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120 Royal Oak Articles | Page: | Show All

Royal Oak is a destination spot for a lot of things ... even toy soldiers

It's not uncommon to head on over to Royal Oak for a bite to eat, a drink, and to catch a movie at the Main Art Threatre. And, for some, it's not uncommon to go to Royal Oak to check out, or pick up, some toy soldier ware.


Rick Berry and Dave Youngquist are co-owners of the 6,000-square-foot Michigan Toy Soldier Company in Royal Oak, a business that is the focal point, or gathering place, for the strong community of collectors of toy soldier military collectibles.

Youngquist said Michigan has one the largest group of collectors nationwide. Proof is the 20th Semiannual Detroit Toy Soldier and Figure Show, 12th Michigan Historical Miniature Show scheduled for next Saturday and Sunday in Madison Heights.

Berry and Younquist host the event that also houses the 4th Iron Brigade Militaria Show where military items are swapped and sold.

Its not surprising that Berry is the founder of the show, store owner and head of a successful collectible online business. Despite the tough economy, Berry said his holiday business was just as strong in 2008 as 2007.

Read the entire article here.

SE Michigan programs help businesses start the new year off right

It's a new year. It's time to improve on the last one. Change a few things, rework this or that, tweak a few items in the business plan. Or, maybe you don't even have one... and want one. Regardless, if you're unsure about how to go about doing any of these things, there are programs out there to help.


The beginning of a new year usually brings with it the feeling of a fresh start. Build on the things that went right last year and make some changes to address the things that didn't go so well. Most university business schools would have you refer back to your business plan to make sure that you are still aligned with your goals or suggest you amend your plan to incorporate changes that you have made to your business.

That assumes that you have a business plan to refer back to. What if there is no business plan? Or what if technology, competition, customers or the current economic situation has rendered your business plan obsolete? There are local resources available to you that can help.

Read the entire article here.

Smaller spaces for renters and buyers becoming more attractive

Sometimes smaller is better. Renters and buyers are considering smaller places these days. The economy probably has something to do with it. People want to save money but financial considerations aren't the only motivation. Some are looking to reduce their carbon footprint by having less stuff.


The obvious appeal is that they are, for the most part, less expensive. Empty nesters and young professionals are also drawn to the eco-consciousness of smaller spaces that require less water and energy. They also enjoy features such as stainless steel kitchens, industrial touches and on-site amenities such as party rooms and health facilities.

"People want that high-quality finish, but they don't need the 2,000 and 3,000 square feet of space," said Chadd Fox, developer of Research Lofts in Detroit, near Wayne State University.

Fox said he and partner John Biggar have attracted unprecedented sales since opening in early 2007.

"We are 70% sold and closed and that truly is what I believe to be the best-selling product in the marketplace right now," Fox said.

Read the entire article here.

Missed the 70s? Check out Royal Oak's newest addition to retail

These two business partners are doin' what they love - sellin' weird stuff. But not just any kind of weird stuff. Weird stuff plucked right from the 1970s. Royal Oak's newest store, Bohemian Rhapsody, sit down with Hometown life and talk about opening up a niche retail store in challenging economic times.


The 1970s had its virtues, most of which are on display in vivid color at the new Royal Oak store, Bohemian Rhapsody.

Co-owners Pam McLenon of Farmington Hills and Marianne Petrus of Royal Oak opened the unique boutique Nov. 8 with the goal of offering accessories, home decor, personal care products and art that's heavy on kitschy fun and low on price. Pick up a funky pillow and some handmade soap or some jewelry, a Superball and a Russian nesting doll. Like the 1970s itself, it's a potpourri of colors, tastes and moods.

The women own their own side businesses as well: Petrus started Girls in the Studio with Angie Yaldoo; McLenon owns the Forever Mick and Keith line of greeting cards and art. Many of those items are for sale in the store.

Read the entire article here.

Making wine in Royal Oak

Welcome to Royal Oak! Welcome to wine country! Ok, so not exactly. But that's what two Royal Oak residents are doing here - making wine, locally produced Royal Oakian wine.


Promoting local businesses and products is important to Lisa Berry and Sheryl Racey. And that’s why the two Royal Oak residents are proud that the product they sell is home grown.

“We produce everything here,” said Berry, as she sat inside the 2,200-square-foot Vintner’s Cellar wine shop in Royal Oak. “Everything that is on our racks, we made.”

Berry and Racey opened the store, 325 E. Fourth St., in mid-November and feature 20 varieties of wine along with the ability to alter any recipe for a custom batch. The store has varieties of white and red wines, along with four different types of fruit wine and two types of dessert wines.

Read the entire article here.

Take a ride on the southern Oakland County trolley

It's not exactly mass transit but it's a start. On Saturday night southern Oakland County will be providing 40-seat trolley cars for people lookin' to hit the town - without the burden of driving.


The trolleys are to make 10 repeated stops, from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday, in Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge and Royal Oak. Stops include two city community centers, restaurants and a nightclub.

"We're hoping this will be as big a hit as it was when we did it in October" -- when Pleasant Ridge rented a trolley for a night just to run to Ferndale and Royal Oak, said Pleasant Ridge City Manager Sherry Ball.

"This time, we scheduled it to see Ferndale's ice sculptures," which will be on display after Saturday's daylong Ferndale Holiday Ice Festival.

Read the entire article here.

Freep finds the best burgers in town

Whether you like Dearborn's Miller's Bar or Royal Oak's Red Coat Tavern, you favorite burger joint is bound to show up somewhere on the Freep's list of best burgers in town. Not into red meat? Don't worry, check out No. 24. Ferndale's Flytrap has a salmon burger just waiting for consumption.


When we asked readers this fall to point us toward Detroit's best hamburgers, hundreds of you sent recommendations. We read every one, picked the places that sounded best and then hit the streets in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to taste them. Six weeks and innumerable antacids later, here are our favorites.

Read the entire article here.

Bicyclists asking Royal Oak for a little help

Bicyclists are organizing and asking Royal Oak to put together some non-motorized friendly goals to increase the safety of riders. Signage and bike paths along roads are key to improving  the well-being of these bicyclists.


The group wants Royal Oak to create a non-motorized transportation plan that will set goals to increase safety for bikers and walkers by adding bike lanes and signage to roads that remind everyone streets are meant to be shared by cars, bicyclists and pedestrians.

"The situation is bad here. We have to plan change carefully. Cyclists are riding on the sidewalk; they are getting struck crossing driveways or at corners," said Regan, a Royal Oak resident. "We want that to change. Motorists need to know that they are legally entitled to be there."

At the meeting, commissioners appointed Regan and two other cyclists to a task force to write up some recommendations. A meeting between the task force and City Manager Tom Hoover is being planned, Regan said.

Read the entire article here.

It's parade time in Royal Oak

Everyone loves a parade and magic and the holidays, right? Well, what happens when you combine all three? No, your joints won't lock up with excitement. So, the answer? Go on down to Royal Oak on Nov. 22 and check see for yourself. That's the day the city is having their Downtown Royal Oak Holiday Magic Parade.


This year's parade offers something for the entire family. The fun begins at 9 am with special parade day sales in participating downtown stores. The parade runs from 10 am – 11 am, with the route starting on Washington at Lincoln and heading up to Fourth Street. Plus, there is free parking downtown from 10 am to 2 pm.


There will be floats, marching bands, and a variety of other performers from over 50 different area groups. And, to top off the event, Santa will be arriving from the North Pole for one of his first stop in metro Detroit to kick off the holidays. Kids will have the opportunity to visit Santa at Stagecrafters at the Baldwin Theater from 11 am to 1 pm.

To volunteer or for more information contact Stephanie McIntyre, Downtown Manger for the Royal Oak DDA, at 248-246-3286 or visit www.downtownroyaloak.org.

Gourmet grocers thriving as of late

The economy is struggling, that's undeniable. But, of course, there are bright spots that are equally undeniable. For instance, gourmet grocers are thriving. As this article states, the next best thing to going to Europe is eating as if you were in Europe.


Despite the region's dismal economy, upscale grocers are flourishing in Metro Detroit, expanding and adding stores to serve a sophisticated and growing customer base that wants organic produce, natural and international foods, gourmet carry-outs and a glass of wine or a Sanders' hot fudge cream puff while they're shopping.

"A trip to Europe may be out of the question, but consumers can still go to the grocery store and get the ingredients for a meal they would have eaten there," said Linda Gobler, president and CEO of the Michigan Grocers Association. "People want to do something to make themselves feel good."

Read the entire article here.

Local communities make it easier for moviemakers

It hasn't all been soda pop and cotton candy for the film industry here. Michigan wasn't exactly set up for the film production tsunami of '08. Still, the incentive is less than a year old and some growing pains are expected. Luckily, local governments have been greasing the wheels for projects, making it easier to get things done. The hope is that the area will then become more enticing to a yet more moviemakers.


Cities like Rochester Hills, Royal Oak and Ferndale have simplified or created new processes for getting permits to close streets, erect temporary structures and move forward with filmmaking.

In some cases, officials estimate these changes could shave up to a month off the time it takes to get certain permits by allowing administrators to issue them instead of making movie companies first go before a city council or commission.

Ferndale, Rochester and Rochester Hills are building Web sites to help market their communities to movie moguls while Redford Township is creating a promotional packet.

Read the entire article here.

25 years of whips and chains; Happy Birthday Noir Leather

Whether you've been there since the beginning when Noir Leather was located on 3rd Street or if you bought your first chain, whip, or leather vest just last year, Oakland County's most famous fetish shop invites you out for their silver birthday bash. Yep, 25 years later, and a few moves, Noir Leather is still selling their black patent leather fare to people looking for some black patent leather fare.

On Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. at the Crofoot, the party unfolds with a Noir Fetish fashion show, burlesque acts, artist exhibits, and 12 musical acts.

Get more information and directions visit Noir Leather here.

Local produce does a body good... the economy, too

Why go to the Royal Oak Farmer's Market? (Or any farmer's market for that matter?) Well, it'll do your body some good, as well as the economy.


Some of the nutrients in some produce diminish after it is picked. Shopping at The Farmers Market shortens the time between picking and eating so the food has more of what your body needs. And, locally grown produce almost always tastes better.

Shopping at The Farmers Market also keeps money circulating locally. Says Dr. Susan Smalley, director of the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University: "If you spend a dollar ... with a local farmer, he or she will invest some of that dollar back into the farming operation - helping to pay the mortgage, perhaps at a local bank, paying local people who work on the farm, purchasing gas for the tractor locally, etc. Some of your dollar will hopefully be profit - profit that provides the farm family with its income and keeps the land in farming. If you spend a dollar on food in the supermarket, only about 20 cents on average makes it back to the farmer."

Read the entire article here.

Royal Oak-based Adopt-a-Watt Program is an alternative way to fund alternative energy

Alternative energy for public buildings could grow thanks to the Royal Oak-based national program Adopt-a-Watt.


"We mimic (the Adopt-a-Highway program) exactly, but instead of giving (sponsors) recognition for picking up litter on the side of the highway, we give them community recognition for investing in clean energy," said Wither.

Here's a possible scenario: A company or other private sponsor donates $5,000 to purchase a solar lighting panel and wants it to be installed at the Royal Oak Fire Station at 13 Mile and Woodward. When that solar panel is installed, a sign would be prominently displayed crediting the sponsor business or individual, much like with Adopt-a-Highway.

Read the entire article here.

Visit Adopt-a-Watt here.

Royal Oak might get a spot for Spot... the dog

Royal Oak city commishes have agreed to designate Mark Twain Park as the city's first dog park. Unfortunately, it's not yet concrete. That spot for Spot still needs some cash to get going.

The Royal Oak Dog Park Committee, who pushed the issue, needs funding and is in the process of planning a fund raiser. If all goes well, everyone will finally be able to answer that age old question: Who let the dogs out? It was Royal Oak.


The 7-acre park doesn't abut homeowner property, has parking and is not an active park, so recreational activities like baseball and soccer are not in jeopardy, said Tod Gazetti, superintendent of recreation.

While the actual size of the dog park has yet to be determined, fencing for 1 acre is roughly $25,000, Gazetti said. The committee also plans to pave the gravel parking lot that officials estimate will cost about one-third of the total. The fund-raising goal has yet to be disclosed.

Read entire article here.
120 Royal Oak Articles | Page: | Show All
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