Gifts and goods by Michigan makers and artisans will always be a home-run present idea for yourself or someone else. And, now more than ever, these small businesses need us to thrive. So, shop online from the comfort of your home for now, or, when these shops reopen, #shopsmall and peruse some of the best shops in our state.

  • Artist Gwen Frostic delighted in the beauty of Northern Michigan’s natural landscape and wildlife, and her cards, books, calendars, gift bags and other print pieces that showcase her delicate sketches are found at her delightful studio in Benzonia.
  • In 1913 Ed Drier purchased the Three Oaks butcher shop where he had worked for 20 years, starting at age 10. But the history of the shop went even further back, having opened after the Civil War. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, Drier’s Meat Market is owned and operated by Ed’s granddaughter, Carolyn Drier, who still smokes all their meats, hams and sausages in the century-plus smoker in the back.
  • Pasties, those Upper Peninsula meat pies, are among the Michigan specialties—along with Better Made potato chips, Sanders chocolates and Faygo pop, to name a few—available at the Heart of Michigan in Howell.
  • Michigan ingredients go into the sweet fruit and savory pot pies at Grand Traverse Pie Company, with more than a dozen locations.
  • Bit of Swiss Bakery of Stevensville, named the Best Retail Bakery in the U.S. in 2012, is known for award-winning breads and such holiday goodies as Christmas stollen and Grand Marnier and Sacher tortes.
  • Soup mixes, mugs, T-shirts, cold-brew coffee, jewelry, jams, salsas and other Michigan-centric items line the shelves at the Old Time General Store in Lansing.
  • Michigan-made clothing, health and beauty products, books and home décor are among the gift-worthy items at Tip’n the Mitten in Grayling.

Have an art-lover to buy for? Also find one-of-a-kind works by local and regional talent at galleries and artist co-ops throughout the state. Here’s a sampling:

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Jane Simon Ammeson


Ever since she started her own newspaper at age eight, Jane Simon Ammeson has loved to write. She writes about food, travel and history, and is the author of 14 books, including "How to Murder Your Wealthy Lovers and Get Away With It."

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