Shops

234. Bon Bon Bon – March 5, 2017 – Detroit, MI

Bon3 (3)Bon2Bon1Bon4Hi, guys! Happy Monday!!!

I hope you had an excellent weekend and were able to get some exploring in. Mine entailed some intense decluttering Saturday (getting rid of unnecessary crap is the best!) and running in the Corktown 5K in those frigid temps (windburn city!). The race went better than I expected in the bitter cold, and afterward I was able to hit a new bar during the St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans (post forthcoming!), so you know I’m happy. But today I’m here to recount a visit I made the weekend before this last one, to the downtown storefront of Bon Bon Bon.

Bon Bon Bon! I’d been wanting to taste their wares since I’d read about them in Hour Detroit a year or so back. Because come on, artisan bon-bons! Chocolate is one of my Top Five Favorite Things in Life, so I knew the Bons, as the candies are called, would be right up my alley.

I had aspired to visit the Hamtramck location, which is the facility where the chocolates are made and the storefront is open to the public on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. But the Universe was like, “Real talk: this meeting of you and the Bons is taking wayyyy too long for you to orchestrate, so I’m going to orchestrate it for you.”

And so it came to pass that while waiting to get seated at a very popular brunch restaurant (to be revealed in my next post!) inside the Chrysler Building downtown the Sunday before last, I stumbled across Bon Bon Bon’s Detroit storefront, also within that building. It’s small and pleasant, with bright orange walls and display cases featuring the glorious individually-boxed and numbered bons.

If you have to kill time during an absurdly long wait for a table, buying artisan chocolates has to be the very best use of that time EVER.

Given the wide selection of novel chocolate gems – including a whole section featuring Paczki-inspired Bons containing cake-and-jelly-flavored filling (my friend got a strawberry one and said it was amazing), Bons sprinkled with Earl Gray tea, and one topped with crushed Better Made Chips (yes!) – picking only a few to take home was a challenge. After much deliberation, I chose three (the parenthetical descriptions of each are quoted from Bon Bon Bon’s website): a Number 24, Strawberry and Balsamic (“balsamic reduction, strawberry jam, dark chocolate olive oil ganache”); Number 40, Arabic Coffee (“Great Lakes Coffee espresso ganache, cardamom royal icing, coffee bean”) and Number 41, Whisky Lullabye (“whisky caramel, chamomile dark chocolate ganache, candied chamomile”).

Once I made my selections, the woman behind the counter encased them in the cardboard packaging shown above, stamping its interior with the name of each Bon before sealing it up with red tape and a rubber Bon Bon Bon band. The whole experience felt special, the antithesis of purchasing a factory-manufactured candy bar from a vending machine. At $3 apiece, the Bons were treats that I knew I must truly savor and enjoy.

And savor them I did. Each tiny handmade work of art packed a massive flavor punch, making them well-worth their price tags. It’s a toss-up between the Strawberry and Balsamic (that balsamic reduction was wonderful!) and the Whisky Lullabye (a most decadent caramel!) on which one is my favorite.

So thank you, Universe, for guiding me to this shop by accident so I could finally make this much-anticipated visit! I can’t wait to see where in the city you take me next.

719 Griswold St., Ste. 100

Detroit, MI 48226

www.bonbonbon.com

223. Bohemian Home – December 27, 2016 – Plymouth, MI

bohemianhome1bohemianhome2bohemianhome3Bohemian Home is yet another cute shop that I visited while in downtown Plymouth last December. Its wares included: a number of Michigan-themed items, artisan candles, and the fun coin purses shown above.

Seriously, Plymouth, you are on point! If you haven’t visited its downtown, you need to. Its plethora of arty shops and restaurants and Gilmore Girls-eque town square will charm you.

427 Forest Ave.

Plymouth, MI 48170

www.bohoplymouth.com

222. Sideways – December 27, 2016 – Plymouth, MI

sideways1sideways2sideways3sideways4-2Sideways is one of the shops that sticks out for me on my recent visit to downtown Plymouth, because it touts such unique items. I would characterize it as half home goods, half quirky-awesome gift items. There are elegant flatware, glassware, and fancy packaged foods inside the expansive storefront, but there are also coffee mugs and canvas bags with silly sayings on them (see above). There is Poo~Pourri! and goofy notepads. There are fancy coffees and teas and candles and loads of other stuff you’ll get lost in looking at.

505 Forest Ave.

Plymouth, MI 48170

www.sidewaysgifts.com

221. Birch Wood – December 27, 2016 – Plymouth, MI

birchwood1Guys, I’m so behind on this blog! I’ve been posting more regularly on my food blog, A Cookable Feast, which is happy, but it’s taken away from my blogging time here. So it’s time to go hard, for real-for real! I want to catch up and tell you about some of the things I’ve been doing in January – and Year 3 of the blog closes on February 7, a mere two weeks from today! So expect me to be on here more in the next few weeks. I haven’t been exploring nearly enough places this month, and I am happy to have the motivation to get out there more – especially since we’ve been so fortunate to have warmer weather (for January) here in the D.

Birch Wood is another one of the cute shops I visited in downtown Plymouth at the end of December. It offers stylish women’s clothing – and it also touts itself as a home décor and furniture shop on its website. I don’t recall seeing home décor and furniture in the shop on my visit there – but honestly, it’s been a while, and it was probably so artfully woven in among the clothing displays that I didn’t notice it. I do remember a variety of essential oils and a diffuser being on display – that could count as home goods, right?

525 Forest Ave.

Plymouth, MI 48170

 

 

219. Earth Lore – December 27, 2016 – Plymouth MI

earthlore3-2earthlore1earthlore2-2Another store I visited during my recent visit to downtown Plymouth was Earth Lore, a spiritual/new-age store similar to recently highlighted Crystal Treasures in Pontiac, but bigger.

I couldn’t pass up the temptation to add more tumbled stones to my collection. Regardless of whether those crystals really have magic in them, they are beautiful! They bring out a child-like admiration in me that I’m all about honoring. (I find that unless I’m intentional about cultivating wonder, the daily grind of adulting won’t ignite sparks of it in me nearly enough – hence, this blog and the deliberate explorations!)

Besides selling pretty polished stones, Earth Lore offers all of the things you would expect a new-age bookstore to sell: metaphysical books, candles, essential oils, herbs, incense. Go in there for the smell of the incense alone. You know when you go into a store selling incense and the aroma of patchouli clings to you for a few minutes after leaving? I love that!

895 Wing St.

Plymouth, MI 48170

www.earthlore.com

218. Opendohr – December 27, 2016 – Plymouth, MI

20161227_14130920161227_141225Hi guys! Happy Tuesday! I’ve been lax about recounting my visit to downtown Plymouth the last week of December, so it’s time to catch up. Here’s another shop I visited: Opendohr. The store offers – as its front door proclaims – a mix of vintage, antique, and new finds. The eclectic items displayed there appear to be carefully chosen and are incredibly fun to take in – check out the gorgeous tower bejeweled with a variety of colorful plastic items shown in the photo above.

470 Forest Ave.

Plymouth, MI 48170

www.opndohr.com

217. Bella Mia – December 27, 2016 – Plymouth, MI

20161227_14094020161227_140852Last week, during the holiday break, I met a friend for lunch and shopping in downtown Plymouth. We had an excellent afternoon. I was reminded of how much I love that city and how worth it the approximately 45-mile jaunt from my neck of the woods is to get out there!

After lunch at the repeat-visit-worthy Compari’s on the Park and a visit to the aptly named TranquiliTea for batches of organic peppermint tea and a papaya-laced black and green tea blend, my friend and I hit a variety of very cute shops. Admittedly, I think I probably visited some of these during my last visit to Plymouth in January 2015, but I wasn’t disciplined enough to snap photos of most of the shops I went in then. So they are getting covered now. I figure hey, if the initial visit was during the lifetime of this blog, then it’s fair game to post on here. These shops have obviously been curated with care; they deserve to be highlighted!

Take Bella Mia, for instance. It’s a purveyor of stylish women’s clothing and accessories. I loved the boho styles it touted and these really cute knit hats with poms-poms they had. I need to come back once I recover from the holiday expenditures and can more seriously shop!

448 Forest Ave.

Plymouth, MI 48170

www.bellamiaonline.com

211. Crystal Treasures – December 3, 2016 – Pontiac, MI

crystal1-2crystal2I am a hippie inside my heart. So when a friend asked if I would like to accompany her to Crystal Treasures, a new-age/metaphysical store in Pontiac, I was like, “absolutely!”

My childhood love of rocks and gemstones stirred inside the small storefront incorporated into a building that was obviously once someone’s home in a residential-ish area of Pontiac. SO.MANY.ROCKS! Or crystals, as the new-age terminology describes them. There are rough-hewn crystals, polished crystals, geodes with a banal exterior split open to reveal glittering crystal vibrance inside: crystals in every color and proported to embody every positive trait you could ever want. Next to each variety are tiny pieces of paper enscripted with the benefits of that stone so you can take the description with you upon purchase, which I appreciated. I spent more on crystals here than I would care to admit (They are pretty! And it can’t hurt to believe at least a little bit in their powers, right?).

Crystal Treasures carries an array of other goods with a metaphysically spiritual bent, such as books, candles, jewelry, and incense.

92 W. Walton Blvd.

Pontiac, MI 48340

(Closed on Mondays)

www.crystaltreasuresonline.com

184. DeVries & Co. – August 21, 2016 – Detroit, MI

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Hello, all! Happy Wednesday! I hope you are having  a lovely week and getting some exploring in. I try to remind myself that even weeknights can be special, a chance to discover somewhere new.

This past weekend, I was down in the D for a Tigers game. One of my friends works in the Crain’s office complex, which is amazing, because it means we have its free, gated parking at our disposal. Her work is about a three quarter of a mile’s walk from Comerica Park; it honestly doesn’t feel even that far. I tell her she can never stop working there!

Because of our parking spot’s close proximity to Eastern Market, we decided to meet our other friends who were attending the game with us there. Before pre-game lunch and drinks, we stumbled across a charming market called DeVries and Co. It’s been around since 1887, providing gourmet cheeses, meats, jams, pickles, and other items, many of which are locally made. One more gem in the city!

2468 Market St.

Detroit, MI 48207