MI Downtown Hot Spots for Small Business Saturday

In between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don’t forget about Small Business Saturday.

What is Small Business Saturday? The retail movement is on the Saturday following Thanksgiving and was created in 2010 by American Express as a way to bring more holiday shopping to small businesses. According to American Express, on average, for every dollar you spend at a small business, 67 cents stays in the local community.

So, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, make a day of it! Stop by your local coffee shop and hit the best main street near you or plan a road trip to a city you’ve been wanting to visit.

We asked our readers for their recommendations about unique shops to visit and here’s what they had to say:

Southeast Michigan

Hot downtowns to check out in SE Michigan include Birmingham, Ferndale, Northville, Plymouth, Royal Oak, Rochester, Wayne, and Wyandotte

Social Media shout-outs:

  • Detroit’s Eastern Market is a favorite of many members of our team. There are a number of great shops to find gifts at.
  • The best kept secret in Southeast Michigan for quick comfort food is Barb’s Pizza and Pasties hidden right in downtown Clawson. The pasties are sold hot, cold and frozen. So, you can grab a pastie to go during your Saturday shop small spree or save it for dinner later that night.
  • Gretchen Stefani, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employee, recommended Susie at Home in Grosse Pointe. This cute and quaint family-owned store has jewelry, accessories, gifts and home décor items.
  • Leon & Lulu in downtown Clawson was recommended by our Facebook follower Lori. The store is a great stop for custom decor, gifts, accessories and women’s clothing.
  • You had us at bacon lip balm, Lounie’s Soap Co. Recommended by Facebook follower Ellen, this Port Huron shop sells uniquely scented and flavored personal care products, candles, essential oils and more.

West Michigan

Hot downtowns to check out in West Michigan include Grand Haven, Grand Rapids’ Uptown neighborhoods, Hamlin Lake, Holland, Lowell, Ludington, Manistee, Pentwater, and Rockford

Team recommendations:

  • If there’s a gift you can’t find at Rebel.Reclaimed in Grand Rapids, you’re not looking hard enough. Our West Michigan editor, Julie, says this eclectic shop is a must-visit in the Uptown shopping district, home to many great small businesses.
  • Monroe Center in downtown Grand Rapids has several cute little shops to help you check people off your list. Fashionistas will love Gina’s Boutique and right next door you’ll find The Paper Studio – come in for the Rifle Paper Co. calendars and journals, stay for owner and designer Abbey’s hilarious collection of cards for any occasion. A little farther down the block you’ll find Apothecary Off Main, which features a wide selection of personal care products, lotions and candles, including men’s grooming items. The Vault of Midnight has the comic book collectors in your life covered.
  • Downtown Holland makes for a great day of shopping. Find stocking stuffers at the iconic Holland Peanut Store and unique and classic gifts for the younger set at The Sandcastle for Kids.
  • If you like visiting shops that make you feel like your Pinterest dreams could one day come true, visit The Found Cottage in Hudsonville. Filled with seriously dreamy home décor, handmade items and unique vintage finds, our West Michigan editor Julie recommends planning to spend more time here than you think you’ll need.


Hot downtowns to check out in Mid-Michigan include Flint, Grand Ledge, Howell, Lansing, Portland and Saginaw.

Social Media shout-outs:

  • Our Facebook follower Nancy recommends Imagine That!, Peel ‘n Pare Gifts for the Kitchen and Heather ‘n Holly if you’ll be shopping in downtown Midland this Saturday. All three look like fun shops with unique gifts.
  • Check out Absolute Gallery in Lansing’s Old Town, a hot district for shopping a variety of small boutiques. Our Facebook follower, Melody, said this shop “can fill any gift-giving need.”
  • Ledge Craft Lane in Grand Ledge was recommended by a Facebook follower. The shop offers unique artwork as well as art classes and workshops for all ages.
  • Laurie, one of our Facebook followers, recommended Anna’s Gifts & Home Decor. If you’re near Jackson, check out the fun and quirky store to get one-of-a-kind gifts and decorations for around the house.
  • Loafers Glory is recommended by Facebook follower Colleen. Located in Blanchard, this shop offers one-of-a-kind rustic décor items, toys and gifts.

Northern Michigan/Upper Peninsula

Hot downtowns to check out in Northern Michigan and the U.P. include Alden, Alpena, Cadillac, Petoskey, Rogers City, Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie and Traverse City.    

Social Media shout-outs:

  • Ricker’s M-13 Market in Linwood is recommended by our Facebook follower Erma. Stop in to fuel up before you shop or put together a gourmet basket filled with meat, cheese, wine and craft beer.
  • Marsha, one of our Facebook followers, recommended Our Daily Bread, a great Amish store in Whittemore, that offers a nice variety of baking supplies, fresh pies on Friday and Saturday and daily deli specials.
  • Facebook recommendation of The Local Basket Case in Alpena has unique and fun Michigan-themed products. Find anything and everything from coffee cups and apparel to Michigan-shaped gummies.
  • Lisa, another Facebook follower, said you can find “everything from A-Z” at Mrs. O’s Crap Shack. The boutique shop is located in Interlochen and looks like a fun spot for a budget-savvy shopper.

Southwest Michigan

Hot downtowns to check out in Southwest Michigan include Allegan, Battle Creek, Niles, Plainwell, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Three Rivers.

Social Media shout-outs:

  • Facebook follower Rob recommends Horrock’s Farm Market in Battle Creek (visit other locations in Lansing and Kentwood). Need a great host or hostess gift? This is your spot to shop.
  • Amy Zane: Store & Studio features an impressive roster of local artisans all under one roof in this downtown Kalamazoo gallery filled with gift ideas.
  • Niles is home to A Lovely Nest, filled with rustic handcrafted décor and gifts. Reviews on the store’s Facebook page are positively glowing.

There were more recommendations than we could list in one post (including two for Ace Hardware stores in Ann Arbor and Essexville – “best store ever!!!,” according to Facebook follower Bill). Share what we missed in the comments or join the conversation on our Facebook page

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Photo credit: filadendron

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  1. You forgot Lakeside in Muskegon County. Lakeside Emporium (home made fudge and other candies, wonderful proprietors), A book store, A tea shop, a theatre, and many more interesting places to see. Also, don’t forget to go a few more miles and see beautiful Lake Michigan.

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