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By Ginger Goldmine

OUR DIGS 2020 FEATURED HOME IS THE ROCK HOUSE, located in Ferndale at 519 W. Maplehurst.

Tamela Ekstrom and Evan Derian have lived here since 2011. Evan is an artist, graphic designer, and comic book creator. He creates a comic book/graphic novel series called Miserable Americans.

Tamela owns HAVEN Real Estate + Design, helping people buy and sell homes in our community. The design element to her business helps homeowners stage their properties to sell for more money.

What is one word you would use to describe your vibe or style?

TAMELA EKSTROM: Juxtapose: I like to mix furniture styles and textures to create a soulful space, artfully combining the aesthetics of modern decor with vintage spin. Flashes of metal next to rough wood. I think it’s all about balancing the space so it’s appealing to the eye. I don’t like anything too cluttered. I want that modern look to have a cozy feel. Visitors often say our home is even better in person. I usually pick some colors for a season and then curate the art from ours and our friends’ work. We are both artists, and somehow our work looks very good together. Evan can tell which color combos I’m starting to eye, and I get lucky and end up with pieces that work with that. Our home is ever-evolving. I feel space needs to be ever-changing to transform its inhabitants.

What are some design strategies you would share?

The homes in our neighborhoods were built in the ‘20s and ‘30s, and tend to have smaller rooms. So raising and widening doorways creates a whole new and airy space. I’m attracted to black or darker walls and moody spaces to sleep. I try to place the darker colors in satellite rooms, like bedrooms that are contained.

In our main space, I painted every wall a similar neutral shade. This opens up the small rooms so they flow into each other and appear larger. We recently updated the paint in a few rooms to a very light, warm color called “Gray Owl” from Ferndale’s Benjamin Moore dealer, Paint Stop. Colors contained within art and pillows absolutely pop in this hue.

I also raise the curtain rods above the windows and buy 95” curtains. This really lifts your eye up and visually creates a larger space. When we are selling homes at HAVEN we offer free staging advice, and one thing that creates compelling photos are when contrasting pops of color are used. This anchors photos and creates visual interest. Pick a color palette, match a couple of pillows with a print or art piece and suddenly you have an exciting visual story.

What are some of your favorite local artists?

I love Detroit artists and vendors! We are so lucky to have so many artists in our neighborhoods. Some that come to mind while I’m looking around my house:
• My hubby, Evan Derian (IG:@evan_k_derian) of course. He’s incredibly talented at illustration. He has his own graphic novels, but he also paints a lot of rock stars’ portraits and offers affordable, limited edition pieces.
Robert Mirek (IG:@robert_mirek) creates totem pieces out of many mediums. I find them mysterious and I’m always into his color combinations.
Eastworks Detroit (IG: @EastworksDetroit) satisfies my love for industrial lighting.
• My friend Karen Larson (IG:@karen.larson.patterns) is a graphic designer and creates patterns for custom wallpaper.
• My friend Susu (@Susu.Detroit) creates many different items, she’s now in a phase of making incredible purses and art from dolls and rough and shiny crystals. I have a piece with leather, chain, and a shard of raw crystal that is functional as a tiny vessel but also art. It’s so pretty I have it hanging on the wall and I stare at it all the time.

Do you have any special or semi-secret spots you frequent that you’d like to share?

Ok, this is big, because I’m giving up my favorite stores to you guys.

Nine Furniture and Design (IG:@ninefurnitureand design) hand-makes furniture and decor, and also sells vintage. So it’s pretty much one-stop shopping for me. I’m fascinated at how quickly Keith and Evan create these affordable, inspired pieces. I just received the curved whitewashed coffee table in the photo you see in this article. Another item hand-made by them is the large cross-hatch wood mirror you see in the living room photo.
• We have many pieces from Vogue Vintage (IG:@voguevintage). Their mid-century lighting, cabinets, tables, and chairs provide pieces to promote our modern aesthetic.
Western Market (IG: @westernmkt) for ferns for our porch and Featherstone Garden ( for healthy houseplants.
Nadeau (IG:@nadeaudetroit) makes my heart beat real fast. When I moved here, I searched and searched for Asian style modern furniture, as I could find in San Francisco. After a few years, Nadeau opened up and I hope everyone shops there so they stay around forever. They have solid wood and metal furniture and home goods. I have lots of pieces from their industrial line.
Leah’s Closet (IG:@leahsclosetroyaloak) is my friend’s vintage clothing store, however, she also carries curated home items. I am constantly changing my barware, and I usually get it from Leah. I also bought these incredible beaded tassels I use on the silver glass shard lamps you see in the photos here. Sometimes she has some really great textiles and mid-century artwork as well. She’s great about posting on her Instagram.
• And then, I should mention one more shop I love, my friends’ Tanda and Lauren own Free Phoenix (IG:@shopfreephoenix). They have pillows, trays, glasses, throws, and art. Owner Tanda’s design sense is very organic and earthy and her curated pieces add texture and warmth to spaces.


ROUGE MAKEUP & NAIL STUDIO WAS STARTED IN 2010 by sisters Jeny Bulatovic and Cheryl Salinas-Tucker, who have always believed in the importance of using organic products rather than chemical-based. Bulatovic and Salinas-Tucker began working with a small, Michigan-based company, Eve Organics, to deliver high quality, natural products to their customers. “We want to offer our clients only the best ingredients – we call
it their ‘personal eco-system’,” Bulatovic explained.

The sisters loved Eve’s products so much that in 2019 they decided to purchase the company, moving the entire operation onsite. “We’re super-excited,” Bulatovic said. “We will be undergoing major renovations beginning next month, focusing on enhancing our makeup studio up front and offering makeup classes. It’s great to be able to bring this home to Ferndale.”

Integrating Eve Organics into the rest of services the business offers means customers who love the organic product line will be able to shop directly with Rouge. The sisters are also in the midst of making changes and improvements to further enhance its quality.

With the new business focus, Rouge is no longer offering massage or Reiki services. However, clients will still be able to receive top-of-the-line facials and nail care. Microblading, brow-waxing, and lash extensions are also available.

For more information regarding Eve Organics and all of Rouge’s products and services, visit or call 248-439-6012.


DONNA MASKILL STARTED WORKING ON GLASS IN THE LATE ‘90s while attending the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Afterwards, she became involved with many studios in the area, including Greenfield Village, and eventually, her passion led to the opening of her own shop.

“I loved working with glass and enjoyed teaching others so much that I decided to start my own studio in 2001,” Maskill said. Having lived in the Ferndale area since 1992, she knew it was the perfect spot for House Cat Glass. “With the help of two close friends – and many others – I was able to build all the equipment necessary to melt glass and produce handmade, one-of-a-kind art.”

Maskill recently joined the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce and offers many events at the shop throughout the year. House Cat Glass also includes a gift area with handmade pieces available for purchase.

“I offer classes for beginners and small groups,” she added. “Studio rental time is available for experienced glass blowers. Beginners are given one-on-one attention and are able to use the tools of the trade to learn to shape molten glass.”

For more information or to sign up for a class, visit the shop on Instagram @Housecatglass or call 248-548-3228.


“COME PLAY WITH US.” The motto of the Ferndale Senior Group says it all: Come play, learn, expand, and socialize with us.

We are a social group formed to enrich the quality of life for senior citizens in Ferndale and neighboring communities. We do this through programs, trips, and activities. We offer fun trips within the Tri-County area, including museums, fashionable restaurants, festivals, and whatever else takes our fancy.

Our meetings are packed with speakers familiar with community information, fun facts, ways to ease our lives, not to mention simply socialize and relax. We are famous for our potlucks. We meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 11:00 a.m. at the Kulick Center. Attendance is free. So, come join us.

Jeannie Davis, 248- 541-5888

By Sara E. Teller
Photos by Bernie Laframboise

FERNDALE IS A HUB FOR MANY OF THE AREA’S LEADING PROFESSIONAL BUSINESSES, from law firms and credit unions to printing services, custom event and marketing products, and everything in between. The area offers many cutting-edge, innovative solutions within walking distance, and this makes it a prime location for both start-ups and companies that have been in business for many years.


CLIENT-FOCUSED SMASHBOX DESIGNS, BASED IN PLEASANT RIDGE and wellknown in the Ferndale area for their talented team and personalized customer service, helps companies powerfully reach their target audiences. Creative and innovative, Smashbox employees specialize in logo design, copywriting and branding, large-format and standard printing, business cards, product photography and many other marketing mediums. For more information, visit or call 248-2751877.


ARTECH PRINTING, INC., based in nearby Madison Heights, is a mid-sized, fullservice printer also offering a wide array of digital printing services. 248-545-0088. And ROCKET PRINTING, in Royal Oak, provides many business-to-business services under one roof. They can produce just about any business form imaginable, while also providing collateral sales and marketing services., 248-336-3636.


FOR THOSE LOOKING TO STAGE AN IMPORTANT, MEMORABLE EVENT, EVENT SOURCE provides the very best selection of linen, furniture, and accessory rentals. Family-owned since 1979 and serving not only the Detroit area but also Cleveland, Columbus and Pittsburg, the company has an always in-stock product line that will suit any taste or style. The team can provide quantities to customize any size event – from backyard picnic to a convention from an intimate wedding to a gala. For more information, visit or call 313-309-9000.


MAINTAINING UNIQUE PARTNERSHIPS WITH PROGRESSIVE service- and product-based companies, PLANFREEDOM GROUP acts as an independent marketer providing guidance and value to both residential and small-business clients. The company utilizes online, local, and progressive marketing techniques coupled with distinctive sales strategies to distribute products and services for channel partners through direct sales organizations. Visit or call 248-797-1169 or 248-701-9393.


CREDIT UNION ONE, HEADQUARTERED IN FERNDALE, HAS BEEN IN BUSINESS SINCE 1938. With 25 branch offices, 130,000 members, and 1.5 billion in assets, anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in the state of Michigan can be a member. The credit union offers full-service financial solutions, including checking and saving accounts, security deposits, loans, mortgages, credit cards, and commercial lending and depositing. It also helps members with financial planning and insurance programs.

John Kozich has been at Credit Union ONE for 46 years. “I started in a high school co-op program, went to college at Lawrence Tech, working part-time, then eventually transitioned to full-time after graduation.” He loves the Ferndale area, saying, “I grew up in Ferndale, so I have roots here that go way back. It’s a very diverse, proactive community. Everyone is understanding, open, and dedicated, willing to take risks and step out of the box.”

He believes in Credit Union ONE’s commitment to providing exceptional value to its members by delivering outstanding products and services anytime, anywhere. “We’re here to serve our members. Credit Union ONE has been around for 82 years, providing good service, and rooted right here in Ferndale.”

For more information on becoming a member, visit or call 800-451-4292.


VIBE CREDIT UNION HAS BEEN A MICHIGAN-BASED, NOT-FOR-PROFIT CREDIT UNION SINCE 1936, started by a handful of employees from the telephone industry. The Ferndale eCenter is located at 214 W. Nine Mile Rd, a location selected for “its downtown proximity, active community involvement, and pedestrian-friendly access,” according to Community Engagement Specialist, Ngoc Do, who added, “We love the diversity and positive energy that the Ferndale community exudes.”

Vibe’s checking account includes a mobile banking app, online banking with bill pay and mobile deposit, and monthly accumulated interest. Members also enjoy unlimited free transactions at vibe ATMs and no low-balance fee when deposit and/or loan accounts combined have balances of only $500 or more.

“We also offer low auto loan rates with flexible terms and fast funding, easy online application, ability to eSign, and the convenience of picking your payment date,” Do explained.

Finding a branch to bank with is simple, too. “We have 16 branches in Metro Detroit, many with Saturday lobby hours,” Do said. “We welcome anyone who lives, works, or worships in Michigan’s lower peninsula.”

Vibe is set to sponsor many events in Ferndale this year, including the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce/Kiwanis Unicorn Derby Fundraiser, Ferndale Community Foundation Pride Festival, the Fall Festival and the Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) Fido Does Ferndale in October and the DDA Ice Festival in December.

For more information, visit or call 248-735-9500/248 829 1894.


FOLEY & MANSFIELD IS A LAW FIRM RECOGNIZED ACROSS THE U.S. for providing a wide range of legal solutions for individuals and local businesses, as well as regional and national companies. Gary Sharp, William Osantowski, and J. Mark Mooney opened the Michigan office in 1995 in Bingham Farms.

A decade later, in December 2006, renovations began on a Ferndale-based historic building originally constructed in 1915. The structure previously served as the original Ferndale School and Central School through the 1920s, and from November 1930 through April 1953 it was the home of the Ferndale Public Library.

Foley & Mansfield extensively renovated the building, exposing beautiful brickwork, wood, and other original design, character and workmanship aspects of the building,” said Office Administrator, Dana Hagemann Burleigh. “The firm also expanded the building so the historic and modern aspects now stand side by side, reflecting the past and present.”

Ferndale was an ideal location for Foley & Mansfield, Hagemann Burleigh explained, saying, “We chose Ferndale in part because of the town’s walk-ability and conveniences.” She added, “We frequently collaborate with attorneys from our fifteen other offices, handling mass toxic torts, employment discrimination, family law, and just about everything in between. We have a network of connections and resources that enable us to obtain the services our clients need around the country.”

Foley & Mansfield is a proud supporter of Ferndale Public Schools and participates in many of Ferndale’s festivals and events. “People have been warm and welcoming since day one, and it is fun to take a break and walk around in a downtown area,” Hagemann Burleigh said. “The shop owners and employees are friendly and helpful, whether you need to host an event or find an outfit for the event.”

For top quality legal services, call 248-721-8172 or visit

By Sara E. Teller
Photos by Bernie Laframboise & Others

FERNDALE OFFERS A HIP-AND-HAPPENING COMMUNITY, with both starter and forever homes nestled conveniently near many of Metro-Detroit’s major highways. Homeowners choose Ferndale for its welcoming, tight-knit feel, diverse population and friendly residents, and wide array of available amenities.

This is why the area is also home to many skilled realtors, builders, contractors, property managers, and home improvement companies. It makes sense to follow the crowd and Ferndale is a natural fit.


TAKE WATERWORK PLUMBING FOR EXAMPLE, ORIGINALLY STARTED by owner David Greylin back in 2006. Greylin launched the company with just one truck. Since then, WaterWork has grown to include a team of 14 people who serve the entire tri-county area, and owner Greylin says, “Business is booming!” For more information, call 248-542-8022 or visit


CREGGER PLUMBING & SEWER ALSO OFFERS DRAIN AND SEWER CLEANING, and boiler services in addition to plumbing solutions. The company loves to give back to Ferndale, too, by sponsoring Habitat for Humanity, the Hydrocephalus Association, and the Ferndale Ice Festival. Visit or call 248-560-7780.


FOR SAME-DAY EMERGENCY PLUMBING SERVICES, TRI-COUNTY RESIDENTS can contact Emergency Drain and Plumbing. Skilled workers stand ready to keep the show running. Call 248-506-7634 or submit a service request at


TAMELA EKSTROM STARTED HAVEN REAL ESTATE + DESIGN IN 2015. “I’d lived in a number of different cities across the U.S. and had been involved in a number of different aspects on the real estate business, including construction, property management, and of course real estate sales. I wanted to create a space where people working for HAVEN could tailor their lives how they wanted,” she explained.

One unique aspect of HAVEN is that agents work from their own homes, or from local co-working spaces. “I also encourage them to be their own unique individuals. Not everyone wants a flashy real estate agent in a suit! We empower our clients’ by educating them so they can make an educated, informed decision,” Ekstrom said.

HAVEN primarily serves the Ferndale community, as well as neighboring areas along the Woodward Corridor. Ekstrom explained, “The majority of our customers are people who are looking to buy or sell a home in or around Ferndale. Most of our customers want to buy or sell property along the Woodward Corridor from Detroit to Royal Oak, Berkley, Clawson, Detroit, Beverly Hills, and Bloomfield Hills, but we do reach as far as Grosse Pointe, Dearborn, Macomb, and Northville. Our clients are interested in investing their money wisely and utilizing technology to search for properties.”

In addition to traditional real estate assistance, HAVEN also offers design services. Ekstrom said, “HAVEN real estate + design helps both sellers and buyers with design services. If people sell their homes with us, we offer a free consultation and home walk-through to tell them what to do to maximize profits. For our buyers, we can give rough estimates on renovations and refer contractors.” The company can also assist with furniture selection and interior decorating. She added, “We’re experts at pricing homes, and giving recommendations based on the current real estate market. We’re experts at marketing properties to people looking to buy now.”

The “unique, artistic, edgy, progressive, and inclusive” atmosphere in Ferndale makes working there fun and exciting for Ekstrom and she has been involved in many one-of-a-kind projects, explaining, “I designed and decorated our Northwest Ferndale rock home and it was recently featured in the pilot episode of HGTV’s What You Get For The Money. HAVEN agent Stephanie Kort was the featured realtor in the segment, talking about Ferndale and all it has to offer.”

For more information, 248-464-3304 or visit


REAL ESTATE LEGEND JUDY PALMER HAS LIVED IN FERNDALE FOR OVER 36 YEARS. She grew up in Oak Park and eventually relocated to Ferndale after college, explaining, “Living in Ferndale was a natural transition once I moved back home from EMU. I knew I wanted to get out on my own. Ferndale was a very affordable city for renting and I worked at a local restaurant.”

She originally started her real estate career at a small realty office on Woodward in Royal Oak, then RE/MAX in Royal Oak for 10 years and now at RE/MAX Showcase Homes since 1999 in Birmingham.

Judy’s business has grown leaps and bounds over the years. She said, “For over 35 years, I have cultivated a wonderful client base. My business is 90 percent repeat clients and referrals, which includes generations in families. I am currently working with a young woman to find her first home. I first met her when I found her parents their first home and she was about sixyears-old.”

With a background in interior design and staging as well as marketing, Judy helps sellers prepare their properties for showings plus virtual tours. She ensures that homes get the exposure they deserve. Her follow-up and personal attention to details makes for a smooth transaction with an easy closing.

Judy works closely with buyers to find the right space, manage inspections and appraisals, and facilitate the mortgage and title processes. She said, “My experience, education, certifications and negotiation techniques help my clients daily.”

Palmer also volunteers for many Ferndale events including Pig & Whiskey and DYI StreetFair for the Friends of Ferndale Library. She serves as a board member for Ferndale Community Foundation and Ferndale Board of Zoning Appeals.

“Ferndale is a great place to live, shop and have fun,” she said. “Our friendly neighborhoods, downtown area and amenities like the Library, community center, parks, and City services – plus the culture of music, theatre, comedy, wellness and diversity – make Ferndale the best place to be!”

For more information regarding all of the services Judy Palmer offers, call 833-577-3557 or visit


JIM SHAFFER HAS BEEN A LICENSED REALTOR SINCE 2000 BUT BEGAN HIS FULL-TIME REAL ESTATE CAREER IN 2010. His close connection to the Ferndale community and our schools, businesses and residents helped the business quickly grew.

“Over the years, the team has grown to 42 fulltime members in order to serve our clients at the same high standard of ‘wow’ client experience,” Shaffer said. “We are part of Good Company Realty, a real estate brokerage in Royal Oak.”

Jim Shaffer and Associates serves homeowners along the Woodward Corridor, including those who have lived in the area for just a few years and many that have lived there for more than 40.

“We also help many buyers who wish to live in these communities, either buying their first homes or buying a larger home to suit their growing lives,” Shaffer explained. “Because we are a team of specialists, our clients enjoy the high level of service and communication that a team can provide. From the first call, we walk our clients through every step of the process with staging and updating advice, if needed, to pricing, and ultimately, masterful negotiation.”

THE COMPANY SPONSORS MANY OF THE EVENTS IN FERNDALE, including Pride, DIY, Pig & Whiskey, and others. “We often serve for local charities, work booths and volunteer our time within the community,” Shaffer said, adding, “When describing our city to potential relocation buyers, I always say we are a small town with a big community. I love the entrepreneurial spirit here – our businesses and residents choose to support one another, and this certainly fuels us here at Jim Shaffer and Associates.”

Shaffer enjoys the sense of belonging, contribution, and connection in Ferndale. He said, “We love Ferndale and we love what we do! Every day, we are honored to help buyers and sellers move through the emotional highs and lows of real estate. We are there when folks buy their first homes and when families are faced with the difficult task of selling their parents’ homes. It’s an honor and responsibility that we take seriously, and we will always put the client first.”

To work with Jim Shaffer, call 248-834-3030. more information, visit

By Sara E. Teller
Photos by Bernie Laframboise & Others

FERNDALE IS A HEALTH AND WELLNESS EPICENTER, with a wide range of fitness, physician and pharmaceutical, physical therapy and alternative healing options, as well as beauty service providers and many others. Residents can easily walk to a number of these businesses, and the variety of services available make a comprehensive care plan simple and affordable.


HILTON VETERINARY CLINIC WAS STARTED IN APRIL 2016 BY DR. BETSY SCHNUR, who currently lives in Ferndale and enjoys serving the community in which she works. “Our customers are mainly local dogs and cats living in the Ferndale area,” Dr. Schnur explained. “We focus specifically on one-on-one individualized patient care for each pet.”

Full-service veterinary services are available onsite, including fear-free preventative care, minor soft tissue surgical procedures such as spay and neuter services, and mass removals, as well as canine or feline dental radiographs and surgical tooth extraction. Hilton also offers micro-chipping, vaccinations, and parasite screening and removal.

Hilton Veterinary Clinic supports the Ferndale Cat Shelter and participates annually in Fido Does Ferndale. The business is also currently planning to expand its involvement in other local pet-related events.

Dr. Schnur said, “I love the people in our community, especially dedicated pet owners who make our jobs worthwhile and bring smiles into our lives! Hilton Veterinary Clinic is proud to serve this community and surrounding areas with future plans to expand the business while also staying in Ferndale. Stay tuned!”

For more information on all of the services Hilton Veterinary Clinic offers, visit or call 248-955-3253.


MICHAEL GORNEY HAS DEDICATED HIS ADULT LIFE TO HELPING PEOPLE of all ability levels, from high school and collegiate athletes to senior citizens and individuals with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. His versatile, all-inclusive approach to client relationships proves he takes each individual’s goals and abilities into consideration, and this is the philosophy that led to the development of the Brain Meets Brawn brand.

Founded in 2014, Brain Meets Brawn was created as a solution to the exponentially expanding fitness industry and its overall “lack of professionalism and oversight,” Gorney said. “Our mission was to introduce the science of movement, through corrective exercising and bio-mechanics, to an aging baby- boomer and emerging millennial generation.”

The company began in a small gym at the 1300 E Lafayette building in Detroit, and in August 2019 the first brick-and-mortar location was officially established at 3029 Hilton Road in Ferndale. “I was out of work following extensive ACL and meniscus surgery, and happened to drive by a ‘for lease’ sign down the street from our house,” Gorney explained. “After a quick peek inside, I knew this was the opportunity to take Brain Meets Brawn to the next level.”

Brain Meets Brawn currently focuses on orthopedic injuries with an emphasis on individuals of an older age or nearing or currently retired. “We are a medical rehabilitation and fitness facility that strives to provide a comprehensive rehabilitation and fitness program to our clients,” Gorney explained. “How-ever, our doors are open to anyone who wants to learn more about the art and science of biomech-anics, movement systems, injury prevention, and pain management.”

Brain Meets Brawn hosts a monthly class with Drifter Coffee called Recovery Day. “We also planned a charity event for the Purple Polka Dot Race in late March or April. Purple Polka Dot is a charity group that spreads awareness on vascular birthmarks,” he added.

For more information, call 586-808-8282 or visit


IN MAY 2015, MIKE TOCCO, REGISTERED ACUPUNCTURIST, OPENED EVOLVE ACUPUNCTURE & WELLNESS in Birmingham and, as the business expanded, it moved to Ferndale December 2017.

“Since our move to Ferndale, we have added two additional healthcare providers,” explained Tocco. “Kat Barber, Registered Acupuncturist, and Candace Belinc, Licensed Massage Therapist. We offer acupuncture five days per week and massage therapy two days per week. All of our practitioners are licensed by the State of Michi- gan and are nationally board certified in their professions.”

Other services EVOLVE offers include Chinese herbal medicine and cupping therapy, as well as an exclusive three-step facial protocol that includes acupuncture, red light LED therapy, and a micro-current facial mask designed to improve tone and appearance.

“Our goal is to help our patients feel, move, and look better,” Tocco said. “We help people of all ages that are looking for natural and safe methods to relieve pain and improve their overall health and wellness. We treat patients who are recently injured or patients who have complex and/or chronic conditions. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can help with many conditions besides pain such as headaches, neuropathy, sports performance, digestion, allergies, immune support, sleep, stress management, fertility support, women’s health, and smoking cessation.”

He added, “We also help patients with complex medical conditions such as fibromyalgia and auto-immune conditions regain their health.”

The staff has extensive training in orthopedic style acupuncture that includes motor point muscle activation, trigger point acupuncture, also known as ‘dry needling,’ and electro-acupuncture. Massage therapy services focus primarily on pain management with optional kinesio-taping.

EVOLVE also offers a line of quality Chinese herbal products as well as a topical line of Chinese herbs that contain CBD oil for pain relief.

“We love helping the diverse community of Ferndale feel better and appreciate how inclusive it is here,” Tocco explained. “The FerndaleChamber, along with local Ferndale residents, are so supportive of their local businesses. We have an annual fundraiser at our clinic every December where we offer acupuncture and massage services for a donation, with all proceeds going to Affirmations. It’s one way we try to give back to the Ferndale community.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment call 248-955-1215 or visit


SEARCHING FOR SPECIALIZED DENTISTRY? ALWAYS MAINTAINING a position at the forefront of advances in dental care, Hilton Progressive Dental offers the most effective and comfortable treatment methods utilizing the latest technology. Visit or call 248-209- 3702 for more information.

Tuesday 9:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.; Thursday 8:00
A.M.–7:00 P.M.; Friday 8:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M.;
Saturday 9:00 A.M.–2:00 P.M. Sunday/Monday closed.


MANAGEMENT. US Rehabilitation & Health Services has a highly experienced team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, and speech therapists who have been dedicated to providing the highest quality of care since 2001. Visit or call 844-369-9955.


DR. HOWARD CRANE’S FATHER, LEONARD, STARTED CRANE OPTICAL IN 1949, choosing Ferndale for its thriving business district and prime location. Dr. Crane Jr. later joined the practice in 1972.

In addition to thorough vision and eye health examinations, Crane Optical offers a wide range of brand nameframes and contact lenses, cases and cleaners, as well as minor medical treatment including pre- and post-op services for laser and cataract surgery. Customers also receive free eyewear repairs, including adjustments, screws, and nose pad replacement.

Dr. Crane prides himself on providing high quality care and affordable products. During an exam, he will perform multiple tests, screening for retina and corneal disorders. Afterwards, he takes the time to carefully explain the results and discuss the optimal prescription. He can evaluate the effectiveness of a current prescription as well and make adjustments when necessary.

“I treat patients like family,” Dr. Crane said. “I offer a very comprehensive exam while being considerate of my patients’ time. And I love the small town, yet diverse feel of Ferndale.”

For more information on all of the services Crane Optical has to offer, call 248-545-5600 or visit


THE FERNDALE FAMILY PHARMACY, LOCATED ON 9 MILE BETWEEN PINECREST AND LIVERNOIS, FIRST OPENED ITS DOORS ON OCTOBER 17, 2016. The pharmacy’s over-the-counter product line is priced significantly lower than other stores in the area and the team offers a same-day free delivery service. The pharmacy team can access manufacturer coupons for patients to use on brand medications and actively communicates with prescribers on substitute medications to dispense when others are not covered by one’s insurance carrier. For more information, visit or call 248.565.8031.


NEARBY NOVA CHIROPRACTIC IS ANOTHER GREAT OPTION FOR RESIDENTS SEARCHING FOR A HOLISTIC APPROACH to pain management. Located in Berkley, Dr. Nick Novakoski opened the center in November 2016. For information on Nova’s services, visit


By Mary Meldrum
Photos by Bernie Laframboise and Others


B. NEKTAR IS A MEAD, CIDER AND BEER TAPROOM AT 1511 JARVIS IN FERNDALE. B.Nektar serves many other locations in Oakland County as well as other states. This is a cozy taproom famous for its honey-based alcoholic beverages.

Influenced by sub-pop culture and never satisfied with the status quo, B.Nektar aims to bring a modern twist on mead as well as diversify craft mead, cider and beer.

B.Nektar Meadery was founded in 2006 by Brad and Kerri Dahlhofer, with the help of their good friend Paul Zimmerman. Brad has been an avid homebrewer since 1998, making beers, meads, ciders and wine for his own enjoyment. When Brad and Kerri got married in 2005, he made a mead to toast with at their wedding and received great reviews from the guests. He joked about someday opening a meadery. Paul, a longtime friend and fellow homebrewer, soon began making meads along with Brad in the Dahlhofers’ basement. Their creations quickly began winning awards at homebrewing competitions.

B.Nektar’s session meads and hard ciders are now shaping the craft revolution.

To say that it has been a long road from the home-brewing days would be an understatement. B.Nektar continues to increase their production capacity and is currently the largest meadery in the U.S.A. B.Nektar was the first meadery to join the ranks of the top 100 best breweries in the world by

Proud of this story as they may be, they put a lot of effort into not taking themselves too seriously.

Since a mead can never be better than the quality of its ingredients, B.Nektar uses only the best honey they can find. They source honey from as many local sources as they can find. They prefer that the honey has not been heated or pasteurized. This ensures that the volatile aromatics of the honey are preserved. A single bee will produce only about one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, but in a mead, they need between three and four pounds of honey per gallon. That means they need a lot of hives to produce enough honey for a single 265-gallon batch.


BOOGIE FEVER FEATURES A CONTEMPORARY DESIGN AND WALLS OF SLIDING GLASS WINDOWS that bring the breeze of the outdoors in to guests during the warmer months, and display the beauty of Woodward Avenue and downtown Ferndale all year round. Once you enter the dance club in back, you’ll find a large disco-lighted dance floor for you and all of your friends to get your groove on all night long.

Boogie Fever’s drink menu features a well-rounded wine list, seasonal cocktails, and draft beer. And Boogie Fever proudly proclaims themselves to be “Detroit’s Birthday and Bachelorette Party Central!” Indeed, almost every weekend you can find a bachelorette party streaming into the place to whoop it up!

Everyone arrives at Boogie Fever looking to have fun. The dance club is a sacred space for people to feel free to express themselves. This is a space for everyone to feel welcome and loved.

The club offers special deals for a booth and cover for multiple people. The Boogie Fever staff does not reserve individual tables. Those joining you later will need to pay cover, which is $5, subject to special events or policy changes. The club opens at 8:00 P.M. and will hold your booth until 11:00 P.M. Credit cards are accepted for drink tabs etc., but not door charges.


LOCATED ON NINE MILE ROAD IN FERNDALE, DETROIT FLEAT FOOD TRUCK PARK & BOOZERY is Metro Detroit’s first and only food truck park. In the “Park,” they spotlight two stationary food trucks as well as additional rotating trucks on select days of the week. In addition to the wonderful lineup of food trucks, the “Boozery” features a full bar featuring 16 rotating taps, seasonal cocktails and wine. Detroit Fleat also offers a street-food-inspired house menu. The park is the perfect place for the whole family, including your furry friends!

Detroit Fleat is home to some of Metro Detroit’s most popular food trucks. Permanent food trucks featured at Detroit Fleat include The Pita Post (Mediterranean street food) and Impasto (Italianinspired street food). Rotating food trucks include 4Kings Café (coffee), Bavarian Inn Cluck Truck, Brass Kitchen, Brother Truckers, Buffy’s Mexicasian, Cheese Steak Institute of America, Crepe Day Twa, Delectabowl, Detroit BBQ Company, Mac Shack, Motor City Pasty Company, Motor City Road Wings, Nosh Pit, New Deli, Press, Regina’s Food Truck, Ruckus Taco Company, Senors Food Truck, and Shredderz.

Detroit Fleat is proud to debut their newest patio addition, The Slooshie Bar. The newest standalone trailer on the patio, the Slooshie Bar will feature rotating Slooshies flavors, ice cream and frozen treats.


IMPROV (SHORT FOR IMPROVISATION) IS A FORM OF THEATER CREATED BEFORE A LIVE AUDIENCE. Improv is similar to sketch comedy, except that there are no scripts. Nothing exists before the lights come up. The audience offers suggestions for scenes or songs and the cast makes them up on the spot. This means every show is very, very original. Every scene is done for the first and last time. So, every night GO Comedy! is open, there’s something new on stage. And if you miss it, it’s gone forever.

On Friday and Saturday, the 8:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. shows run for approximately 90 minutes.

The Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday shows run 30 or 60 minutes. On Wednesday and Sunday one ticket is good for the entire night of shows, unless otherwise noted.

Alcohol? Yes, please! With drinks ranging from an ice-cold Pabst to a Napa Valley Chardonna, the GO! bar has something to please everyone from your hipster cousin to your great aunt Betty. Not to mention, they have a whole slew of their own drink concoctions. Each season brings a new line-up of timely palate-pleasers born from the mind of the man Metro Times named Detroit’s Best Bartender 2011, Andy French. The GO! bar proudly serves local favorites such as Valentine Distillery, Detroit Brewing Co., Atwater Brewery, B. Nektar Meadery, Short’s Brewery and more!


AT LUXURY LANES, YOU CAN ENJOY A GREAT EXPERIENCE BOWLING IN A LEAGUE OR CELEBRATING AN EVENT such as a birthday, family or company party. Luxury Lanes features a full lounge that also offers food choices to satisfy anyone’s appetite. With 16 lanes, they offer a newly-remodeled, smoke-free environment for you to enjoy.

Bowling is not the only entertainment at the Lanes. Guests can book parties, enjoy “cosmic bowling” and sign up for leagues, along with relaxing in the full bar with tables for pizza and other casual dining.

There is also an arcade, bumper bowling on all lanes, birthday parties, Perky’s pizza and Sully’s subs snack bar, corporate parties, adult parties and a youth program.

Come and enjoy the venue! Bring your family, friends, and/or co-workers!

By Jill Hurst
Photos by Bernie Laframboise & Others

9 MILE ROAD IS STILL THE CENTER OF SHOPPING IN FERNDALE, BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF FUN PLACES TO FIND WHAT YOU NEED – OR JUST WANT – ALL OVER TOWN. Go south on Livernois to OLIVE’S BLOOMBOX for flowers and yard decor. Heading north? WHIMSICAL WIT on Hilton and IRON RIDGE on Ten Mile are must-visits. Back on 9 Mile, grab some delicious dog treats and a cool new collar for your dog at MAESTRO’S DOG HAUS. Need to do some practical shopping? Head west to SCHEER’S ACE HARDWARE. There are many more places to peruse and enjoy. Just start “on the 9” and take it from there.


THOSE EARRINGS. THE ONES ELAINE WAS WEARING WHEN WE MET AT ELAINE B’S, a lovely jewelry haven on Woodward just north of 9 Mile. Simple, remarkable hoops. I want them! Elaine and her team, Caitlin, Heather, Natasha, Alaina and Holly design, create and sell beautiful pieces at the Ferndale space they’ve occupied since November of 2018. In front, a jewelry store. The “Custom Bar” displays stones and metals you can choose to make your piece. The workshop/studio is in the middle. In the back, shipping.

The six women see the process through from beginning to end. We’re here to “learn how to make a living making jewelry”, Elaine says, smiling. They also display the work of other makers, including Detroit Rose, Hunt and Noyer and Corbe, but their jewelry is the quiet star. They also create new settings for your old gems. Elaine showed me a diamond in a setting she designed. A work in progress. The setting was beautiful, supporting the diamond perfectly.

The day I visited, Caitlin and Heather were preparing to lead a workshop in ring making, which takes you through the steps of working with silver. You leave with a ring you’ve made yourself. Couples have attended the class to make their wedding bands. One man made a ring for his girlfriend. Workshops happen twice a month. They also offer private parties. These makers are eager to share their work and their knowledge.

“Jewelry is a very personal thing…it should tell a story about the person who’s wearing it.” Garance Dore, French photographer/author. Add to your story with jewelry from elaine b’s.

Elaine b’s is located at 22961 Woodward, north of 9 Mile. They are open Tuesday through Fridays 11:00 A.M.-6:00 P.M. Saturdays and Sundays 12:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M. Find them online at, Facebook and Instagram.


BENJAMIN MOORE’S PAINT STOP IS A WELCOME ADDITION TO THIS HOME LOVING, COLORFUL COMMUNITY. Owner Hassan Nasser did his research before opening his paint supply business on Woodward in January 2019. After 31 years in New York, Nasser wanted to continue serving a diverse community and he found that right here. He calls our town “Friendly Ferndale,” and he is enjoying his new business venture.

The store’s customer base extends from the city of Detroit out to the Birmingham area. He serves both residential and commercial customers. Besides a wide array of colors and paint supplies, Nasser and his staff also work as color consultants who can help you find the right shade and finish for whatever you’re looking to apply your fresh coat of paint to. He knows the local contractors and is happy to refer you to painters who can do the job for you.

And they deliver! Minimum order required for delivery? Nasser: “No minimum. Call me if you need a gallon of paint and I’ll get it to you.”

Nasser understands the importance of a good staff and good service. He owned a number of businesses in New York, including a gas station and a Papa John’s pizza franchise. The more stable schedule of the paint store allows him to spend more time with his wife and four children, three sons aged 18, 17 and ten and a daughter, three. The Paint Stop is a great addition to “Friendly Ferndale.” Hassan Nasser and staff are here to help keep Ferndale colorful.

Benjamin Moore Paint Stop is located at 23245 Woodward Ave, north of 9 Mile. You can also check their website:


“COMPASSIONATE. COLLABORATIVE. INNOVATIVE. PASSIONATE. DEDICATED.” These words are part of the mural that lives next to Mike Haddad’s desk at Detroit Grooming Co. Mike, DGC’s co-creator and CEO, gives credit to local artist Kevin Burdik for the work. Giving credit is something Haddad does frequently, with genuine gratitude. To the rest of the team – Mike Spiewak, Brad Schmelzer and Liz Campbell – and to Krista Johnston of DIY StreetFair who started them on the road to retail success.

And, of course, the customers. “We listen to our customers and they help us push forward.” DGC works with local farmers and manufacturers as much as possible to create consistently highquality products. And they smell so good. Haddad smiles. “Scent is tied to 73 percent of our memories.”

Their airy warehouse base is a little bigger than the 100 square-foot converted janitor’s closet in Royal Oak where it all started. At the beginning, they could make 12 beard butters at a time on their double burner. Today, they make a variety of men’s grooming products that include beard butter, oil, shampoo and conditioner filling hundreds of jars and bottles every day. They label and box all of the orders that go out, then send them to a fulfillment center in Warren to be shipped across the country and around the world. There is a retail counter in the warehouse.

The butters and oils have Michigan names like Traverse City and Harbor Springs. A vintage barber chair sitting in front is used when they bring in master barbers to conduct workshops for local barbers and stylists. They also do onsite classes at salons and barbershops. They shoot their youtube videos onsite and sell great t-shirts and other items. The folks at Detroit Grooming Co. are loving their home base in Ferndale. There are plans to host some barbeques and events this summer to celebrate their ongoing success with us! In the meantime, check out the beard nourishing, great smelling products at Detroit Grooming Co.

Detroit Grooming Co. is located at 2615 Wolcott, just off Woodward Heights. They are open 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. You can find them at


BLUMZ BY JRDESIGNS IS A PERENNIAL FAVORITE IN OUR TOWN, AN AWARDWINNING FLORAL AND EVENT PLANNING COMPANY with locations in Detroit and Holly as well as Ferndale. You can call or go online to order flowers, but visiting the store on East 9 Mile is a wonderful experience. Just inside the door you’ll be surrounded by a spectacular choice of plants and a creative variety of planters and yard decorations. Then there are the glass cases full of beautiful cut flowers, racks of greeting cards and shelves full of unique gift items. Finally, there are the chocolates. A case full of beautiful chocolates at the center of it all. Flowers and chocolate, what could be better than that?

Besides endless gift possibilities, owners Jerome Raska and Robbin Yelverton and their staff can help you plan an event from start to finish and there is a lovely event space available right in the store! Blumz is the perfect place to help you commemorate an important event, or just pick up flowers on your way home to brighten up the day. Don’t forget the chocolates.

Blumz is located at 522 E. 9 Mile Road in Ferndale. Hours are in flux during the crisis and the Detroit location is temporarily closed. No contact delivery and pickup at present. Call them at 248-398-5130 or reach them online at


IT’S BEEN NINE YEARS ON THE 9 FOR THE POPULAR, ALWAYS GROWING RUST BELT MARKET. A family and dog-friendly meeting place and shopping mecca, it’s a whirl of activity during the holidays and a favorite meet-up place all-year-round. You can find a variety of Ferndale/Detroit/Michigan gift items, vintage jewelry, handmade clothing and soaps, one-of-a-kind gift cards, local photography, delicious cheese and chocolate, and beautiful plants.

Several new vendors have joined RBM this year, including The Brave Wimp, David Vintage, The Vintage Wick and Supah Market. They also have two rotating pop-up spaces and welcome new vendors for shorter term stays each weekend. There is an event space in the middle, available for rental and host to semi-annual events. Ferndale Radio, 100.7 FM, is based at the Market as well. When you need a break from shopping, there’s a nice little bar in the back. The Rust Belt is a perfect place to start or wrap up your tour of Ferndale.

The Rust Belt Market is located at 22801 Woodward in Ferndale. You can reach them at 248-238-8728 or online at They are open Fridays from 12:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M., Saturdays from 11:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M. and Sundays from 11:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M. Look for extended hours during the December holiday shopping season.


MAESTRO’S IS THE PLACE TO GO WHEN YOU WANT SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOUR FURRY LOVED ONES. Located at 310 W 9 Mile Rd near Allen, Maestro’s has the best prices on high-quality dog and cat foods; frozen, freeze-dried and kibble. Maestros’ Deli’s Culinary team produce the most unique grain-free, filler-free and man-made preservative free treats for dogs and cats. And Maestro’s Signature Dried Necks are for perfect for cleaning teeth. 248-632-1199

By Sara Teller

JAI REDDY WANTED TO CREATE A COMMUNITY WHERE CHILDREN OF ALL ABILITIES, including his 12-year-old autistic son Arjun, felt comfortable learning and engaging. A community that provided support beyond traditional therapy options and allowed students to utilize whatever methods might best benefit them.

This led to the concept for LifeLab Kids in 2017 and, over the past two years, Reddy has worked tirelessly to develop the nonprofit, recruit experts in several differing therapy fields and remodel a 1950s church at 3178 Hilton Rd. into a state-of-the-art learning facility, which opened in February 2019.

“Basically, this place provides kids with a multitude of options that nurture their interests outside of the regular clinical therapy that’s available and quite popular out there,” Reddy says. “It’s not that everything we are doing is non-existent, it’s that you have to go out and find them in different places with a lot of driving around.”

THE FOCUS AREAS OF LIFELAB KIDS ARE RECREATIONAL, speech, music, art, occupational and technology therapies and life skills. Each of these specialties has its own dedicated space within the building. Mathew Bessette, MA, MT-BC, music therapist at LifeLab Kids, walks through each of the areas – starting with the music therapy room.

“Using music, I can find motivation within the student to work on things that are hard. It’s more motivating because of the activity you are doing and the reward of what you are producing,” he says. “Having a lot of instruments in that room gives us all kinds of different tools.”

There is a full gym used for recreational therapy and “building play and leisure skills” and an occupational therapy room for working on fine motor functions and sensory matters. The art therapy room contains three pottery wheels, a kiln and an entire plexiglass wall for finger painting.

“We have a giant space dedicated to art therapy. Bridgette Crockett (Counselor) is our art therapist, as well,” Bessette says. “She works a lot in emotion expression and uses art as her medium.”

THE MAJORITY OF THE DOWNSTAIRS SPACE AT LIFELAB KIDS is dedicated to life skills and technology and was designed to emulate an apartment.

“We have kids that need work on activities of daily living skills,” Bessette says. “If they need to stepwise learn how to do laundry, we have laundry machines. Or if they need to learn how to cook, there is a full kitchen and a dishwasher.”

Technology has been incorporated into the living room space and has a separate room dedicated to augmented and virtual reality (VR).

The expertise and collaboration of the therapists were one of the most important aspects of opening LifeLab Kids. There are nine therapists on staff now and that makes things happen at LifeLab Kids. Reddy is also conscious of the number of students they can take on, not wanting to exceed more than 60-70 students for the year of 2020.

Reddy says the next year will be focused on stabilizing programs and beginning their outdoor facilities. Their next open house will be December 13th and will feature holiday and Christmas sensory-friendly activities. All are welcome to check out the space and meet the team.

Families interested in touring or enrolling in LifeLab Kids can reach out by phone at 248-629-4600 or email

By Sherry Wells
Photos by David McNair

I FIRST MET DEAN BACH, AKA “DINO” OF DINO’S LOUNGE, when he personally delivered food he was donating to the Relay for Life Survivors & Caregivers Tent as part of his efforts to give back to the community. As a bar owner, I expected he’d still be in bed after working into the wee hours. I was a member of the Ferndale Rotary Club at the time, which sponsored the tent. Dino also provided food for a Rotary fundraising dinner, personally bringing it too.

As did Michael Hennes, owner of Howe’s Bayou. Mike rushed in, wearing a long, starched-white apron that covered him from neck to almost ankles. He was there to see whether more of his entree was needed.

BOTH BACH AND HENNES HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH FERNDALE’S DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY for over ten years, with Bach becoming chair in 2015. Hennes has also served on city committees and task forces.

For the last several years, Hennes has not only donated the entire dinner for the Peace Action annual Peace Builders Award banquet, he and his partner, Patricia Barker, have been personally serving it as well.
Hennes also merits a nod for keeping some of Ferndale’s familiar streetpersons busy and fed, with odd jobs to earn a meal.

I learned that Hennes visits New Orleans once or twice a year to stay current on the cuisine. Any excuse will do!

Dino’s introduced me to grilled corn on the cob. Yum! The grill master that day was Dino himself. I told him how much I admired his community involvement.

“Well, my CPA keeps telling me I overdo it,” he shrugged.

Yet he hasn’t seemed to have cut back. Wounded Warriors has been high on his list, informing the public himself about the need. Dino has provided space for non-profit events in his second local spot, the M-Brew, including in the lower video arcade room. Both have provided cosponsorships and gift certificates for fundraisers.

MY THIRD FAVORITE FERNDALE BAR OWNER IS JEFF KING OF THE IMPERIAL and Public House. I frequently walk by the back of his Public House and noticed that recorded music playing in their patio could only be heard when I was within five feet at most of its perimeters. I walked in to tell him or a manager how much I appreciated that. “He gave us strict orders to keep the music level down so it can be heard only in the patio,” his bookkeeper told me. Rex, his manager at the Imperial, said music is to be “Enjoyed, not overheard” by customers and neighbors.

Jeff recently chose the Disabled American Veterans to benefit from one of his many “ten percent of the day’s proceeds” events. Although local organizations are his priority, his annual Cinco de Mayo Skateboard Auction has aided hurricane relief for Mexico and Puerto Rico.

His next idea is Twelve Days of Christmas, starting December 12, with each of 12 beers – at Public House, or 12 cocktails – at The Imperial, representing a different charity and $1 a drink going to that charity.

These three members of our community set the bar and keep raising it for good business blended with community involvement.

By Ingrid Sjostrand

DR. JOEL KAHN WANTS TO HELP PEOPLE EAT BETTER. He’s dedicated nearly 30 years to spreading the importance of a plant-based diet and has been practicing what he preaches for even longer.

A cardiologist by day and restauranteur by night, Kahn has been vegan since college. A combination of necessity from trying to find Kosher foods around the campus of the University of Michigan and his mother’s cooking style at home led to him eating fully plant-based for nearly ten years before starting his career. Naturally, he began incorporating nutrition into his practice.

“I started teaching every patient that we can do a bypass and I can do stents, but they could get out of this pickle they are in…by eating pickles,” Kahn says. “I’m fortunate that I had something to offer people, which was prevention, and the opportunity to get off medication and avoid operations.”
Kahn calls this practice “inter-preventional cardiology” – a twist on the standard interventional practice of treatment.

“WHAT I FOUND REALLY INTERESTING WAS IN MY 30 OR 40 MINUTES with a patient during a procedure I had a great opportunity to teach them how to never come back. That was the best and most effective time. I started talking about diet, sleep and fitness and a lot of them made some really significant changes,” Kahn says. “So I came up with this word, I can do interventional cardiology like other cardiologists. But I really want you to never be here again because you’ve learned the tricks of a healthy lifestyle, and eating is the biggest one.”

Outside of his practice, Kahn has worked to make healthier, plant-based food more accessible to more people. He’s written five books and is about to publish his sixth in 2020. He also teaches at both Wayne State University and Oakland University, but one of the biggest ways he’s done this is through his restaurant, GreenSpace Cafe, which he opened in 2015 with his son Daniel. Located at 215 W Nine Mile Rd, GreenSpace’s menu is locally-sourced and free of GMOs, processed foods, fryers, microwaves and animal products.

KAHN SAYS. “WE’VE TRIED VERY HARD TO EMPHASIZE REAL FOOD, old food, healing food. This is certainly not a medical clinic, but you can create great food and great-tasting food from real ingredients without processed chemicals.” The menu changes based on ingredients available seasonally. Another unique attribute of Greenspace compared to other local vegan restaurants is that they have a full bar. They regularly host events ranging from plant-based breakfast for dinner, staying healthy during the holidays to a presentation of a vegan bellydancing troupe.

“It’s been an amazing ride. I’m here most nights, Daniel is here most days, my wife is here a lot and we’ve served over 500,000 meals,” Kahn says. “We want to make sure everyone who comes here has some comfortable options to eat. We have seen so many people that have never been in a restaurant with plant-based options, and that’s been really great.”

IN 2018, THEY EXPANDED THE BRAND and opened Greenspace-And-Go in Royal Oak: a fast-casual space with dine-in, carry out and catering and a completely different menu cooked almost entirely without oil.
“You can’t help but notice around the country in the last couple of years that people are starting to be more conscious of what they are eating. I don’t know if anyone would have predicted that mainstream America is trying plant-based substitutes,” Kahn says.

“Very honestly, I don’t need to be in the restaurant business, I want to be in the restaurant business. We’re proud to have survived in a tough industry for four years and plan to be here for many more; we welcome everyone to come in just once or every night.”

How to take the first steps to change your eating:

1. “Decrease the garbage because it’s bad for you and have awareness of what you are putting into your body. Realize that food is medicine and bad food can be poison. Most people aren’t really thinking as they eat a meal ‘is this promoting my health so I don’t have to take medication or have surgery?”

2. “Increase the good stuff, I like Meatless Monday for people that are starting. Start with one day a week where you have a smoothie or oatmeal or skip breakfast, bring a salad to lunch that is loaded with protein or beans and peas and carrots and maybe a little cubed tofu, make it bulky and find a way to make a cheeseless pizza at home and add every vegetable in the world.”

3. “Get rid of dairy seven days a week – ‘Dairy is scary,’ as we say. Dairy causes acne, bloating, gas issues, stuffy nose.”

Dr. Kahn recommends two documentaries • Forks Over Knives/Netflix • Game Changers – Netflix