Washtenaw County is a special little bubble in Michigan, providing some of the finest talent in business, the arts, entertainment and the service industry. And, from this sea of creativity and passion, Current's readers have chosen their favorites—a diverse group of highly innovative souls, who have tirelessly worked to steer the county in the hard-working, creative direction that makes us all proud.
Best New Business
The Grow Show
Stone School Plaza,
4095 Stone School Rd., Ann Arbor
The staff at The Grow Show are passionate about what they do. If one of their customers runs into a problem, the locally owned and operated hydroponic and organic materials supply shop does everything to get them back producing the freshest fruits and vegetables possible. Troubleshooting is a piece of cake at the shop because the knowledgeable staff will answer your question in person or over the phone. These guys care about their industry and its supporters, and that’s what Manager Noah Woodson believes sets them apart. “It started with the knowledge of the industry, more than anything else,” he says. Don’t miss their customer appreciation day on June 4 with 20 percent off almost everything in the store and giveaways.
215 S. Ashley St. | 734-665-2796 | www.threechairs.com
In the world of furniture, this store strikes a balance between high-end design and kick-your-feet-up comfort. Three Chairs provides an extensive selection of quality, fashionable furniture that won’t make your guests feel guilty for sitting down. They focus on working with each customer to make their own cozy space for good times and making memories. “It’s tomorrow’s antiques,” owner Susan Monroe says to sum up the hybrid that has kept customers coming back. Don’t miss their ‘Herman Miller for the Home’ 15 percent off sale from June 3-13.
211 N. Maple
In the herd of pet shops, Green Pawz definitely stands out from the crowd. Their main focus is nutrition—and they take it seriously. Green Pawz carries pet food made in the U.S., which contains no by-products, artificial preservatives or chemicals. They support domestic business, with most merchandise made in the States. The business got its start when owner Lisa Pearce and business partner John Scherer became concerned about the quality of pet store products. “We were tired of low-quality treats and food,” she says. And she knows Ann Arbor is the perfect place for her environmentally-conscious pet store.
Orbit Hair Design
334 1/2 S. State St.
Orbit Hair Design is Ann Arbor's own homegrown, independently owned hair salon, boasting an energetic, upbeat and diverse staff of stylists. Orbit again is voted Best Hair Salon by Current's readers. Whatever your personal style, Orbit's team can help you look and feel your best. Their work has been showcased in publications ranging from the Metro Times and Hour Detroit to Seventeen and Rolling Stone. With an extensive selection of beauty and hair-care products, Orbit is sure to have what you need (and if they don't, they can order it for you). Orbit offers massage, too, with therapist Stacee Shelly.
Best Food Cart
Autumn Rae's Sweet Treats and Street Meats
Woodruff at Betty Rocker's, 36 E. Cross St.
Autumn Rai has built her reputation around high-quality carnival food. Jalapeno corndogs, maple-bacon cupcakes and the sweet treat of the week have made her a sweet-tooth staple in the food cart business that is on the rise. And best of all, her entire selection of tasty delights are all organic and locally made. "I've been told they are the best in town and I sell a whole bunch of them," Rai says about the maple-bacon cupcakes that have taken Ann Arbor by storm.
Main Party Store
201 N. Main St., Ann Arbor
With over 2500 wines, 1500 beers to choose from and a secret cellar — what’s not to love about Main Party? But, the great thing about the place is it’s a fun-loving environment, serving the casual drinker along side the beer geek or the wine connoisseur. We drink with friends to kick back and have fun, and Main Party believes the selection process should happen the same way. So, discover something new or stick to an old favorite. As long as you leave happy, that’s what matters to the staff at the Main Party Store.