Gemmell
“They both are staples of our fast delivery service,” he said. “My general manager, Matt MacDonald, has been with me for over 19 years and has been incredible, especially during the pandemic. All of his brothers and his sister have each worked here at one time or another, too.”
ERA’S OWN FAMILY HAVE ALSO BEEN AN ASSET TO THE BERKLEY JET’S SUCCESS; having helped keep the store staffed when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height. “On many occasions, I had Christine, my son Ryan and my daughter Alexandria all working on the same shifts to get through the dinner rushes,” he said. “Having my family all working together during the pandemic was a great feeling.” Despite the positive family-bonding opportunities, much like other businesses, the past two years haven’t always been easy for Sera and Jet’s Pizza.
Jet’s Pizza Serving Pizza to Berkley for 27 Years
“The pandemic has really been hard on our work staff. Working with masks and gloves next to a 500-degree oven was challenging,” Sera said. “We have been fortunate with sales but have struggled to have a workforce to support the sales.” Sera also owns the Southfield Jet’s location at 30120 Southfield Rd., just north of 12 Mile Rd. For anyone who loves pizza and wants to work in a supportive, family-oriented environment, Sera encourages them to join his team. “We are hiring! Full time, part-time, inside or delivery,” he said. “Apply within!” n Roy Sera; firstname.lastname@example.org | 2823 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley, MI 48072 jetspizza.com | (248) 547-9880 *Pizza statistics from AltoHartley.com & Statista.com
HERE ARE MORE THAN 78,000 PIZZA RESTAURANTS IN THE U.S., and in 2019 Michigan had the eighth most in the country with 2,718 pizzerias. With those numbers, it should come as no surprise that on any night of the week an average of one-in-eight Americans is eating pizza.* Roy Sera, and his wife Christine, wanted to help feed that pizza craving in the Berkley community, so they opened their Jet’s franchise location in 1994 at 2823 Coolidge Hwy. The Jet’s Pizza brand alone has over 400 locations throughout the U.S., but Sera likes to think his employees, their dedication, and the residents of Berkley they serve make his restaurant stand out from the rest. “I chose the location in Berkley because my brother-in-law had a location in Madison Heights and Berkley happened to be just outside of his territory,” Sera said. “I am so glad I went west of his store and settled in Berkley. It has been a wonderful experience because of the people, the residents.” It probably comes as no surprise that the most popular item on the menu is the classic large, square, cheese-and-pepperoni. But even as a franchise, Sera says there are menu items that are lesser known. “We have two kinds of pepperoni: the normal pepperoni and an old-fashioned pepperoni that cups up,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know we have them, but once they do they normally order them again.” 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 70 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
26236 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak MI 48067 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 71 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
REEN LANTERN PIZZA BEGAN IN 1955 WHEN THOMAS AND IRENE VETTRAINO PURCHASED AN OLD FARMHOUSE featuring a green lantern outside. The folklore story goes that the green lantern was a sign during times of Prohibition that alcohol could be purchased in the establishment. The Vettrainos developed a signature recipe for pizza that has remained in the family to this day, through their daughter, Marlene, and their sonin-law, Pete Rodriguez. Rodriguez left his position in healthcare management seven years ago to work as a key part of the family business. In order to establish Green Lantern in Berkey, there was a complete renovation of their space at 4033 on 12 Mile Road (previously Sila's Italian Dining & Pizza). Only the exterior walls were kept intact. Many windows were added for extra light, and a high, visible bar was created.
round pizza, and the deep-dish pizza. Green Lanternstaff pride themselves on using only high-end ingredients and prepping items themselves. For example, they slice their own pepperoni, which Rodriguez added is unusual within the industry. He believes this makes a big difference in how their pizzas taste. Regarding business growth and success, they are scaling up rapidly. The Berkley locale is the seventh new location in the space of a decade, with two more locales due to open later this year. While Berkley is the third full-service pizzeria (with bar & dining room), the two new locales will be delivery/carry-out only.
Serving Their Family-Recipe Pizza Since 1955.
The location opened in early February 2020, a few weeks prior to the Covid19 Pandemic restrictions. This was not an easy time to launch a new location, but Green Lantern had a well-known name and a good reputation. They were able to thrive by fulfilling plenty of carry-out orders. Rodriguez mentioned that the pandemic has really been their main challenge since opening, and it created some shortages of staffing at times. But he emphasized that they have been very resilient and retain a great working team.
Rodriguez described the Berkley community as a "great fit" for Green Lantern and is 100% happy that they made the decision to open at this location. n
4033 W. 12 Mile Rd, Berkley | 248.951.9292. Mon-Thurs 11:00 A.M.-11:00 P.M.; Fri & Sat, 11:00 A.M.-Midnight; Sun Noon-11:00 P.M. www.greenlanternpizza.com | www.facebook.com/Green-Lantern-Pizza
ODRIGUEZ DESCRIBES HIS CUSTOMERS being from “all walks of life, all ages, and all professions! We are more of a people business than simply a pizza business. Our focus is on family and it’s great to see everybody interacting.” The Berkley locale is an appealing gathering place; it has a spacious dining area, and a 16-tap bar. It also features a large patio. They offer a full menu of items, including appetizers, subs, salads, sandwiches and sides. Naturally their pizzas are the number one choice, with particularly outstanding reviews for the
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arm Winter wearables. Hats, jackets, felted items. 23426 Woodward, btn 9 & 10 Mile, Ferndale | Open Th-Fr-Sa 1-5 PM
CURVIE’S Hats, Etc.
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By Jenn Goeddeke
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jenna on how she and her husband, Jeff, came to own a Pinspiration Studio. Both Jeff and Jenna Hance led hard-working professional lives in corporate America. Jeff traveled extensively as a consultant in the health industry, and Jenna was involved in human relations and also career-coaching. To open this DIY-style, creative studio in Jenna's hometown of Berkley was really a dream come true for them both. The concept evolved for Hance while working on her master's degree as a career coach, with a focus on teens. When framing the question, “what would you most like to do?” Hance immediately thought of a crafting business and began to realize that running Pinspiration would be a perfect job for her! She always held crafts close to heart, from her own wedding invite creations to artsy/crafty activities planned for her kids' birthday parties. Hance zoned in on Berkley as a location partly because she grew up there, and also because she believed it would be both an excellent match and asset to the existing community.
Pinspiration INSPIRATION, A CRAFT-STUDIO FRANCHISE BUSINESS, WAS ORIGINALLY FOUNDED IN 2015 BY BROOKE AND BOB ROE OF ARIZONA, currently with over 60 locations nationwide. For Jeff and Jenna Hance, the owners of Pinspiration in Berkley, setting up this business was a leap of faith that took a couple of years to realize.
HANCES PURCHASED THE BUSINESS TdealHE IN OCTOBER 2019. They spent a good of time renovating the downtown Berkley space, transforming two storefronts into a single studio by knocking down the dividing wall. A beautiful VIP area was set up, plus multiple murals decorate the whole interior. The end result is a space designed to be comfortable and, of course, a crafter's paradise.
The Covid19 pandemic interfered with the normal course of opening, but they made full use of their quiet time in lockdown to order inventory and set up craft samples. Their grand opening was the Memorial Day weekend of 2021. Hance recalled, “Fortunately, this was a time when people were ready to get out and do things!” She mentioned that it’s easy to safely participate at the studio because masks are worn, and people can distance within the space too. There are snacks and refreshments available, but customers can remain masked up for their entire visit. The Hances offer a vast range of craft activities and covers everything from traditional to modern. Examples include jewelry-making, woodwork, glass art, ceramics, painting and a great deal more. Hance emphasized, “We are still fairly new in town and first-timers are always welcome. It’s a lot to take in, so you will be greeted by a tour of the studio, and offered any help or guidance needed for you to select and complete an activity.” One thing Hance hears a lot is: "I'm not crafty or creative!" However, the activities are designed to bring out the ‘inner-crafter,' and mostly geared for people without an art or craft background. Customers can take it stepby-step, at their own pace. Crafts are organized by difficulty level and suggested age range. Additionally, new and seasonal crafts are offered regularly, and the main projects are rotated every six weeks. Prices range anywhere from $7 to $75, with the average about $30. ANCE EXPLAINED THAT THE BEST PART OF RUNNING PINSPIRATION H is watching families connecting and having fun! Most of the crafts are appropriate for almost all ages and ability levels. One of the most popular activities is the “Splatter Room.” For $20 per person (and with a
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EGARDING THE FUTURE FOR PINSPIRATION OF BERKLEY, Hance said they are already proud of how things have progressed, as they have exceeded their goals for their first year. Hance added, “We have a team of stellar staff, who are all great artists and crafters!” She also explained that as a hands-on business a single location is a full-time endeavor, but they would consider opening up a second location down the road. Their popularity is gaining momentum, and Hance concluded, “People are coming in from many surrounding cities & areas to visit us. Diversity sets us apart. We rely on wordof-mouth and we throw a great party!” n 2733 Coolidge Highway, Downtown Berkley | 248.677.3630. Tues-Thurs Noon-6:00 P.M.; Sat 10:00 A.M.-9:00 P.M.; Sun 11:00 A.M.5:00 P.M. www.pinspiration.com/locations/berkley | www.facebook.com/pinspirationberkley
reservation), a messy time can be had by all ages! The cost includes an hour of splattering paint in a private room; the splatter-suit; shoe caps; shower cap and goggles. Then customers then get to take home their unique creations. For nominal extra fees, the experience can be upgraded with a black light and an extra- sized canvas. With Valentine’s Day rapidly approach-ing, customers may want to experience the fun-and-romantic “date night” special for $99 per couple. Hance added, “the laughter I hear coming from the Splatter Room is special!” Parties in the 'Splatter Room" are currently booking up fast, so plan ahead for reservations. Two other very popular crafts are soy candle-making and acrylic pours. For $23, customers can make a 100 percent soy candle; decorate the jar, choose a wick and also pick out a scent. With the acrylic pouring project, a ‘layered cup pouring’ technique is used to create various striking color combinations. The price starts at $38, depending on the size of canvas used. Hance added (with confidence) that these “always turn out beautifully. There is no way for them to go wrong!”
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Neighbor’s Shoppe By Lisa Howard
“I’ve never worked so hard before in my life,” says Donna Dirkse, owner of The Neighbor’s Shoppe. “And I’ve never been so humbled by the kindness and support that the people in this town have given me. That’s what gets me up in the morning.” She purchased what used to be Tweeny’s in the Summer of 2015 with a vision of what her new store would be like and zero experience in owning a business. She points out that there was some knowing exactly what she was beauty to getting into — as the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. The next three years “schooled her,” as she puts it, with Murphy’s Law kicking into action. Fortunately, the daughter of the previous owner stayed on to ease the transition, and a helpful next-door neighbor happened to know the owner of a successful wine business in Detroit who connected Donna with trusted distributors. Those distributors sat down with Donna and explained the ins-and-outs of stocking intriguing, hand-picked wines.
ITH THE HELP OF HER HUSBAND TROY — who’s a master electrician and allaround handyman – Donna was able to quickly get renovations under-way, painting the interior and exterior, pulling up the floor and putting in new tile, and building new fixtures, including new shelving that Troy custom-built using wine boxes and donated French doors. Throughout all of the renovations, Donna kept the doors open so that the community could see and experience the transition. “It’s so much fun to think back on that creation period,” she reminisces. “We wanted customers to feel comfortable when they walk into the store and feel like it isn’t an average party store.” Those initial three years taught Donna the tricks of the trade, from what kinds of items customers wanted her to stock to how to find the latest interesting products. But then 2020 rolled around…and everything changed. Demand for frozen foods shot up, people were clamoring for fresh produce and, for several months, 90 percent of her business was curbside. Once people re-acclimated themselves to shopping in big-box stores again, though, sales of the new “staples” plummeted and items started to pile up. Deliveries became uncertain at best – ordering 28 cases of Gatorade once resulted in getting four cases of Pepsi – and it was difficult to keep popular items like chicken and Popsicles on the shelves. Then, as restaurants reopened, deliveries and products shifted yet again.
NYONE WHO’S EVER WATCHED WOULD PROBABLY SAY
UT, DESPITE THE MYRIAD CHALLENGES, Donna loves running The Neighbor’s Shoppe. “I love my customers,” she says. “I love trying to figure out how we can grow the shop and make it better. I love being part of this community.” She’s constantly amazed by how friendly her regular shoppers are. Two even stopped by her store on their way home from the hospital to introduce her to their brand-new baby, something she still can’t believe. “How did that even cross their minds?” she says. “When people move out of town, they come in to tell me goodbye. Who does that? Berkley is a ‘big small town’ where neighbors look out for each other. I could not run this store in any other community.”
even more dedication is to leave adver-
Donna is always on the lookout for fun new items to bring in, whether that’s dogchew toys shaped like wine bottles or craft beers. She also sells spice blends and rubs from the Recipe Kit warehouse and offers pizza and sandwiches freshly made in the store. During the holiday season, she’ll be creating gift baskets and passing out hot chocolate at the holiday parade. All of that ties into her core mission: To have fun. “I want customers to find surprises when they come in and to have fun shopping!”
tising to open a boutique corner market/
And they most certainly do.
that the advertising field isn’t exactly a breeze. But what takes
wine shop/gift store.
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With third-party antique and collectible dealers now setting up 50 booths and selling an eclectic array of everything from timeless furniture to vintage records, linens and books, Depressionera and Mid-Century modern knick-knacks, toys, and many more one-of-a-kind finds, there’s lots to explore. And that is precisely why Odd Fellows’ Antiques is a prime go-to for Berkley residents to hang out, even if it’s just in between appointments. “It’s a nice, friendly family setting,” Gagnon said. “We have a lot of people who just stop in to sit down. Some come in between their doctor appointments, or while they’re waiting for test results at Beaumont down the street and need to fill the time.”
HEN ODD FELLOWS’ ANTIQUES FIRST BEGAN, IT ENCOMPASSED ONLY THE FIRST FLOOR of the building. Soon after, it branched into the bottom level as interest grew and inventory blossomed. Now, there are two stories of antiques to browse, and the space is at max capacity. As a bonus, the building sits directly adjacent to Clark’s Ice Cream shop and the well-known outdoor area in between with an arrangement of vintage seating to enjoy a cone or simply rest on those warm summer days.
By Sara E. Teller
NOTHING ‘ODD’ ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP AT ODDFELLOWS’ ANTIQUES
DD FELLOWS’ ANTIQUES OPENED IN 2000, RECALLED CATHY GAGNON, aunt of owners Don and Virginia
Vensel. But the building’s history itself dates back much further. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) began in 18th Century England when it was highly unusual to find people helping others in need without recognition. Thus, anyone who decided to go this route was considered “odd.” Since 1923, the Berkley building served as the Odd Fellows’ meeting hall and, thus, the name carried over when it became a retail shop. The IOOF motto is “Friendship, Love & Truth,” symbolized by triple links, which are visible on the 1923 cornerstone of the building.
The pandemic has somewhat changed how Odd Fellows’ does business. As a shop that invites in many elderly patrons, the owners are extra cautious. They require that everyone, vaccinated or not, wear masks and they, themselves, follow strict cleaning protocols and distancing guidelines. As far as interest in what the shop has to offer, that has never waned. “We would just hate to see someone bring it home to their grandchildren who can’t get vaccinated, you know?” Gagnon said. She added that Odd Fellows’ has “excellent customer care” in general and “takes extra time and care to wrap all items.” She and the Vensels enjoy being in Berkley because of the “open, close knit, and friendly community.” They have acquired a regular following and always welcome newcomers who wander in from time to time. Odd Fellows’ is a member of the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce and is typically involved in many community events throughout the year. Unfortunately, as Gagnon explained, involvement over the last couple of years has diminished amid the pandemic. She is hoping to see more of this happening again soon. The antique mall generally holds a couple special merchandise sales in January and later in the year. Patrons can subscribe to the store’s mailing list to receive an email with exact dates. For more information about Odd Fellows’ Antiques, 3248 12 Mile Rd., please visit oddfellowsantiques.com, or call 248.399.6098. n
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IM AND KRIS BARNES HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED PLAYING GAMES – so much so, in fact, that they met doing just that, and then decided to share their love of games with the community. Six years ago, the couple opened Gate Keepers Games, an amply-stocked retail shop in downtown Berkley.
By Sara E. Teller
GATEKEEPERS OFFERS ALL YOUR FAVORITE GAMES & A PLACE TO PLAY “We rented a space downtown,” recalled Tim, adding it was meant to be a bit of a test run to see if their bet on Berkley’s love for gaming would pay off. And it certainly did. Barnes explained, “We chose Berkley because of the many young families that live here, and we were able to successfully run our shop those first few years.” The customers came flooding in, excited for a new hobby store in town, and they kept coming back, impressed by Gate Keepers’ wide selection of social, role-playing, board, and card games, among other collectibles. After realizing the store was a big hit, Barnes wanted to take the couple’s vision one step further and begin offering a gathering space for anyone interested in trying the inventory in real-time. This space would expand upon the retail portion and allow customers to compete against each other, just for fun or for prizes. The Barnes bought the more than 7,000 square feet of vacant space that was once the Doll Hospital & Toy Soldier Shop and moved their items down the street, excited to extend an opportunity for game lovers to mix and mingle.
NFORTUNATELY, HOWEVER, THE PANDEMIC HIT SOON AFTER THE NEW BUILDING WAS READY. “Our whole business model is built on people spending time together,” Barnes said. “We don’t charge for the space. We just hope you buy a game if you enjoy it.” So, things have been much more slow-going than expected and the focus has remained largely on the retail portion.
play certain games. While most of the time, the space is totally free and designed for open play, Gate Keepers also hosts tournaments in which there is a small cover and prizes available. All ages are welcome and there are plenty of family-friendly fun activities.
ATE KEEPERS ALSO HAS MANY PAINT SUPPLIES AND MINIATURES IN STOCK, and patrons can pick up their favorite games to have on hand at home or even have them delivered. More details about how to request delivery are available online. Gate Keepers regularly gives back to the Berkley community, offering support to the Library and local schools, and Barnes hopes to do even more outreach when possible. He would like to partner with public centers to host more events and envisions being able to have fieldtrips and afterschool extracurriculars on-site. “Right from the beginning, the Berkley community has been very friendly and supportive,’ Barnes said. “I have many positive things to say about the city itself.” He hopes that anyone who hasn’t had a chance to yet will come check out what Gate Keepers Games is all about. A full calendar of upcoming events is available at gatekeepergames.net. n
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In the meantime, Gate Keepers Games has secured a liquor license so patrons of age can enjoy their favorite drinks while playing, and there are monthly trivia nights alongside other, more intimate gatherings. “Right now, we’re able to host events and we’re asking that you’re vaccinated to come in,” Barnes said. “We have everyone spaced out and are just having smaller events.” In addition to trivia nights, Gate Keepers Games offers painting classes, birthday and Christmas parties, and social games such as Pokémon, Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Cards Against Humanity, chess, euchre, and others. There are also opportunities to learn how to 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 90 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
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HILE YOU WON’T FIND AN ARMADILLO IN THE WILD in Michigan, Berkley has its own version in the form of Armadillo Printwear, a screenprinting shop that has been serving residents of SouthEastern Michigan for nearly 30 years. Owner Dave Lakatos initially started out producing custom tie-dye garments in 1992. Over the years, he and his staff have transitioned into a fulltime screen-printing shop, creating spiritwear, uniforms for sports teams, shirts for community events, and even gear for yacht clubs. “We do a lot for the School District, the Public Safety Department, the Parks & Recreation Department and the Chamber of Commerce,” says Jon Murrell, store manager. “We try to cater to everybody who comes through and we’re very community-focused.”
team can print on anything that lies flat. They can also provide custom embroidery, which comes in particularly handy for restaurants and dispensaries and any business looking for employee uniforms. Occasionally, they print single-color posters, but 99.9 percent of their business is in clothing. If you’ve attended Berkley annual events like the Berkley Street Art Fest designed by or the Cruise Fest, you’ve seen T-shirts that were printed Armadillo – in addition to managing the store, Jon is also an artist, and is thrilled to work with the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce to create the shirts. “Seeing as we’re the ones who print the shirts for these events, I want to make sure the design looks as good as it possibly can,” Jon says. He designed the logo for the first Street Art Fest in 2017 as well as the 25th anniversary Cruise Fest shirt in 2021. (He also painted murals for the 2017 and 2018 Street Fest events.)
N THE 16 YEARS JON HAS SPENT WORKING AT ARMADILLO, he says they’re busier than ever, surprising given the past two years. “We’re trying to keep on truckin’! It’d be great to get to the point where we can take a break, but for now we need to keep our heads down and keep printing shirts,” he says. That uptick in orders has meant that Jon does less design work than usual, focusing more on production, although he’s still happy to create artwork. “A customer can give me a simple sketch on a restaurant napkin, and I can turn that into something,” he says. With a degree in fine art from Wayne State University and specializations in photo-realistic charcoal art and pen-and-ink-drawings, designing images and logos is second nature for Jon. Although he’s worked on a variety of interesting design projects during his time at Armadillo, his favorite was the Port Huron-to-Mackinac Island Sailboat Race – one year, Armadillo created both the event’s merchandising gear poster designs. “We just try to have really good-quality prints and we make sure that everybody who sees it knows where it comes from – we put our stickers on every box of shirts we send out,” says Jon. So if you’re hankering for the sight of an armadillo in the neighborhood, keep your eyes open! You just might catch a (two-dimensional) glimpse of the adorable long-snouted, armored critter around town. n
With four presses running in their tidy 2,000 square foot shop, the Armadillo
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eral different places to feed my family the way I to feed them,” she says. “That’s how the co-op was born.” She partnered with MSU’s Tollgate Farms, and it didn’t take long before she needed someone to help sort orders and serve as a secondary pick-up point. That’s when Alison joined forces with Erin.
USINESS WAS PROCEEDING AT A MANAGEABLE PACE …and then the pandemic hit. “Our sales quadrupled because all of a sudden no one wanted to go to grocery stores,” Erin explains. “Although we had originally focused on cheese, meat and eggs, we thought, ‘Well, we need produce now.’ Then it was, ‘Well, we need pantry items now.’” In short order, they also needed a bigger location. It was pure serendipity that when Erin was shopping at Vitrine, she started talking to Vitrine’s owner, Susan Rogal, about the co-op. The vacant adjoining space formerly housed a bakery, and when Rogal asked Erin if she’d like to trial-rent the space for her co-op, Erin jumped at the opportunity. It’s been onward and upward ever since.
By Lisa Howard
AYBE YOU’VE BEEN MEANING TO JOIN A FARM SHARE OR CSA to get your hands on the freshest foods possible. Or maybe it’s lunchtime and you just wish you could find a grab-and-go healthy lunch somewhere. You can do both at Fresh Collective Kitchen & Market! The cozy space offers wraps, salads and omnivore and vegan entrées right alongside fresh produce, farm eggs and locally made healthy snacks. Coowners Erin Brick and Alison Purdy and CEO Amy Kaltz like to say that Fresh Collective “is a fancy 7-Eleven/mini-Westborn.” (They also serve lattes and espressos made with locally-roasted beans.) Behind the counter, Fresh Collective also serves as a commissary kitchen. Several of the chefs who rent the kitchen use it to make dishes for their personal catering clients, while others need the space to prep for their food trucks. Some make the array of grab-and-go items the Collective has available every day, like quiches, wraps, green salads, pasta salads, soups, and croissant sandwiches. In response to customer requests, there are plenty of dairy-free and gluten-free options as well. The story behind the collaborative nature of Fresh Collective began when Erin started a co-op over five years ago. Back then, she was bouncing from one place to another in a quest to stock her home kitchen with the healthiest ingredients possible. “I was tired of going to sev-
“Because we have such a big following on Facebook from our co-op customers, they talk about us a lot,” Erin says. “Within two months of being open, we had over a thousand Likes – in the middle of a pandemic! Plus, we’re in such a cute section of Coolidge. There’s so much within this little walkable pocket. We love being here.” It’s also a convenient location for Co-op customers to come by and pick up their weekly items. The animal products are from pastured animals, and all produce and animal items are certified organic/produced in accordance with organic standards. Erin and Alison have added permanent indoor and outdoor seating at Fresh Collective so that customers can grab something to eat and then stay to enjoy it. It’s all part of their goal to offer healthier, more delicious choices to everyone. n Fresh Collective Kitchen & Market 2752 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley MI 248-907-0767 Open Daily www.freshcollectivekitchen.com
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By Sara E. Teller/Photos by Ashley Poirer
BACC CONTINUES TO MAKE BERKLEY THE PLACE TO BE HE BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (BACC) IS DEDICATED TO CREATING A SPACE for business owners to come together to serve Berkley and our surrounding communities. The Chamber has organized many events and activities over the years, with this year being no exception despite the ongoing Covid pandemic. Many great things have been happening around town in general, even as the world is faced with a ‘new normal.’ There are businesses continuing to come into Berkley, and the close-knit community has witnessed a growing number of people settling in, especially younger singles and families. Drawn to the area because of the ‘everyone-knows-everyone’ ambiance, free parking and many fun things to do, Berkley continues to be a go-to spot for newcomers.
BACC primarily supports small businesses by engaging in local events, organizing affordable marketing options, offering a high-volume social media presence, and initiating networking activities. In 2021, BACC was instrumental in supporting busines-ses through a grant from Oakland County. The Chamber offered PPE items for its members, as well as propane for outdoor heaters, hand sanitizer, wipes, and other items that weren’t in the budget before the pandemic hit. The Chamber ensured members were given as much online attention as possible, particularly regarding adjustments made to days and hours they were open, and the innovative ways owners came up with to continue serving residents. “We organized very successful 2021 summer events that brought thousands of people to Berkley, in a strategic, safely-spaced manner,”
Celebrated chalk artist David Zinn.
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explained BACC’s Executive Director, Darlene Rothman, adding, “We had beautiful days for these events, and everyone enjoyed being outside. You could feel the excitement in the air!”
BERKLEY ART BASH & STREET ART FEST: WHILE THE BERKLEY ART BASH is traditionally held annually during the second weekend in June, the 2021 event was postponed to September 11 to allow for more people to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. Pinspiration Berkley and Vibe Credit Union sponsored the Kids Zone. Nearly 100 vendors offered a diverse assortment of photographs, garden art, jewelry, pottery, wearables, paintings, and gourmet offerings. “We expanded the footprint by a few more blocks to ensure more space between vendors and to allow for safer shopping,” said RoseAnn Nicolai, BACC Events & Operations Manager and owner of Nicolai Events & Communications. “A lot of the success of the event was due to April McCrumb, owner of Catching Fireflies and Yellow Door Art Market. She did
such a great job curating the show and finding such talented artists to be vendors.” The County Oakland Irish Fest group hosted the entertainment which included Doug Thompson, the Flanagan-O’Hare Irish Dancers and Michael O’Brian & the Distractions. Children who attended could either make a craft there or take a kit home. Pinspiration Berkley also had a splatter-paint tent where children could fling paint onto a small canvas, creating their own piece of artwork. The 2021 Berkley Street Art Fest date was also post-poned to August 7 due to the pandemic. Downtown Berkley was transformed with art as professional and aspiring chalk artists created colorful street art with chances to win prizes. Shop for Good Village, a newly-added component coordinated by VITRINE owner Susan Rogal, was a curated collection of handmade products made by sellers with a primary focus on ‘doing good’ on a local or global scale. A commissioned artist, Ed Irmen, created a mural at Folio Offices. People throughout Metro Detroit watched these artists as their masterpieces came to life. The event was presented by the MSU Federal Credit Union. “We are looking forward to Berkley Art Bash returning back to its usual time of year in 2022, Nicolai said. “Mark your calendar for June 11, 2022. Berkley Street Art Fest date will be announced in 2022, and County Oakland Irish Fest, which the Chamber is a sponsor, will return on September 10, 2022.”
CRUISEFEST: THE 2021 CRUISEFEST SHIRT, designed by Jon Murrell of Armadillo (owned by Dave Lakatos), was such a big hit that it sold out prior to the event for the first time in the CruiseFest’s history. The Chamber responded by adding a limited timeframe for residents to purchase them online. The shirt was created to promote the 25th anniversary of the CruiseFest, which was held on August 20, 2021. The event draws car lovers from all over and includes a parade of classic vehicles for attendees to enjoy. Darron Moore & the 14th Floor provided the event’s entertainment. New for 2021, the Berkley Parks & Recreation hosted an outdoor movie experience in front of the Neighbor’s Shoppe. The film was screened immediately following the parade.
RESTAURANT WEEKEND/ NIGHT MARKET:
BACC partnered with the Berkley DDA to bring, for the first time, a Restaurant Weekend to downtown Berkley the first weekend of October. Katie Kutscher and Christine Gross, sister2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 104 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
RoseAnn Nicolai owners of Berkley Common, also helped pulled together this amazing event. “Berkley Common was the driving force behind this,” Rothman said. “Katie initiated the conversation, encouraging us to do something to help the restaurants.” The owners wanted everyone (BACC, DDA, and the participants) to join together as a team to bring extra attention to the restaurant community during an especially difficult time. Those who participated included Berkley Common, 24 Seconds, Amici’s Kitchen & Living Room, Casa Amado Tacqueria, Coco Fairfield’s, Crispelli’s, Dog & Pony Show Brewing, Fresh Collective Kitchen & Market, Green Lantern, Oak Park Social and Republica. Each eatery had food and drink specials local foodies could retrieve online by scanning a QR code or simply take note of signs placed around town. The same weekend, the DDA Night Market was held on October 2nd, giving residents the opportunity to visit their regular go-tos
after hours and explore new businesses along the way. Retailers stayed open late to give visitors a magical night-time shopping experience. A complimentary downtown trolley sponsored by the Berkley DDA ran throughout the event and dozens of storefronts transformed with spooky décor. The retailers who participated included Articipate, The Artsy Umbrella, Fresh Collective Market, GateKeeper Games, ...Have You Any Wool?, June & December, Peninsulas, Pinspiration Berkley, PUCK HCKY, Red Arrow Tattoo Collective, Reware Vintage, Toadvine Books, Tootie & Tallulah’s, The Twisted Shamrock, Ullman’s Health & Beauty and VITRINE. Rothman said, “The restaurants and retail stores were thrilled that the community supported them by eating and shopping locally, for as many items as possible and being gracious to their staff as many are understaffed. The holidays are approaching soon, so please consider buying local to support these businesses.”
STATE OF THE CITIES: THE STATE OF THE CITIES EVENT, produced by CMNTv and sponsored by Beaumont Health, was held virtually on October 28, 2021. The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for local government entities including the City of Berkley, City of Huntington Woods, the Berkley School District, the Berkley Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the BACC, to report out to the community about the accomplish-ments and issues faced over the past year as well as talk about what is up-and-coming. The Chamber honored local business-people and organiza-tions during the State of the Cities that had been especially supportive of the Berkley community. Its Best of Berkley awards are traditionally given to Chamber members who exemplify leadership, have passion for the area, and go out of their way to support businesses with a commitment to mak-ing the community shine. Rothman added, “This past year, with the pandemic, they had to be especially creative and think outside of the box.” The 2021 recipients focused largely on ensuring that the community flourished despite the Coronavirus. The 2021 Chamber honorees included VITRINE, owned by Susan Rogal, as , and Robyn Cohen, owner of Sum Girls Boutique, as VITRINE and Rogal have been instrumen-tal in bringing attention to downtown Berkley businesses, especially along the Coolidge Corridor, where VITRINE is located.
“VITRINE is always coming up with new ways to promote Berkley, and Susan personally recruits businesses to participate in the downtown shopping events,” Nicolai said. “Susan is so willing to help new businesses on Coolidge succeed by offering them advice and connecting them with people who can help.” “In particular, they were instrumental in growing this year’s Berkley Street Art Fest, using their summer marketing dollars usually allocated to promoting their business,” Nicolai said. “And their staff personally, on their own, promoted the event.” The second honoree, Robyn Coden, “is a champion for down-town Berkley and its businesses,” Nicolai said. “At least once a month, she has an event that brings different vendors and businesses to town to promote at her store. She also consistently donates, both monetarily and of her time, to the community, civic groups, and Berkley Schools.” Coden regularly employs students from Berkley High School and Anderson Middle School to work in the store and creates cross-promotional opportunities with other businesses. She has recruited new businesses to open their storefronts in Berkley, and through her social media presence, she is always drawing attention to these businesses. Nicolai explained, “Both honorees are passionate about making sure everyone in downtown Berkley succeeds.” Rothman and Nicolai are especially grateful to the “wonderful writers of this annual City Guide who all do a fantastic job.” n For more information on BACC activities and events, or to become a member, visit the Chamber’s newly-launched site: www.berkleychamber.com
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By Sara E. Teller
HE BERKLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT IS KNOWN FOR PREPARING STUDENTS FOR SUCCESS from early elementary to beyond high school. The District is highly-ranked in the State of Michigan as well as nationwide, and there are plenty of diverse opportunities for students to excel both academically and in extracurricular activities.
“In the Berkley School District, students are prepared to be creative, curious, confident, well-rounded critical thinkers,” said Jessica Stilger, Director of Communications. “They are kind and caring and have a global perspective while understanding their communities.” She added that the District “is known for [presenting] pathways for students to achieve their individual best, whatever that looks like for each student.” One of the main reasons Berkley has one of the top districts has to do with the tremendous support from residents. Since its inception in 1840, the District has enjoyed support from everyone, including businesses and families without children attending school. Stilger said, “Berkley’s students
enjoy the multitude of experiences and successes because of the overwhelming community support, the fantastic work of their great teachers and administrators, and the rich and vibrant environments that families create. The incredible successes Berkley students experience are possible, in part, because of the support provided at every level.”
N ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED to think critically and reach their full potential through out-of-the-box courses in program as well as writing workshop the models designed to enhance literacy skills and increase comprehension in all subjects. There are a number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses available in higher grades – 26, in fact. These allow students to extend their knowledge beyond a traditional curriculum. Students also have an opportunity to take classes at the Oakland Schools Technical Centers as well as the Center for Creative Studies & the Arts (CASA). These partnerships allow for additional career exploration that is invaluable post-graduation.
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“Classes like zoology, forensics, Encore! show choir, creative writing, film studies, history of the Holocaust, marketing, African-American literature, computer programming and more challenge and engage students,” Stilger explained. “Students can explore robotics, foreign languages, student newspaper opportunities and various music options in middle school. In addition, many middle school students complete high school credits while attending Norup and Anderson.” Berkley offers a plethora of sports, including softball, baseball, football, basketball, track and field, crosscountry, wrestling, swimming, volleyball, golf and tennis. Students can also join clubs like the yearbook team, Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA), Black Perspectives Club, Dungeons & Dragons, gaming club, robotics, and art and drama. The high school, specifically, offers soccer, cheerleading, hockey, figure skating, dance and rugby. Stilger explained, “At the high school level, students are able to join over 50 clubs of varying interests, like Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), GSA, drama club, future teachers and more.”
ERKLEY HAS ACHIEVED MANY AWARDS, including being named Best Community for Music Education for the last ten years by the NAMM Foundation (2012-2021). The District is also among the top 25 school districts in Michigan, according to the 2022 Niche rankings, and Berkley High School was named Best High School by the in 2021, as well as being among the top six percent of high schools in the nation.
“Families are encouraged to join their school’s support groups to stay involved with their child’s school and education.”
to report on to the Board of Education. “The words , will guide the team through this process,” Stilger explained.
In fact, each school has its own Parent Teacher Association parents can join to have a say in the opportunities offered. Choir, Orchestra, and Instrumental Booster groups support grades 6 through 12, and the Athletic Boosters support high school athletics. The Berkley Education Foundation helps all students in all buildings through teacher innovation grants, student scholarships, elementary enrichment programs, and sending students in eighth grade on college tours.
Berkley is continuing to ensure that diversity is at the center of its commitment to students and families. Stilger said, “The School District is committed to keeping diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of its goals by creating an environment where all staff, students and community members feel a sense of belonging. Many diversity, equity and inclusion goals and strategies are embedded in the new strategic plan proposal.” This focus ensures that the District’s core values of lifting up, encouraging, and supporting each and every child is upheld.
HE BERKLEY COMMUNITY PASSED A SINKING FUND INITIATIVE IN 2018 that was meant to expand upon a 2015 bond initiative to provide funding for school roofing and concrete replacement projects, technology infrastructure improvements, energy and security developments, technology device purchases and more. Most recently, the District has focused this funding on building an addition at Anderson Middle School for a multipurpose and cafeteria space. Construction is slated to be completed soon. A draft of a new strategic plan is also ready for community feedback. The plan will guide the District’s work for the next three to five years, setting stretch goals for the District as a whole and creating a plan for the administrative team
In recent years, students have been named All-State and Academic All-State for swimming, baseball, tennis, volleyball, and soccer. Twenty student athletes signed with colleges and universities in the 2020-2021 academic year. The Berkley High School (BHS) Orchestra was one of three high school orchestras nationwide invited to play at Carnegie Hall in 2019 for the World Stride Music Festival. “This was the second trip to Carnegie Hall in four years,” explained Stilger. The BHS Drama Department produced a musical in Spring 2021 and performed outside to ensure the show would go on despite the Coronavirus pandemic. BHS was also the first school in the state to adopt Sources of Strength, a peer-led wellness program. “The Berkey School District is incredibly proud of all of its students and the paths they are forging for themselves,” said Stilger, adding, 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 111 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
“All are welcome in the Berkley schools no matter the color of their skin, who they love, how they identify, if or how they worship, their family income, where they live, what they look like, their abilities or what language they speak,” Stilger said. Berkley also has a new superintendent, Scott Francis, who was the District’s Director of Teaching, Learning & Technology for four years prior to moving into his most current position in May 2021. Francis was also the principal of Pattengill Elementary from 2014 to 2017. “Superintendent Francis will spend the first months of his new position building relationships with staff, families, and community members,” Stilger said. “The goal of the conversations and work will be centered around what is best for students and staff, and how the community – along with Superintendent Francis – can create a shared vision for the future of Berkley Schools.” n For more information on the Berkley School District, please contact the administrative office at 248-837-8000 or visit www.berkleyschools.org
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By Sara E. Teller
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HE CONCEPT FOR THE CENTER FOR ADVANCED STUDIES AND THE ARTS (CASA) was born in the 1980s as a way to offer advancedplacement electives for high schools with limited funding. It originally began in Berkley, Ferndale and Oak Park, and has expanded to surrounding communities since that time.
counselor at their home high school to apply. There are no strict GPA requirements. CASA students need to be up-to-date on their graduation requirements, be independent and motivated learners, and have the approval from their home high school to enroll.”
“The metaverse, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are here to stay,” Armstrong added. “With all that is going on, how can a business owner keep up, let alone learn something this new? These classes are meant to give students entering the workforce a set of coveted skills to help offset the learning curve and early adoption.”
In 2002, CASA moved to into the former Jackson Elementary School in Oak Park, so it could better accommodate science, computer and art rooms, as well as an expansive dance studio. Director Jennifer Gebbie explained, “CASA has a relaxed, intimate atmosphere while holding students to high standards and giving them the needed support to meet and exceed those expectations. Coming to CASA gives students a taste of college life; being independent and responsible for attending classes at a different campus and learning in a rigorous environment.” Of the application process, Gebbie said, “CASA accepts students from our seven sending districts: Berkley, Clawson, Ferndale, Lamphere, Madison, Oak Park and Pontiac. Students should work with the
the works. Gebbie explained, “New courses that we are offering for next year include Metaverse Studies & Applications (with the support of TAG Multimedia), Advanced Multidisciplinary Design I & II, AP Computer Science Principles and Genius Hour.”
ASA’S INSTRUCTORS MOSTLY COME FROM the high schools involved with the program. “We also have teachers who are instructors at local colleges,” Gebbie said. “All our teachers are highly-qualified, have earned master’s degrees, and are passionate about teaching and learning.” The center currently offers 16 Advanced Placement classes, including options in dance, visual arts, Japanese language and many more. Its course catalogue is available online. Transportation is also offered to-and-from the center or students may opt to drive.
ASA OFFERS COURSES THAT MAY NOT BE OFFERED at our sending districts’ high schools,” Gebbie said. “We also provide an opportunity for students to meet and work with other students from different districts and to gain valuable new perspectives. Our traditionally small class size affords a great deal of one-on-one attention for our students.” As it expands, TAG MultiMedia, led by President and Owner Michelle Armstrong, has been tasked with developing an innovative approach for the center’s digital marketing platform for several months. The company works alongside local businesses looking for ways to leverage the Internet for their businesses, stay competitive, and cut costs around advertising and social media marketing. “We want this area to be the epicenter of innovation and digital adoption while still keeping a community/main street feel,” Armstrong said. That being said, there are some cutting-edge course offerings in
The Berkley area is a great location for the facility’s home base because of its well-known school system, according to Armstrong, who said, “Berkley has one of the strongest educational indexes in the state which has a direct impact on real estate values. Investing in and offering classes that are cutting edge continues the tradition of properly supporting our school districts and maintaining a communitywide standard of excellence. People who live in Berkley stay in Berkley. People moving into Berkley value its identity of warm neighborhoods, charming shops and local pride all while maintaining innovation, commerce and civic growth.” For more information and a list of all of CASA’s course offerings, visit casa-online.org. n
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ICHELLE ARMSTRONG HAS A CLEAR MISSION IN LIFE: to help the small businesses in and around the Berkley community. She is the owner of her own small business, TAG MultiMedia, but her journey didn’t start there. “It’s been in my nature to help the small-business type-of-person since childhood because my mother and my father had a small business,” she said. “They are inspiring to me and have helped me set the tone for my definitions of success.” Armstrong is a member of the Berkley, Clawson and Royal Oak Chambers of Commerce, Berkley High School DECA Advisory Committee and Royal Oak Women’s Club, and, in 2019, developed the BerkleyU series with a goal of helping local small businesses stay informed, network and remain a local value in the community. As a self-proclaimed advocate for small businesses, it might be surprising that Armstrong spent 15 years working in a corporate setting. Having been on both sides of the fence has only further prepared her for her current venture. “I’ve been in sales, management, training, insight marketing and performance management making sure advertising was performing at a level where our clients saw a return on their investment,” she said. “I moved from there into a business automation specialist role and was kneedeep in how software needed to be a part of the small business model.”
HICH LEADS TO THE MISSION OF TAG MULTIMEDIA, LOCATED AT 642 S. MAIN ST. IN CLAWSON. Armstrong is using her corporate experience to make software and virtual and augmented reality more accessible to small businesses around Oakland County. But what does that mean?
“We are working on proprietary software that will change the way business is done online and how small to medium-sized businesses present themselves and be represented online,” she said. This isn’t just your average website or social media profile. TAG is creating online avatars that shoppers can interact with and digital replications of local cities that users will be able to explore and shop in. “The avatar can live on your website and your social media and is meant to interact with customers. The beauty of having an avatar is that once you train it, you don’t have to retrain it like you would a new employee,” Armstrong said. “In the digital cities, we’ve been able to merge gaming and social environments with a retail and interactive social aspect, all in one space.”
AG HAS APPROACHED MULTIPLE CITY GOVERNMENTS, including Berkley, and local civic organizations to build these virtual cities. Like many newer technology concepts, it may be hard for some to picture these concepts in action. But Armstrong isn’t deterred by skeptics. “Not everyone is going to understand the value of this, but those same people can’t deny that eyeballs are online and (businesses) will get lost in the matrix if they don’t present themselves a certain way – a new solution is needed,” Armstrong said. “Virtual and augmented realities aren’t going away. In fact, by the year 2030 it’s going to be a $1.6 trilliondollar industry.”
By Ingrid Sjostrand
Several of TAG’s clients are already using avatars in billboards and commercials. Armstrong suggests watching some of their Digital Community Network videos, available on their YouTube channel, DCN Network, to get a better understanding of their product. “If we don’t do something now, the idea of a brick-and-mortar environment where you can shop is going to diminish. We’re already seeing the impact of that and if those businesses had a way to compete in both spaces they would survive,” she said. “For the last 15 years, I have been helping small businesses bridge the understanding and functionality of software to help them run their business and get a return. I’m looking for more businesses that want to be showcased in this changing landscape.” n
Revolutionizing the Small Business Model with Technology
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For more information and to get involved with TAG MultiMedia, visit TAGMultiMedia.net.
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The pharmacy also offers much more than medications, including candy bars and other food items that one would normally expect. Adjacent to Kindercare, Rengaswamy and Beydoun are in the midst of planning to supply snack bags to the children who attend.
DITYA RENGASWAMY AND HADY BEYDOUN, CO-OWNERS OF THE BERKLEY MEDICAL CENTER (BMC)
PHARMACY, MAKE THE PERFECT PAIR AS FAR AS BUSINESS PARTNERS GO.
“We’ll offer a variety of healthy snacks,” said Rengaswamy and adding, jokingly, “Of course, we can’t just give the kids apples or they wouldn’t be very happy with us! We plan to include fruit snacks and an assortment of other healthy options as well.” And, even if the beginning was a bit tough, in the coming months, the two plan to expand their footprint in the community.
“I am more business-minded and work mainly in the back-office doing our accounting and those types of things,” Rengaswamy explained. “Hady and Eman Beydoun are our staff pharmacists.”
“In the post-pandemic era, we’d like to do much more than this,” said Rengaswamy. “I’m proud to have become a board member of the Chamber of Commerce and be much more involved.”
The combination of their expertise proved to be especially essential when the business, located conveniently next door to the BMC, first
Berkley Medical Center Pharmacy
SERVING BERKLEY THROUGH THE PANDEMIC & BEYOND
opened in August 2020, right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The pair had to be very strategic about what they planned to do to ensure their business survived. There are many things that have set the pharmacy apart and have helped their customer base grow quickly. As far as the two are concerned, it has not only survived, but thrived. In fact, the owners have been told this is the first business of its kind to be able to do so in the strip located right on the corner of 12 Mile Rd. and Woodward Ave.
OR NOW, THE PHARMACY TEAM HAS JUST BEGUN TO THINK BEYOND STABILIZATION, And the owners are brainstorming next steps. “Be on the lookout,” Rengaswamy was able to share. “We’re planning to post more pharmacist positions soon. We not only offer a certain level of convenience for our customers, we’re also hoping to help the community by offering good-paying jobs.” They enjoy being situated in the close-knit Berkley community, and surrounded by many neighboring ones, saying, “We’re able to really get to know our customers, their kids, and their families. They’re not just a number.” The word-of-mouth marketing has definitely helped the pharmacy gain a footing in Berkley and the owners are looking forward a bright future with plenty of reasons to give back in a big way. n Berkley Medical Center Pharmacy 1695 12 Mile Rd., Suite 210 second floor, Berkley 248.591.4489
Pharmacist Eman Beydoun
Rengaswamy said, “You can imagine that it was very tough to establish a business during this time. But we’ve been lucky. We made sure to really connect with our neighbors early on and can offer a few things that big-box pharmacies cannot, including free shipping on all orders.” He added, “It helps being able to be in the same location as the medical center, too, so our customers can complete their care all in one spot. This has been a huge draw for them, and the doctors who work at the center have referred their patients to us.”
HE BMC PHARMACY DELIVERS PRESCRIPTIONS FOR FREE NOT ONLY TO BERKLEY RESIDENTS, but all over Southeast Michigan. “I’ve sent orders to downtown Detroit, and all the way to Romulus,” explained Rengaswamy. “That’s not something typically offered by larger pharmacies. Normally customers have to pay a fee.”
By Sara E. Teller | photos by Bill Gemmell
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By Lisa Howard
OW, HAVING RECEIVED HIS CERTIFICATION AS A PROFESSIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGER by the Michigan State Police, Blanchard spends a lot of time putting long-term planning into place for Oakland County concerns including big local events like the Woodward Dream Cruise and the Berkley Art Bash. Between public-safety, food-service and traffic-control plans, overall event plans can be a 100+ pages long. “People don’t realize how much is involved in putting on these events,” says Blanchard. “We make sure they’re pulled off safely. We do a lot of long-term planning so that if something happens it will be very easy to address.” In addition to events, a big part of emergency management is dealing with climate-related issues like flooding. As most Berkley residents know, flooding is a perennial problem, in large part because it’s a regional problem. Blanchard explains that while the City can help mitigate some flooding, heavy rainfall to the west can cause big problems. “We have sewers coming in from Southfield passing through Berkley that we dump our water into. And when we have really torrential rain, the sewers get supercharged and we can’t get water into them,” he says. “So, we’re working hard to figure out ways to temporarily store the rainwater, like installing big rainwater storage systems under-neath parking lots.”
EN YEARS ON THE BERKLEY CITY COUNCIL, FOUR YEARS ON THE LOCAL EMERGENCY POLICY COUNCIL FOR OAKLAND COUNTY, 30 years in the Army and Army Reserve, 37 years as a volunteer firefighter…and that’s not even getting into his career as an engineer. If it involves emergency management, Jack Blanchard has done it. “I love emergency management — it applies to everything, from schools to cities,” Blanchard says. (Not surprisingly, he’s also been involved with Berkley Schools.) He initially worked with emergency management in his active Army days back in the 1970s. “One of my jobs was to open up the Ohio Turnpike after a big snowstorm,” he explains. “I was running operations from North Carolina, flying in airport snowplows and snowblowers and moving in Army units to help clear the expressway. It was a major effort.”
When building their parking lot the Library put in a system, for example, and whenever any new major development is built going forward, the builders will be required to put systems underneath it so that the water can run in there and then be released slowly into the drain system. Another useful tactic is to slow down water going into sewers in the streets, allowing the water to sit on the surface for a little longer means less pressure on the sewers, pressure that could otherwise force water up into people’s houses. The City is also looking at installing rain gardens to help capture and soak up excessive rain.
HEN HE’S NOT DRAWING UP PLANS TO IMPROVE CITY INFRASTRUCTURE AND EVENTS, Blanchard serves on the Oakland County Incident Management Team, assisting in searches for missing persons, helping out when a tornado hits, and working with events outside of Berkley like the Detroit fireworks and Milford Memories summer festival. During the pandemic, he also closely tracked what Berkley spent for various needs since some of that overlapped with receiving FEMA funding. As he points out, any emergency manager worth their salt knows that keeping impeccable records is the key to potential future reimbursement. “We have a good team in City Hall,” Blanchard says. “In terms of the future of Berkley, everything I’ve seen so far is positive. We’re fixing the roads and redoing water mains, our DDA Director is working on recruiting businesses and we’re getting a lot of new residents. I think the city is going to develop even more.” As if that weren’t enough, Blanchard has also been the City Council Liaison to the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce for the last ten years. Well done, Jack! n
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ERKLEY FIRST: A UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IS TECHNICALLY JUST OVER FOUR-YEARS-OLD, but its roots in Berkley date all the way back to 1929 when a group of Methodists began meeting in a local storefront.
back. “We were created for community and designed for worship,” Dunlap said. Worship services are held each Sunday morning at 10:00 A.M. Dunlap encourages Berkley residents and those in surrounding communities to “grab a cup of freshly brewed Great Lakes coffee, check the kids into our excellent children’s programs, and grab a seat to take in modern worship music with a message that’s both Biblically-sound and sure to apply to your life.”
NE OF THE BEST PARTS ABOUT BERKLEY FIRST IS THAT IT’S LOCATED in an inclusive community that holds fun, ongoing events and activities. “Since its inception, Berkley First has sought to be a hub of community activity from our prominent location at 2820 12 Mile Road,” Dunlap said. “With great schools, a walkable downtown, and a unique atmosphere that’s simultaneously small town and suburban, Berkley is a wonderful community to live, work, pray, and play – and what is good for one of us in this little city is good for all of us.”
After many decades of faithful ministry, that old church eventually closed its doors. Then, in January 2017, Berkley First launched in its place. “We exist to gather, nurture, and equip disciples of Jesus Christ for ministry and mission in the world,” Rev. Zack Dunlap explained. He and his wife Rachael lead the ministry. Dunlap added that the doors are open to any and everyone who is interested in sharing this mission. “Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, Black or white, Asian, or Hispanic, rich or poor, LGBTQ+ or straight, a hunter or a vegan, you are more than welcome here. In planting Berkley First, our hope was to reach people with the good news of Jesus who we never would have reached otherwise – people who might never have been reached at all.”
The church houses both the Tri-Community Coalition and the new Berkley Cares Food Pantry. It also partners with Micah 6 in Pontiac, Brightmoor and Cass in Detroit, and has international partners in Cuba and Honduras. Berkley First, itself, is a multi-site campus of Birmingham First, located on West Maple.
Berkley First has programs to address the needs of all of its congregation members. In fact, the church’s purpose is to unite everyone for the mutual purpose of serving the Lord, and there is strength in numbers. “We firmly believe that what unites us in Christ is greater than anything that divides us,” he said. “Even if you don’t yet believe in Jesus, we’d love the chance to get to know you.”
“We are also connected with Berkley's only Boy Scout Troop, Troop 1085,” Dunlap said, adding, “We are proud to be the first church in Berkley to become a member of the Chamber of Commerce, because we truly believe that what is good for one of us as churches, businesses, residents, and restauranteurs is good for all of us. This empowers us to offer the programming and resources of a larger church, while still having the intimate community feel that Berkley is so well known for.”
The church is community-driven and operates best when the community is willing to be just as passionate in helping each other and giving
ERKLEY FIRST HAS CONTINUED TO ENSURE ITS CONGREGATION HAS OPPORTUNITIES for engagement throughout the pandemic and has held outdoor summer gatherings to accommodate this. The church plans to continue to hold gatherings while upholding all statewide mandates. While safety has always been a top priority, Dunlap knows that togetherness is an important asset of a strong church family. n
Berkley First PUTTING FAMILIES FIRST SINCE 2017
For more information on Berkley First, 2820 12 Mile Rd., please visit www.berkleyfirst.org or call 248.399.3698. Worship services are currently held both online and in-person.
By Sara E. Teller
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ERKLEY IS THE MOST SOUGHTAFTER REAL ESTATE IN METRO DETROIT. The city’s expanding effort for inclusivity has made it home to more than 15,000 residents and embodies an undeniable urban vibe with beautiful tree-lined streets.
unique and charming downtown filled with independent retailers, restaurateurs, and tavern-keepers. With this, our Berkley Downtown Development Authority (DDA) serves as the City’s economic development arm helping new businesses start up and existing businesses thrive and grow in Berkley’s downtown district.
HE DDA SUPPORTS OUR BUSINESSES WITH GRANT PROGRAMS, design support, adver-tising initiatives, streetscape improvements, as well as by hosting a variety of different events to showcase our vibrant downtown. The DDA district consists of businesses along 12 Mile Road between Coolidge Highway and Greenfield Road, and Coolidge Highway between 11 Mile Road and 12 Mile Road. n
Nestled within 2.62 square miles of choice locality surrounding a charming downtown, Berkley has been called one of the best places to raise a family, one of the safest cities in Michigan and, most recently, designated as Michigan’s #1 Suburb by GoBankingRates in 2021.
Explore all that Berkley has to offer by visiting www.berkleymich.org.
The City offers a slate of full-service amenities to residents and visitors alike while preserving the warmth of a small tightknit town. Residents enjoy living close to beautiful park spaces, attending a variety of citywide events, exploring a revitalized downtown district, and the walkability of an affordable suburban city. Berkley has become a prime location for both commuters and independent entrepreneurs who have created a
• CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE 3338 Coolidge Hwy. 248-658-3350 firstname.lastname@example.org
• CODE ENFORCEMENT 3338 Coolidge Hwy. 248-658-3320 email@example.com
• COMMUNICATIONS (Media Relations) 3338 Coolidge Hwy. 248-658-3333 firstname.lastname@example.org
• FINANCE/TREASURY 3338 Coolidge Hwy. 248-658-3310 email@example.com
• DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (DDA) 3338 Coolidge Hwy. 248-658-3353 firstname.lastname@example.org • CITY CLERK'S OFFICE 3338 Coolidge Hwy. 248-658-3310 email@example.com • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (Building/Planning) 3338 Coolidge Hwy. 248-658-3320 firstname.lastname@example.org
• LIBRARY 3155 Coolidge Hwy. 248-658-3440 email@example.com • PARKS & RECREATION 2400 Robina 248-658-3470 firstname.lastname@example.org • PUBLIC WORKS 3238 Bacon 248-658-3490 email@example.com • PUBLIC SAFETY 2395 12 Mile Rd. 248-658-3380 Emergency Number: 9-1-1
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SPRING & FALL CLEANUPS • Design Consultation • Weed Maintenance • Mulching & Landscape Celebrating Over 10 Years Serving our Woodward Corridor Clients! LOOKING FOR HARD-WORKING PEOPLE TO JOIN OUR TEAM IN A CREATIVE AND FUN ENVIRONMENT.
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HE CITY OF HUNTINGTON WOODS HAS BEEN ABLE TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF THE LAST YEAR with resilience and strength. The Recreation
Department and Library continue to quickly adapt to the changing circumstances created by the pandemic. The City has also welcomed many new staff members that have quickly embraced the community. The Library is open for 30-minute visits and curbside service is still available. Programs are being offered as a mix of in-person and online. Storytime has continued as
well as special youth events such as Super Saturdays. Adult programming has resumed in-person with a bevy of interesting lectures. The City also welcomed a new Children’s Librarian, Calla Sundin, to the community over the summer. The Recreation Department never stopped providing fun to residents. Our Teen Council has resumed in-person meetings and continues to organize and sponsor community service and events. Senior programming, like weekly films and lunch-bunch has begun again in-person. Residents can look forward to exciting events throughout the year. Information is available by checking the City’s newsletter, the and by signing up for the City’s weekly e-blasts at www.hwmi.org. Adults and children alike can enjoy the new Gaga Ball Pit at Burton Field, brought to the community by Seamus Lux as his Eagle Scout project. The Recreation Department also welcomed Lauren Fletcher as Program Specialist. If you see Lauren at the Rec., give her a warm welcome!
By Jane McNamara
HE CITY IS IN THE PROCESS OF UPDATING THE MASTER PLAN. The Planning Commission, staff, residents and planners have all played an integral role. The Master Plan will incorporate the Anti-Racism Plan and values established last year to ensure future develop-ment is committed to justice, fairness, and peace for all. The innovative ideas brought to the Commission during the planning process will mean that Huntington Woods continues to become more vibrant and welcoming. Public Works has continuously worked hard to make sure that infrastructure is updated and services maintained. Residents can now enjoy new infrastructure and roads after a construction-heavy Summer, brought to you by the additional funds in the general fund after the Public Safety millage was passed. During the storms in July and August, crews worked tirelessly to clear trees and keep the community safe. City staff also opened the doors of City Hall to function as a cooling and charging center. Residents will be met with some new faces at City Hall as well. Jane Kaminski will welcome you at the front desk and help take care of building permits and general inquiries. Michelle Jenny will answer water billing and property tax questions and concerns. As always, residents can continue to utilize the drop boxes for bills and election materials. The City Commission continues the search for City Manager. The diligent search will ensure that the wonderful legacy that Amy Sullivan left will be continued. Stay up to date on all City happenings by visiting the City’s Facebook Page, e-blast and website. n
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ECAUSE OF ITS POSITION AS A LEADER IN DISASTER RESTORATION, THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, Nu-Tech offers its customers and local businesses social networking opportunities based on this topic. Holter explained, “Each July, Nu-Tech hosts its annual Customer Appreciation Day event at which hundreds of customers come to enjoy a fantastic catered lunch while meeting and networking with local businesses and manufacturers.” During these current, unprecedented times, as an educator in biohazard certification training, Nu-Tech stepped up a big way. Holter said, “When hand sanitizer was unavailable in the early onset of the coronavirus, the team at Nu-Tech went directly to the FDA and acquired licensing to produce high-quality gel sanitizer. At the time, the Big Three automakers were also struggling with union negotiations, figuring out how they help keep employees as safe as possible. Nu-Tech was able to provide many plants with enough hand sanitizer to keep operating.”
U-TECH CLEANING SYSTEMS IS A MICHIGAN-BASED, SECOND-GENERATION, FAMILY-OWNED-AND-OPERATED BUSINESS. Brian Holter started the company in March 1993 to provide truck-mounted carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, pressure washing, and disaster restoration, including flood and fire support. Today, Nu-Tech has expanded from its home base in Oakland County to serve over 200 vendors worldwide. “In a very short period of time, my Dad earned prominent accounts doing projects for several large universities and two of the largest hospital groups in Michigan,” said son Neco Holter of Nu-Tech’s earliest days. He added, “In the late ‘90s, he incorporated an in-house training center and a small supply store, which, over the years, played a pivotal role in shaping Nu-Tech’s future.”
Nu-Tech also helped Berkley Chamber members during the pandemic. With grant money from Oakland County, the Chamber purchased hand sanitizer, gloves and disinfectant from Nu-Tech and distributed the PPE for members most in need, especially those in food service and restaurants. The company has also supplied disinfectant, nitrile gloves, Tyvek suits, and other [personal protective equipment] to businesses nationwide. Holter said, “Over the last 29 years we have built our culture around helping people during difficult situations, and the pandemic has been no different.” When asked what the community can do to help during the pandemic, Holter opened the discussion up to include everyone in the same boat, replying, “Just be kind! Whether it be a waitress, nurse, police officers or your neighbor, everyone is short-handed and doing the best they can under very difficult circumstances.” He added that being in the tight-knit Berkley community helps, saying, “I love Berkley for the people. We have been operating our business in Berkley since 2006, and every year has been better than the last.” n For more information on Nu-Tech Cleaning Systems, contact Neco Holter at 248-548-5211 or visit www.shopnutech.com.
By Sara E. Teller | Photos by Bill Gemmell
Brian Holter performed consulting on many projects during Hurricane Katrina designed to help restore the communities affected, and the company has continued to do on many national disasters since that time. Nu-Tech currently sells to, and consults for, government contractors and agencies, hospitals, and universities across North America. “Nu-Tech also played a major role right here in Metro Detroit during the 2014 flooding,” said Holter. “We helped thousands of small businesses and homeowners. The areas affected included those in Berkley, Huntington Woods, Southfield, Royal Oak and Clawson. After the event, we received many emails, cards, and letters thanking us for helping them through a difficult situation. Reading all of their cards and messages was rewarding beyond words.” Unlike traditional janitorial supply houses that mainly sell toilet paper and plungers, Nu-Tech has specialty cleaning products designed to solve the toughest challenges, including drying equipment, flood extraction and floor care, as well as many professional grade must-haves. Holter said, “NuTech is nationally recognized as a leader in truck-mounted extractor installations. We are also one of the largest botanical disinfectant distributors and educators around.”
Nu-Tech C L E A N I N G
S Y S T E M S R
MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY AUTOMOTIVE 4Berkley Collision, Inc. & Berkley Auto Care, Inc 3611 W 12 Mile, Berkley……….248 548-3300 http://www.berkleycollision.com/ 4Curt’s Service 14611 W 11 Mile, Oak Park….248 545-0500 http://www.curtsservice.com/ 4Northern Auto Repairs 27201 Woodward, Berkley……248 548-9666 http://www.northernautorepairs.com 4Sol’s Complete Car Care 4200 W 11 Mile Rd, Berkley.…248 545-5350 http://www.solscarcare.com/
COMMUNITY 4Berkley First 2820 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley..…248 399-3698 http://www.berkleyfirst.org/ 4Berkley-Huntington Woods Youth Assistance 3205 Catalpa Dr, Berkley…….…248 837-8229 http://www.bhwya.org/ 4Berkley Post 374 American Legion 2079 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley..…248 542-7668 http://www.berkleypost374.org/ 4Care Net Pregnancy Center Berkley 2826 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…..248 545-6411 carenetberkleydetroit.org
4Royal Oak Optimists Club PO Box 1914, Royal Oak MI 48067 ……………………………………. …….248 399-3245 http://www.mychemistrysalon.com/ 4Tri-Community Coalition 2820 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…….248 518-0853 www.tricommunitycoalition.org 4Yad Ezra 2850 W 11 Mile Rd, Berkley…248 548-3663 https://www.yadezra.org/
EDUCATION 4Berkley Education Foundation 14501 Talbot St, Oak Park……248 837-8018 http://www.berkleyedfoundation.org/ 4Berkley-Huntington Woods Youth Assistance 3205 Catalpa Dr, Berkley……..248 837-8229 http://www.bhwya.org/ 4Berkley School District 14501 Talbot St, Oak Park….….248 837-8000 http://www.berkleyschools.org/ 4Tri-Community Coalition 2820 12 Mile Rd, Berkley………248 518-0853 www.tricommunitycoalition.org
ENTERTAINMENT / TRAVEL
4City of Berkley 3338 Coolidge, Berkley……….…248 658-3350 http://www.berkleymich.org/
4Card My Yard Clawson Christine Williams, 230 Chippewa Street, Clawson MI 48017.…….……….248 602-7469 firstname.lastname@example.org
4CMNtv 1230 Souter Dr, Troy………….….248 589-7778 http://www.cmntv.org/
4Cruise Planners Gayle April, Berkley.………………248 268-1350 email@example.com
4Ferndale Friends Box 20076, Ferndale………….…248 545-4215 www.ferndalefriends.com
4Hartfield Lanes 3490 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley ………………………………..248 543-9338 x200 http://www.hartfieldbowl.com/
4Friends of the Berkley Public Library 3155 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley….248 658-3440 www.berkleymich.org/libraryfriends 4Huntington Woods, City of 26815 Scotia, Hunt. Woods…..248 541-3030 https://www.ci.huntington-woods.mi.us/ 4Our Lady of LaSallette Church 2600 Harvard Rd, Berkley……248 541-3762 www.lasalette-church.org
4Pinspiration Berkley 2733 Coolidgey, Berkley…….248-392-8631 www.pinspiration.com/berkley 4Stagecrafters Baldwin Theatre 415 S Lafayette, Royal Oak…….248 541-6430 http://www.stagecrafters.org/
FINANCIAL / INSURANCE / LEGAL 4Ameritax Plus 3336 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…..248 584-1040 http://www.ameritaxplus.com/ 4Davis Law Group LLC 27600 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield ..........................................……….248 469-8501 https://www.michigancriminallawyer.com/ 4Eagle Rock Insurance Agency, Inc. 1904 W 11 Mile, Berkley………..248 548-5530 https://www.eaglerockinsurance.com/ 4Edward Jones, Matthew McEwen 2737 W 12 Mile, Berkley………..248 268-3326 Matt.firstname.lastname@example.org 4Flagstar Bank 28653 Woodward, Berkley……..248 541 5781 www.flagstar.com/berkley-flagstar-bank -michigan-582.html 4Galloway & Collens PLLC 26075 Woodward Ave, Ste 200 Huntington Woods.....….………...248 545-2500 http://www.gallowaycollens.com/ 4MacQueen Insurance Group 2191 W Twelve Mile Rd, Berkley …………………………………….……….248 543-4332 http://www.macqueeninsurancegroup.com/ 4MSU Federal Credit Union 1833 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley ………………..… www.msufcu.org…………………….800 678-4968 4Paesano Akkashian Apkarian, PC Berkley …………………………………248 840-2642 http://www.paalawfirm.com/ 4PNC Bank 2925 W 12 Mile, Berkley……….248 691-3169 www.pnc.com 4Channing Pritchett/Edward Jones Investments 43060 Mound Rd Ste 102, Sterling Hts ………………………………………..……586 726-0070 www.edwardjones.com/channing-pritchett 4Reid Beyerlein, Raymond James 3336 W Twelve Mile, Berkley...248 399-3245 http://www.raymondjames.com/berkleyMI/ 4State Farm - Mary Curran 28151 Woodward, Berkley…..248 544-9020
2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 139 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
4Vibe Credit Union 3082 Coolidge, Berkley ……….248 829-1740 http://www.vibecreditunion.com/
GROCERY 4Fresh Collective Kitchen & Market 2752 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…248 907-0767 www.freshcollectivekitchen.com 4The Neighbor’s Shoppe 2833 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…248 546-8960 http://www.neighborsshoppe.com 4Woodward Corner Market 30955 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak ……………………………………..…..248 955-1041 www.woodwardcornermarket.com
HEALTH / WELLNESS 4Associated Dermatologists 27901 Woodward Ave Ste 200, Berkley ……………………………..………….248-975-SKIN https://www.michderm.com/ 4Balanced Health & Wellness 2770 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…248 397-8122 http://www.bewellmi.com/ 4Be Well Medical Center Dr. Paul Benson DO PC, 1964 W 11 Mile Rd, Berkley……………….………………..248 544-9300 http://www.doctorbewell.com/ 4Missy Bean, LMSW, Counseling 1850 11 Mile Rd, Berkley ………………………..………………….248 202-1146 4Beaumont Health 3601 W 13 Mile Rd, Royal Oak 48073 ………………………..………………….248 898-5000 http://www.beaumont.org 4Berkley Medical Center Pharmacy 1695 W 12 Mile St 210, Berkley…………………. …………………………………………..248 591-4489 4Cultured Cook Berkley.….….….….…………………..248 403-0158 www.theculturedcook.com 4Dr. Christopher Dollar, DDS 28969 Woodward, Berkley…….248 398-5545 http://www.berkleydentist.com/
4Eternal Balance Holistic Life Center 3311 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley …248 542-1357 http://www.eternalbalance.com/ 4Nova Chiropractic 2745 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…..248 398-1155 https://www.novachiroclinic.com/ 4Reforming Foundations Pilates & Wellness 3044 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…..248 439-0990 http://www.reformingfoundations.com/ 4Restoration Dental 26831 Woodward, Berkley…….248 399-1200 email@example.com 4Seven Point Dispensing of MI Brad Zerman……………..….……...312 593-8448 www.sevenpoint.org 4Shanbom Eye Specialist 28747 Woodward, Berkley ……248 546-2133 https://www.shanbomeye.com/ 4Therapeutic Rehabilitation & Vocational Training Center 2338 Coolidge Hwy………………..248 556-5386 www.therapeuticrehabmi.com
PET CARE 4Berkley Animal Hospital 3996 W 12 Mile, Berkley………..248 545-4933 https://berkleyanimalhospital.com/ 4Doggie In The Window 2656 W Eleven Mile, Berkley….248 336-2655 http://www.ditw.net/ 4Second Chances Animal Resources Inc. 29488 Woodward, Royal Oak…248 635-2309 http://www.scarmich.org/
4Dry Ice Works 21421 Hilltop #25, Southfield …………………………………………….810-499-1303 www.dryiceworks.com 4Energy Sciences 3500 W 11 Mile Ste B, Berkley. .………………………………………..…248 792-9287 https://energysciencesllc.com/ 4Folio Offices 2838 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…248 955-4960 http://www.foliooffices.com/ 4Four Seasons Garden Center & Custom Landscape Services 14471 W 11 Mile, Oak Park….248-543-4400 http://www.fourseasonsgardencenter.com/ 4Goldy’s Landscaping, Inc 3020 W 11 MIle, Berkley………248 588-4468 https://www.goldyslandscaping.com/ 4Henderson Glass 27501 Woodward Ave………..248 543-4046 http://hendersonglass.com 4Hunt Sign Co. Ltd. 1724 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…248 546-1021 http://www.huntsign.com/ 4JM Design & Printing Services, LLC Berkley.…..….…..……..…………….248 546-6411 4MFE Insurance www.mfeinsurance.com………..213 634-2500 4David Rutt, Michigan Financial 28411 Northwestern Ste 1300, Southfield www.michiganfinancial.com….248 663-4729 4Nicolai Events & Communications Berkley ………………………………..248 239-0284 http://www.nicolaievents.com/ 4Poignant Pen Berkley ………………………………..248 403-0158 4Rad Hatter Marketing Berkley ………………………………..248 701-2013 www.radhattermarketing.com
4Armadillo Printwear 3861 W 12 Mile, Berkley……….248 547-0490 http://www.goarmadillo.com/
4Spike Lawrence 3020 Coolidge,.Berkley………….248 677-7707 http://www.spikelawrence.com/
4Heather Boddy Designs, LLC Berkley.…………….….……………….248 544-3582 http://heatherboddy.com
4Stantec Architecture 2338 Coolidge Hwy Ste. 100, Berkley ………………………………..……………248 336-4700 www.stantec.com
4Catalyst Media Factory 71 Garfield St #104A, Detroit..313 462-0808 www.catalystmediafactory.com 4Debra’s Medical Telemessaging 3281 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…248 543-6816 www.debrasmedcall.com 4Decypher 3010 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…248 965-9291 http://decyphercorp.com
4Such Great Heights Marketing LLC Berkley………………………………….248 808-0405 www.suchgreatheightsmarketing.com 4T A G Multi-Media 642 S Main St, Clawson MI 48017 ….…..….…..……………………………248 571-4991 http://www.tagmultimedia.net/
REAL ESTATE / REMODELING / HOME SERVICES 4Aero Pacific Drapery 3811 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…248 548-7300 http://www.aeropacificdrapery.com 4Berkley Realty Group, LLC 3445 Robina, Berkley…………..248 677-1565 http://www.berkleyrealtygroup.com/ 4Cooper Glass Homes 275 S Old Woodward, Birmingham ...……….…..…….….………………...248 658-8030 http://www.cooperglasshomes.com/ 4Dobi Real Estate Huntington Woods MI…………….248 229-0273 http://wearedobi.com/joannatuttle/ 4Interior Coach Berkley
4Kim Elliot, Realtor Berkley………………………………….586 246-5007 4Tim Murad Realtor 423 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak …………………………………………..…248 410-6283 www.TimMurad.com 4Oxford Park Towers of Berkley 2345 Oxford, Berkley ……..…..248 399-9300 http://www.dhsmgt.com/community_model/ oxford_park_towers 4Ramtra Remodeling Huntington Woods …………..……248 842-3714 www.ramtra.com 4Real Estate One/Max Broock 26236 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak………………. ……………………………………………248 548-9100 http://www.realestateone.com/royaloak 4Servpro of Oak Park/Ferndale 825 Orchard Ave, Ferndale …..248 264-0790 http://www.servprooakparkferndale.com/ 4Stransky & Company 423 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak …………………………………………..…..248 563-9449 www.stranskyandcompany.com 4William Ellis Co. 3311 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley… 248 398-6330 http://www.wmellisco.com/
RESTAURANT / BAR / SPECIALTY FOOD 4Amici’s Kitchen & Living Room 3249 W 12 Mile, Berkley…….…248 544-4100 www.amiciskitchenanliving room.com
“Let us put a little TLC in your lunch!”
4Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern 2972 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…248 543-3283 www.baggerdaves.com/locations/berkley-mi/ 4Berkley Common 3087 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…248 677-0795 http://berkleycommon.com/ 4The Blarney Stone 27253 Woodward, Berkley….…248 541-1881 www.facebook.com/profile.php?id= 100008457067937 4Casa Amado 2705 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…..248 398-3294 https://casaAmado.com/ 4Coco Fairfield’s 2959 W 12 Mile, Berkley………248 399-2626 http://www.cocofairfields.com/ 4Crispelli’s Bakery & Pizzeria 28939 Woodward, Berkley……248 591-3300 http://crispellis.com/ 4Dog & Pony Show Brewing LLC 14661 W 11 Mile, Berkley…..248 850-8910 www.dogandponyshowbrewing.com 4Fresh Collective Kitchen & Market 2752 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…..248 907-0767 www.freshcollectivekitchen.com 4Green Lantern 4033 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley..…248 951-9292 http://greenlanternlounge.com/ 4Jet’s Pizza Berkley 2823 Coolidge, Berkley………….248 547-9880 www.jetspizza.com 4The Lunch Cafe, LLC 3116 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…..248 544-2233 www.facebook.com/The-Lunch-Cafe 36075290635/?fref=ts 4Mr. Kabob 3372 Coolidge, Berkley………….248 545-4000 www.mrkabob.com 4Monger’s Provisions 3127 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley..248 468-4487 www.mongersprovisions.com 4The Neighbor’s Shoppe 2833 W 12 Mile, Berkley……..248 546-8960 http://www.neighborsshoppe.com/ 4O’Mara’s Restaurant 2555 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley. 248 399-6750 http://www.omaras.net/ 4Oak Park Social 14691 W 11 Mile, Oak Park. 248 808-6365 www.oakparksocial.com 4Republica 1999 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley..248-768-3175 http://www.republicaberkley.com/ 4Sydney Bogg Sweet Essentials 3233 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley..248 398-7933 http://www.sydneyboggs.com/
Eternal Balance Life Center Therapeutic massage & bodywork, CranioSacral Therapy and Reiki.
248-542-1357 3311 12 Mile Rd, Berkley firstname.lastname@example.org 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 140 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS
4Vinsetta Garage 27799 Woodward, Berkley…..248 548-7711 https://www.vinsettagarage.com/
4Odd Fellow Antiques 3248 W 12 Mile, Berkley……..248 399-6098 https://oddfellowsantiques.com/
4Woodward Corner Market 30955 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak ………………………….……………….248-955-1041 www.woodwardcornermarket.com
4Office Depot 21110 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park, MI 48237 ……………………………..…………..248-968-2485 www.officedepot.com
4Peninsulas 3125 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley….248-268-4828 www.shoppeninsulas.com
4Amora Luxe Hair Restoration LLC 2550 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley..248 480-4336 www.amoraluxe.com
4Pools & Spas A Go-Go Inc. 2750 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley….248 398-4577 http://www.pasagg.com/
4The Berkley Chop Shop 2980 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…...248 546-2237 www.berkleychopshop.com
4Reware Vintage 2965 W 12 Mile Ste 200…..….248 439-0007 www.rewarevintage.com
4Chemistry Salon 2785 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley….248 245-2772 http://www.mychemistrysalon.com/
4Sum Girls Boutique 3015 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley….248 677-4900 http://www.sumgirlsboutique.com/
SHOPPING 4America’s Stamp Stop 3860 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…248 399-1930 4Berkley Eyewear & Local Sunglass Co. 2680 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley….248 629-6410 http://www.localsunglass.com/ www.berkleyeyewear.com
4Toadvine Books 2783 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley..248 439-0409 http://www.toadvinebooks.com/ 4Tootie & Tallulah’s 2600 W 12 Mile Rd Berkley…248 850-7637 www.tootieandtallulahs.com
4Catching Fireflies 3117 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…248 336 2030 www.CatchingFireflies.com
4Ullman’s Health & Beauty LLC 2816 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley..248 839-9404 http://ullmanshb.com/
4Council Resale 3297 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…248 548-6664 www.councilresale.net
4The VITRINE Gallery 2758 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley..248-629-7329 http://shopatvitrine.com/
4CR Hill Co 2734 W 11 Mile Rd, Berkley….248 543-1555 http://www.crhill.com/about-us.aspx
4Yellow Door Art Market 3141 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley…248 336-2038 http://www.yellowdoorartmarket.com/
4Distinctive Framing LLC Huntington Woods………………248 252-8396 www.distinctiveframing.com
4Zalman’s Treasures 3875 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley...248 547-8383 http://www.zalmanstreasures.com/
4Gate Keeper Games 3961 12 Mile Rd, Berkley……..248 439-0787 http://www.gatekeepergames.net/
4The Twisted Shamrock 3074 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley. 248 544-4170 https://thetwistedshamrock.com/
4Have You Any Wool? 3455 Robina, Berkley.…..….….248 541-9665 http://www.haveyouanywoolmi.com/
4Jenna In White Bridal Salon 2685 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley …734-276-9370 http://www.jennainwhite.com/
4June & December 2670 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley…248 667-8941 https://junedecember.com/
4The Wedding Shoppe 2186 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley….248 541-1988 http://theweddingshoppe.net
affordable & professional Interior Design coaching
Darlene Rothman Interior Designer
(248) 892-3161 INTERIORCOACH.COM email@example.com 2021 BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER CITY GUIDE | 141 | PUBLISHED BY FERNDALE FRIENDS