Success stories

2022 Gift Guide

Small business is the best business. These entrepreneurs support their families and their communities and we’re proud to support them.




Copper Peak, N13870 Copper Peak Road, Ironwood.

Give your loved ones the gift of the view from the top of Copper Peak. The Adventure Ride opens Memorial Day weekend and it is spectacular. You can rise to the heights of the ski flying athletes, starting with an 800-foot chairlift ride that takes you to the crest of the copper-bearing volcanic outcrop. Then it’s an 18-story elevator ride to the main observation deck. It’s perfectly lovely there, but climb an additional eight stories and you may get a glimpse of Canada! You can see for more than 2,500 square miles.


Black Pearl Rubs, of Petoskey, has you covered from starters to dessert. This Pork Tenderloin recipe uses your favorite fall foods, plus the Ultimate Steak/Brisket Spiced Rub, with coarse sea salt, black pepper, garlic, onion, and Black Pearl’s special spice blend. And dessert, you ask? Black Pearl’s Orange, Lime, or Cherry BBQ Rub sprinkled on vanilla bean ice cream!



Dreamscape Desserts, at 3448 Alpine Ave. W. in Grand Rapids.

You need a cupcake FLIGHT! Each flight includes 12 mini cupcakes in 12 different flavors – and there’s a guide to help as you go. Dreamscape Desserts also makes fantastical custom orders.



Sweet Bees Gluten and Dairy Free Bakeshop, 228 E. Michigan Ave., Paw Paw.

Avoiding gluten and dairy doesn’t mean avoiding deliciousness by any means. When’s the last time you had Lemon Pound Cake or a Snickerdoodle? With delicate, lemony icing? It can be delivered to you or someone you love, with just a few clicks. Highly recommend adding some Snickerdoodle Cream Cookies – the cinnamon buttercream filling will make you think of elephant ears at the fair.


Borchard Brothers Market/Borchardts Market, 628 West Adrian Street, Blissfield, MI 49228; 8901 Onsted Hwy Onsted, MI 49265.

Come for the grocery deals or giant cows, but stick around for the invaluable tips, like add some baking soda to the water when you hard boil eggs and they will peel effortlessly! Head to either the Onsted and Blissfield location for your holiday food and advice.


Country Corn Winery-Valley Mist Vineyards, 2498 N. M-33, Rose City, MI,  48654.

Craft nights are hugely popular in this cozy country setting, whether creating porch signs, painting ornaments or with great group at a Paint and Pour making, what else, wine glasses. Don’t forget about the tastings, wine by the glass, and flights, too! They have a variety of sweet wines, but try the Red Dress cabernet franc and the Tuxedo, a red blend.



Great Lakes Snack Co., 210 Oak St., Manistique.

Now you too can enjoy the delights of a MI New Favorite Snack competition finalist. Great Lakes Snack Co.’s Candied Pecans, Roasted Pecans, Garlic Parm Pretzels, Ranch Pretzels … is your mouth watering yet? If you can’t decide, get a gift box with all your favorites!


Kitchen Proper, 34 W. Michigan, Battle Creek.

We can personally, happily vouch for Kitchen Proper in Battle Creek when it comes to feeding friends, family, and holiday party-goers. The food is fresh, seasonal, and very creative. Speaking of seasonal, there’s a Grilled Venison Tenderloin dish that includes caramelized watermelon reduction! The food is so artistic, like these housemade crepes that include roasted local mushrooms from Sprout!





Motorless Motion, 121 S. Main St., Mount Pleasant.

What’s it going to be? A sweet pink fat tire bike, a two-wheeler with training wheels, or do you have the need for speed? Maybe you want to kit out your existing bike, or have that brake looked at. This is the best time of year to do all that!



Poetess and Stranger, 445 E. Mitchell St., Petoskey

Want some insight into the future? And the past and the present? Get a Tarot or Oracle Card reading at Poetess and Stranger in downtown Petoskey. Maybe a Spirit Board session is more your style, or just some amazingly beautiful crystals.


East of Eden Wellness Spa Center, 103 West Clay Ave., Muskegon.

The Royal Retreat sounds like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. This four-hour experience includes a 60-minute float, a 60-minute session, a Deluxe Ionic Foot Detox, and a 45-minute HALO Salt Therapy session.

Want some pampering home? Try a rice pad to help with muscle aches and joint pains. They can be hot or cold!


Aspidistra Naturals, 32 West Michigan, Suite 4, Battle Creek.

We know the soap Lori Olsen makes is clean and natural, but the beauty of it is unexpected! There are multiple clean products, as well as jewelry, candles, even kitchen accessories. The brick-and-mortar location is new, but Lori has years of experience with online sales and can get that olivewood soap dish – and soap – to you efficiently.


Hozz Industries’ Knot Away Ball, Hancock.

Developed by a disabled veteran, this simple solution is massively effective! Jeff Hauswirth had tried all sorts of things to relieve pain after multiple surgeries, but never found the right mix of affordable and portable. So he invented it! Knot Away not only helps the upper body, which is what Hauswirth was looking for, but works on all the parts.



Battle Grand Rapids, 284 Dodge Court NE, Suit 100, Comstock Park.

Parties are so much fun at Battle GR. You can try axe-throwing, laser tag, or form leagues and teams but how about a FOAM PARTY? This is an outdoor spree perfect for the summer months, so book now to get the party started.



Crooked Music, 539 Ashmun St., Suite 3, Sault Ste. Marie.

Acoustic or electric? Piano or drums? Definitely ukulele. Crooked Music in downtown Sault Ste. Marie can outfit your whole band, teach you to play, and then host some gigs! Music lessons make great gifts and the youth-sized guitars are some of the coolest in the store.




Lantern Games, 821 S. Garfield, Traverse City.

This is the perfect time of year for tabletop and roleplaying games, and Lantern Games in Traverse City has you covered. Yep, Magic, Pokemon, Flesh and Blood, and Dungeons and Dragons all hang out here, plus Top Gun, The Brothers War, Dynasty and all the latest. Shop online – or learn what all this is about in the New Players section of the website.


Smoke and Mirrors Hair Studio, 109 Ottawa Suite B, Grayling.

When is a salon more than a salon? When it’s a community champion. Melissa Pickard and her merry band at Smoke and Mirrors Hair Studio in Grayling give free haircuts to service members monthly. On Veterans Day, they donated all the tips from the free haircuts to Meals on Wheels. Stop in to thank them, and drop something in the Toys for Tots collection box!



Downtown Threadz, 41 W. State Road, Newaygo.

A lot of women don’t think about clothes shopping in Newaygo, probably because until 2020 there wasn’t a women’s clothing shop anywhere in Newaygo. Thankfully, that problem has been solved with Downtown Threadz, featuring women’s clothing in ALL the sizes. It’s billed as “casual weekend wear,” which is what most of us wear 24/7 anyway.




Tip’n The Mitten, 212 E. Michigan Ave., Grayling.

We all love to support Michigan, but Tip’N The Mitten tops us all.  They have Made-in-Michigan clothing, food, and crafts for sale, but their cheering of their communities is the best. And where else can you get a Lake Margrethe sweatshirt?



Applecore General Store, 708 W. M-134, Cedarville.

Speaking of community cheerleaders, Amy Polk at Applecore General Store is our success story this month – because of that community involvement. But you can shop there, too, right from your couch! Cedar Shore Soaps are made with all-natural ingredients from the U.P.; the Mackinac Bluffs Maple Syrup is hard to keep on the shelves!



Donckers, 137 W. Washington St., Marquette.

Our Marquette office is way too close to Doncker’s and now so is yours. The Signature Caramel Box combines all our favorite things and can be shipped to the caramel-lover in your life: Sea Salt Caramels; Cookie Caramels; Caramel Pretzel Rods; Sea Salt Caramel Oreos; and more. Again, these are amazing business owners who support their community in multiple ways, so we love supporting them!

More Success Stories

The workers who grow our food need food. Vanessa Muniz makes sure they get what they need – and it goes well beyond food. Her…
‘A TimberPro on Every 40’ Hiawatha Log Homes saves energy and customers benefit Joe Esbrook’s log home was built by his dad the year Joe…
Start Garden Demo Day is legendary. The Grand Rapids-based business incubator holds an annual pitch contest, beginning with a 100-second video pitch and ending with…