By Jeff Milosevich
THERE ARE SO MANY EVENTS COMING UP AT THE FERNDALE LIBRARY this Summer I’m not sure it can be contained in one column!
But let’s start with some music! Our ever-popular Summer Concert Series is coming back: These free musical performances for all ages are hosted outdoors in our courtyard, made possible by the Friends of the Ferndale Library. This year’s lineup brings a mix of jazz and world music sweetened by an array of eclectic instrumentation.
OUR SUMMER CONCERTS ARE SCHEDULED ON TUESDAY EVENINGS, June 18, July 19, and August 9, each performance beginning at 6:30 P.M. Nessa (June 18) performs original world music that is Celtic-inspired but also infuses sound and rhythmic elements from the Caribbean, Africa, and India, as well as a mix of genres, from classical and jazz to folk and funk. Djangophonique (July 19) is a virtuosic, instrumentally driven acoustic jazz quartet bringing to life the rich musical language of Django Reinhardt’s jazz manouche. Klezundheit (August 9) is a 10-piece ensemble group performing traditional and modern klezmer, gypsy, Balkan, and jazz music, featuring a mix of accordion, trombone, tuba, flute, and soprano saxophone.
THIS YEAR’S THEME FOR OUR SUMMER READING CHALLENGE is An Ocean of Possibilities, so you can anticipate a range of water-themed events (and prizes) for all ages. When you sign up for Summer Reading, you (and your family) can create an account with the Beanstack app to track your reading throughout the season. Starting as early as June 11 and continuing until August 31, adults will be challenged to read four books, teens will be challenged to read three books, and kids will be challenged to read for five full hours. As you read, you can earn digital badges and raffle tickets through Beanstack: the more tickets you earn, the more you can submit for our range of prizes.
Some of the events we have planned include a watercolor class (June 9), a look at lake monsters (June 23), a history of sea shanties (July 7), and an instructional presentation on rain barrels (July 14). Sign up for our Summer Reading Challenge opens on June 11; for more info, visit: www.fadl.org/summer-reading. And remember, if you take our Summer Reading Challenge and are ever in need of recommendations, visit www.fadl.org/readerscorner, where you can request book bundles and receive personalized recommendations.
LIBRARY OF THINGS & OTHER UPDATES
WHILE WE’RE HIGHLY ENCOURAGING EVERYONE TO TAKE our summer reading challenge, you can certainly use your library card for more than just reading. We were particularly excited, at the start of spring, to unveil our “Library of Things.” This special collection features tools, gadgets, instruments, and more, anything from a thermal leak detector to a sewing machine or even a ukulele. Ferndale Library cardholders can check out items from the collection of “Things” for up to two weeks. For a full list of these unique items, visit: www.fadl.org/things.
The Library of Things is just one facet of some of our recent updates. You might have already noticed our new signage facing along the north, west, and south-facing sides of our building, but there are a few updates inside that you should check out! We’ve added an accessible laptop bar that stretches across the windows of our atrium, along with several new (and rather comfy) chairs along the windows and near our quiet reading room. Parents/caregivers will also find new furniture, new carpeting, and many new shelves inside our Kids Corner. We’ve also added new resources and materials, including a restocked seed library, an Adobe Suite computer station, and a set of telescopes available in our Kids Corner.
IN OTHER NEWS:
• Our Youth Librarians will be hosting walk-in/drop-in sessions for Reading With Dogs (ages 4-17), starting Monday June 6, and continuing every Monday evening from 5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. (except July 4). Meanwhile, there are plans for a Reading With Dogs for Adults to begin on Wednesday, June 29, hosted monthly on the last Wednesday of each month. There is no registration available for the kids’ drop-in sessions, but you can sign-up for our adult sessions online (space is limited!)
• We’ve partnered with the Ferndale Project to host a monthly book club, and our librarians will be there on Tues., June 28, partnering with Ferndale Pride for a special Pride-themed event discussing Let’s Go Back to the Party by Zak Salih.
• Local artist Loralee Grace will be showing some of her amazing artwork here throughout the summer, with dazzling paintings celebrating our rich environmental and cultural diversity. Check our website for information on a Reception and Artist Talk (set for June 30).
Finally: don’t forget to try out our online resources! We have databases, craft tutorials, streaming movies, and an odyssey of eBooks and audiobooks, all of which you can access with your Ferndale Library card.
Visit www.fadl.org for more information.
By Jenn Goeddeke
AVER SIGN COMPANY WAS FOUNDED IN 1998 BY THE ULCH FAMILY: Terry Sr., Diane, and their two sons: Terry Jr., and Vance.
They started with a great idea by Terry Jr., an older truck, and lots of hard work. Now in their 24th year of success, they humbly describe themselves as a “work in progress, with a lot of team effort – where we have learned to handle each situation as it comes up!”
Currently, they own a fleet of 20 trucks and manage 26 employees. They purchased the building at 359 Livernois (which they originally rented) 20 years ago. Additionally, they own another site across Hilton (at 1280 Wordsworth) which is about the same size, but with more yard space for storing signs.
MANY OF THE COMMERCIAL SIGNS THEY MANUFACTURE CAN BE TECHNICALLY COMPLEX; for example, the Toledo Mud Hen’s scoreboard, or a high-rise building sign, like Citizens Bank in Southfield.
“Everything is certified. It is imperative to get permits, and then there aren’t any problems. We have key people around us and we think of them all as family. These people are vital and they’re the reason we are still here,” said Terry.
Some signs, especially for corporate clients, are pre-manufactured, and then Aver Sign handles the details. Signs weigh up to 700-800 lbs, and often enormous machinery is needed. Sometimes, substantial holes are dug – 24 feet or even deeper!
The biggest challenges they have faced have been financial. For example, newer trucks cost around $150k each. “We started from dirt! Every dollar we made was reinvested for quite a while because it takes three-four years to get established for financing. The years 2008-2010 were particularly hard-going. Banks kept a tight cap on funds, and we had many fixed costs to pay. It was a tough two years.”
BUSINESS HAS FORTUNATELY FLOWED THEIR WAY since those difficult times. “We have since bought out three other smaller sign companies, and we have steadily grown. We have been blessed.”
“Our two sons are workhorses!” Terry emphasized. “There are no Saturdays and Sundays with them. For example, they have just been to Grand Rapids for a trade show. They had to prepare, set up, tear down and stay the night. The next day, they were right back to their regular work. We were very strict in raising the boys and it seems to have paid off!”
Overall, the business has brought huge rewards for the Ulchs and their loyal staff: “The upside to our business is growing from a tiny thought process and entity into a beautiful organization, with a great group of people! We frequently see our signs as we are driving in Michigan or Ohio, and story-telling within our social gatherings is always entertaining.”
Diane and Terry Ulch are also in the fitness industry together. They own the award-winning gym 359 Fit above Aver Sign. They have competed together in 11 bodybuilding shows for 11 years in a row! Terry’s last show was in Las Vegas at age 71. Their boys were introduced to the gym at 12 years old and both keep active in their home gyms.
I ASKED THE ULCHS FOR ANY SECRETS TO THEIR SUCCESS STORY. Firstly, Terry stated, is to treat others with respect. “I usually reflect on what I’m getting and I set firm boundaries. Overall I emphasize politeness.” Secondly, Diane mentioned joining forces with a good accountant and lawyer, as there can be some tough lessons to learn and a few growing pains along the way.
The Aver Sign Company is located at 359 Livernois St in Ferndale. Contact them at 248.542.0678 or visit their website at: www.aversign.com. For inquiries, email: email@example.com.
Check out their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AverSignCompany.
By Lisa Howard
“When I took over, we were a sleepy little group that played bingo and knitted. One of my goals was to make us more visible to the community, so among other things, now we participate in the Dream Cruise and the DIY Street Fair, we volunteer for the Chamber of Commerce gala, and we march in the Memorial Day Parade,” says Jeannie Davis, president of the Ferndale Seniors.
She’s held that role for over 13 years and says she’s still busy all the time — she attends umpteen community and city events and is forever advocating on behalf of Ferndale’s seniors, schmoozing her way through meetings, soirées and fundraisers.
ONE OF THE GROUP’S MOST POPULAR GATHERINGS IS THEIR POTLUCKS, which tends to bring otherwise-absent members out of the woodwork. The Ferndale Seniors provide the meat portion and members each bring a side dish to share (or chip in five dollars). Each potluck has a different theme that’s often seasonally-driven with the next being a barbecue on July 13. Regular group meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. and anyone is welcome to join – you don’t have to be a Ferndale resident to become a member of the Ferndale Seniors.
Currently, members gather at the Hazel Park Community Center on Woodward Heights but, as soon as Ferndale’s community center is ready to be re-occupied, the Ferndale Seniors will be back. “That’s home for us,” Jeannie says. In the meantime, she’s exploring the idea of inviting the Hazel Park senior groups to work in tandem with Ferndale Seniors. She’s also talking to the Ferndale Library about starting a book club and trying to get a card group up and running.
At the meetings, members explore a plethora of topics, ranging from works of art at the DIA to the fine-point details of reverse mortgages and absentee voting. As Jeannie puts it, “You can’t be always feeding people – you gotta’ give them time to digest.” She attributes that nugget of wisdom to her grandmother and carries it over into the mix of fun and serious events she books for her members.
SOMETIMES THE GROUP GOES ON EXCURSIONS, like when members tour the Pewabic Pottery studios in Detroit or spend the day on the RiverWalk, strolling along its expanse and enjoying lunch amidst binational skylines.
Although the Ferndale Seniors get a modest budget from the City to help defray the costs of running the organization and the yearly membership dues of $15 pay for its events, Jeannie is always on the lookout for grant money and fundraising opportunities. The latter is why members are often found at city festivals and community events selling cookies they’ve baked. As a former real estate appraiser for 20 years – and also a veteran of successful campaigns for municipal leaders – Jeannie is always conscious of making sure the group has enough funds to not just stay afloat but to thrive.
And she’s also always aware of how important the social aspects of the Ferndale Seniors gatherings are for her members and herself.
“When I first started volunteering 20 years ago after I retired, I very rapidly became aware that I was socializing with the best people in the city,” Jeannie says. “The best people are the ones out there volunteering, not sitting at home watching Gilligan’s Island.” Because why settle for a fictional crew when you can join the Ferndale Seniors and have an IRL crew to call your own?
By Lisa Howard
DURING HER 25 YEARS REHABBING PROPERTIES, Timika Keathley has transformed a lot of ugly ducklings into swans.
“The before-and-after is what drives me,” Timika says. “When I walk into a place that’s unattractive, in my mind, I can picture what I’m going to do with it—I can see what it will look like when my work is done.” Her passion for decorating and seeing possibilities has led her to rehab over 100 homes in Detroit, Southfield, and Inkster, and now she’s added a commercial property in Ferndale to that list. The Ivy Salon opened in October of last year and the elegant space offers a full menu of hairstyling, lash and makeup services.
Timika first got into real estate after a conversation with a broker who was the parent of one of her daughter’s schoolmates. The other parent suggested Timika get into real estate, telling her she thought she’d have a knack for it.
SHE RAN WITH THAT IDEA AND BOUGHT SIX HOUSES SIGHT UNSEEN but found they were in horrible shape. “I thought, ‘Okay, let me make them beautiful,” she says. “I believe that any property you buy, you should rehab it to the point where you’d want to live there yourself.”
Her commitment to high-level renovating led to an award from the Land Bank in Rosedale Park about four years ago, for increasing home values in Rosedale Park with her flips.
Last summer, she was only halfway through an intense rehab of a completely gutted home when a realtor insisted on showing the home to a prospective buyer. The realtor was so impressed with Timika’s vision for the house that she bought it for herself.
THAT KIND OF POSITIVE FORESIGHT IS WHAT PROMPTED TIMIKA to acquire the Ferndale property that she turned into The Ivy Salon. Timika used to frequent as a customer, when it had a different owner. Whenever she was having her hair done, she’d think, “Wow, this place could really use a makeover!”
Then opportunity knocked in March 2020. She threw herself into the role of designing and decorating, alongside her husband, Michael Green. Green has his own construction company and has done quite a bit of the remodeling for Timika’s projects. Together, they made the salon more state-of-the-art and updated it for the new generation.
AS IVY NEARS ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY, Timika continues to grow the salon’s services and staff organically, approaching local cosmetology and esthetician schools to recruit licensed hair stylists, estheticians, makeup artists, and massage therapists. Although some stylists are looking for individual suites, Timika hopes her well-appointed, bright space will attract beauty industry professionals who prefer to work in a collegial atmosphere. In June, the salon will host a pop-up shop featuring a smorgasbord of beauty and haircare products, with more events to come in the future.
Timika would also like to expand her overall presence in Ferndale, both in terms of residential and commercial properties. “I want to make our state more beautiful,” she says. “It’s already a beautiful place, so why not take places that need some extra care and rehab them to make them even more beautiful locations where people can gather and visit?”
The Ivy Salon / 22446 Woodward Ave, Ferndale
By Jenn Goeddeke
WE WISH TO EXTEND OUR HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO ALL FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND LOVED ONES OF JIMMY DOWDLE who died from a sudden cardiac event at his home on April 12th.
Dowdle resided in Detroit and was formerly of Battle Creek. He was much loved by his family and a great number of friends. Dowdle’s career in the food, bar and entertainment industry began at the Gaslight Restaurant in Battle Creek. He later moved to Detroit and worked for the Riverfront restaurant, before becoming co-owner of Menjo’s (Detroit). For the past 16 years, he helped manage Danny’s Irish Pub in Ferndale, alongside Dan Reedy (owner). The staff and patrons of Danny’s were all extremely close with him.
Dowdle was outgoing and friendly with a great sense of humor, and a quick wit, plus a talent for lighting up a room with his smile/laughter. He was also very generous and thoughtful towards others. Some of his interests included watching sports; he was a huge U of M football and also Tigers baseball fan. (One of his last outings was the Tigers’ opening day on April 8th, with a group of his close friends). Dowdle also cheered for the Pistons, Red Wings, and Lions teams. He had a diverse taste in music and listened to many bands such as Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, and Roxy Music. Fortunately, he had the opportunity to see one of his favorite bands, the Rolling Stones, at Ford Field last November, with one of his longtime best friends, Gary Wagner.
Dowdle loved animals and was a proud pet dad to a rescue dog named Willow. The memorial service was held on April 21st at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care in Battle Creek. Further celebrations of Dowdle’s life have been organized by Dan Reedy of Danny’s Irish Pub. (Event has passed). Memorial contributions can be made to any local animal shelter, and condolence messages may be sent to: www.farleyestesdowdle.com.
TIM IDZIKOWSKI, 36, CO-OWNER OF THE POPULAR DETROIT BBQ COMPANY food truck died in his sleep on April 14th, 2022.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of Tim Idzikowski who died unexpectedly at his home on Thursday April 14th. No cause of death has been given. Idzikowski was originally from Fair Haven but resided in Royal Oak. He established the Detroit BBQ Company around 15 years ago, with his brother Zac Idzikowski, and worked full-time as a food truck chef for over a decade. He was also helping his good friend, Kevin Heaney, launch a brand of hot sauce called Man’s Best Friend Sauce Co.
His family stated that he loved cooking even as a child and closely followed The Food Network on TV. His favorite chef was Anthony Bourdain. His food truck was hugely popular at various local outdoor events, including the Pig & Whiskey annual event in Ferndale. Reportedly, this is also where he first met his wife, Tracey Kane, and she was immediately impressed with him. According to all sources, Idzikowski was extremely loyal, kind, and generous to everyone. Kane mentioned that he was also a big animal lover and was an outstanding pet dad to their two dogs, Ruthie and Mo Mo.
A celebration of his life was held on April 20th by his close friend Stephen Roginson, owner of the Batch Brewing Company in Corktown. The family has asked that any donations in his memory be made to Focus Hope or the Detroit Dog Rescue in Detroit, and condolence messages may be sent to www.farleyestesdowdle.com.
By Lisa Howard
WHEN MICHIGAN-NATIVE MADONNA SANG ABOUT LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD, she could have just as easily been singing about living in a concrete world.
The ubiquitous building material is everywhere – driveways, porches, patios, foundations, roads, et cetera. “Concrete is really good ground covering here given our Michigan weather,” says Aaron Davis, owner of Cement Lab Studio. “If it’s laid properly, it can withstand freeze-thaw cycles and heavy winters without moving or shifting.”
It’s also affordable and surprisingly reusable – Aaron points out that when his crew rips out driveways, they take the concrete to a cement-crusher where it’s crushed back into aggregate that’s used again. (Quick vocab lesson: although people tend to use “cement” and “concrete” interchangeably, cement is an ingredient of concrete. Cement plus aggregate plus water equals concrete.)
AARON HAS BEEN WORKING WITH CEMENT AND TILE EVER SINCE HE APPRENTICED to a tile expert at the tender age of 17. Even though he attended college and eventually emerged with an MBA (which came after majoring in music), he decided to pursue a hands-on career instead. Not only does it feel good to do physical labor, he says, it’s rewarding to see the finished projects. Initially, he focused more on redoing kitchens and bathrooms – he has another company called the TileLab – but when Covid-19 hit, outdoor work got a lot more appealing and he started laying more patios and driveways.
Another in-demand concrete job is fixing porches. “I’d need three or four lifetimes to get to all the porches that need repair in Ferndale,” Aaron admits. Part of why porches are a perennial problem for many residents in the area is because houses in Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, and the east side of Ferndale were often built with root cellars that extend beyond the basement and underneath the porch. When that’s the case, extra skill is needed during a repair/rebuild to prevent the underside of the porch from caving into the basement proper.
Along with having the engineering savvy needed for handling finicky jobs, Aaron prides himself on having enough skilled workers on his crews to lay driveways in a single day. “We don’t leave you with a torn-out driveway that you can’t park on for a week. We come with enough manpower to do it in one day flat. Our crew of eight or nine guys shows up at 8:00 A.M. to tear out the old driveway, and then we’re pouring a new one by 11:00 A.M.” This quick turnaround, he says, is what customers tell him they most appreciate about his work.
ANOTHER SERVICE HE LIKES TO OFFER IS PERSONALIZING DRIVEWAYS and patios and whatever else people might want to imprint with their unique signature, whether that’s a handprint or a child’s name. Or a pet’s pawprint – even cats can be persuaded to meander across not-quite-set concrete to create indelible kitty tracks.
Summertime is high season for driveways, but that season vanishes once Michigan’s frost laws come into play in November, a legal aspect of cement work that’s not well known by the public. Frost laws govern seasonal load weight – the restrictions prevent roads already tenderized by frost from becoming more damaged. That means Aaron and his crews can’t haul the amount of cement or stone they’d need to lay a driveway in a single truckload. Translation: have your patio installed between November and April. Smaller jobs aren’t impacted by frost laws, plus lawns become a lot sturdier and it’s easier to get machinery around to the back of a home.
Turns out there is something to be said for Michigan winters!
By Lisa Howard
PETS AREN’T JUST ANIMALS THEY’RE FAMILY MEMBERS. And family deserves the best!
When Janet Platt first brought home a shih tzu named Maestro, she quickly realized that commercial dog treats were far from the best. Most weren’t even good. It didn’t take her long to start making Maestro treats from scratch, using fresh and mostly meat ingredients.
Other people wanted to feed their furry family members better too, so she opened her first store in Bloomfield Hills in 2012 and called it Maestro’s Dog Haus. Four years later, she opened a second location in Ferndale.
“We have people who stop in almost every day,” says Drew McLenon, the manager at the Ferndale store. “Especially people with puppies. They’ll be out for a walk and come in to get the puppies more socialized and used to being in stores. We love to see them!”
Four-legged visitors are offered treats, while their two-legged companions can browse the day’s freshly made offerings. The chicken chips are the most popular — they’re 100 percent chicken breast that has been dehydrated and baked, resulting in a potato-chip-like texture. For those picky eaters who may shun chicken, exotic choices like emu jerky and dehydrated ostrich necks are available. Drew says those are also excellent picks for pets with allergies or sensitive stomachs since emu and ostrich are hypoallergenic meats.
ONE INGREDIENT THAT YOU WON’T SEE in Maestro’s handcrafted treats are grains. The Maestro bakers do make a handful of items with veggies like sweet potatoes and lentils, but the vast majority of their products are 100 percent meats that have been alternatively baked, dehydrated, and/or freeze-dried.
Their freeze-dried salmon bites are another customer fave, and the bakers also make cupcakes that are also salmon-flavored. Chews and grain-free bones (including peanut, beef, and chicken varieties) are toothsome treats, while the cupcakes and freeze-dried options are soft. Maestro’s also offers four- and five-star commercial kibbles and wet foods.
Along with their edible treats, Maestro’s is stocked with pet toys for dogs and cats. Drew says that aside from getting to meet so many friendly faces (furry and otherwise), finding fun new toys is her favorite part of the job. She has a cat at home, so she’s well aware of how valuable intriguing toys can be.
She knows the cross appeal of Maestro’s treats, too – Kiki, her brown tabby, loves the chicken chips as much as her barking brethren do. And Kiki also gets to enjoy the filler-free cat food that Maestro’s has in the store. Commercial cat food tends to have even more fillers than commercial dog foods, which is all the more puzzling (and distressing) given that cats are obligate carnivores. Many of Maestro’s customers come into the store looking for foods that don’t contain fillers, byproducts or added colors, either because their dog or cat is experiencing chronic health issues like skin disorders or because they just want to improve their pet’s overall health and energy levels.
IN HER FIVE YEARS AT THE FERNDALE STORE, DREW HAS SEEN more and more pet owners come in to make the switch to better quality foods. Being on West Nine Mile just off Woodward, Maestro’s gets tons of foot traffic in their small but well-provisioned shop. (The Bloomfield Hills location is where the bakery is located; it’s more of a stock-up-here store.)
The three-person staff has their hands full, especially during the summertime months when their ever-popular frozen yogurt reappears. Made with raw goat’s milk and offered in an array of pet-favorite flavors like strawberry, beef bone broth, and peanut butter, Maestro’s is an essential stop for any dog and their human!
By Lisa Howard
WITH A 20TH ANNIVERSARY COMING UP IN THE FALL and a grand opening happening on June 11, Luna Calley is one busy lady.
“I need ten of me,” she says. That’s no exaggeration: Luna runs Thru Luna’s Eyes Salon & Healing Arts on top of providing hairdressing services and teaching classes ranging from reiki to meditation. She changed the salon’s name to include Healing Arts two years ago after she had ramped up her class offerings.
And she just opened Luna’s Lemuria in Birmingham, where she sells everything from hair jewelry and wigs to crystals and gemstones. She sells those items in the salon, too, but when the opportunity to snag a new space popped up, she seized it. Now she has ample accommodations for her retail items, classes and hair services.
“We’re always growing and expanding,” Luna says. “New people come in with fresh ideas. We keep up with trends, and do continuing ed for our staff.”
Extensions have gotten really popular, she adds that’s her personal specialty — and that’s a service her salon has long offered. Dreadlocks and creative color are two more of their top niches. Luna has been providing the latter for almost 30 years, dating back to when she co-owned the Dungeon Hair Studio in Clawson.
SHE TOOK A YEAR OFF BETWEEN RUNNING THE DUNGEON and opening Thru Luna’s Eyes and re-immersing herself in the world of hair. Since then, she’s done several hair balls (winning a Best Of award in the process) and worked with designers at various venues to put on her own hair shows.
“The city has grown so much since I first opened!” she says. “There were only a few hair salons back then, and now there are what – 20? But I don’t mind, because we have a different kind of niche. Besides, one of the reasons people come to Ferndale now is because we do have so many salons.”
Although many of her clients are fellow Ferndalians, some come from other states. The reverse also happens — one of Luna’s staff was recently flown out to do dreadlocks. And, perhaps not surprisingly given the salon’s artistic bent, back when the film industry was hard at work in Michigan, her staff was in demand on sets. One actually went with the industry when it decamped and headed back west.
Most of her staff have come and gone throughout the years, Luna says, but her staff has always consisted of people who have created a fun, energetic environment for themselves and their clients. That atmosphere is one of the highlights of Luna’s multi-decade career.
ANOTHER IS SOCIETY’S GROWING ACCEPTANCE OF CREATIVE HAIR. “When I started doing those styles, sometimes certain cuts or colors would cause people to lose their jobs; sometimes schools wouldn’t let students have pink hair or attend prom with certain hair colors. Now, though, society has really embraced the more creative side of hair.”
She points out that even workplaces are more accepting, especially retail establishments and bars and restaurants. That said, she caters to everybody from all walks of life — her slogan is “conservative to alternative.” She caters to Ren Fest goers, too, offering fairy hair and mermaid braids.
That kind of hair art will be showcased during Luna’s 20 anniversary party on September 3rd. Fall will also see her offering crystal and gemstone classes in addition to her movement, meditation and mantra programs. While Luna will still be styling hair, she’s planning on moving more into teaching. Life is too short to not pursue passions! Even if there’s only one of her instead of ten.
By Jenn Goeddeke
TOM KATOULA IS THE OUTGOING AND AMBITIOUS OWNER OF PAPA ROMANO’S IN FERNDALE SINCE 2004.
The business has been in operation since 1995, but after taking over Katoula has been determined to keep improving its popularity. Katoula lived in Denmark for ten years and worked as a chef in his own restaurant. He certainly has the experience to run a successful pizzeria. Katoula is a family-oriented man, with all his family living in the USA. Katoula moved to Michigan in 1999.
As with many local businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic created some challenges. Katoula lost five of his long-term employees during the early phase of the pandemic and has had to bridge that gap.
Fortunately, many members of his family stepped in to help. For example, his nephew Kyle helps him manage the store, and his son Marcelo works there part-time. Additionally, some of his friends’ kids work for him also. Katoula commented, “I make them all feel like family – it’s not all about business!”
IMPRESSIVELY, KATOULA NOT ONLY STAYED IN BUSINESS, he also came close to doubling his business from early 2020! Katoula appreciates his staff for their part in the continued success of the Ferndale store. “My family cares about the business and they give the best service to customers.” Being professional at all times is key. Recently, Katoula’s daughter Marci and two nieces, Chanel and Chantel ran the store by themselves on a Sunday. With a smile, Katoula added, “they’re even better than me!”
Katoula loves to excel with fresh ingredients, including all the salads. “They are not the cheapest price, but they are the best quality, and we get great feedback from our customers.” Currently, the number-one seller on the menu is Papa’s Favorite, a combination of a large pizza and Bambino breadsticks. They also offer a full Mr. Pita menu too, and delivery is available to a wide radius.
A large part of Katoula’s business is catering, with favorites being mostaccioli and chicken wings. With his reliable staff and store capacity, he can cater to any group size.
TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, KATOULA HELPS OUT various local organizations, schools, city staff, and charities with donations of food. He mentioned how much he enjoys working in Ferndale because of the “great mix” of people!
740 W Nine Mile Rd in Ferndale | 248.399.0011
M-Th 10:00AM-10:00PM; Fr-Sat 10:00AM-1:00PM; Sun Noon-9:00PM.