Last week I spent a couple days in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
I stayed with my grandparents in East Grand Rapids and went to my grandfather's community garden plot with him and spent the morning picking raspberries and wild mint. We also picked up several black walnuts from a walnut tree. I'm excited to try harvesting them although from the tutorials I've watched it looks quite labor intensive. I made a tea with the wild mint and some local Michigan honey inspired by my friend Mary's wild mint ice tea at Violet Hill Farms. It was so tasty! I really want to learn more about foraging.
I spent some time with Rose Beerhorst of Brave Hand Textiles. She showed me where she cuts up scrap fabrics to make her amazing rag rugs and hand sews quilts. It was really cool to see all of her rugs together. They're all so unique and interesting, I love her recent explorations of different patterns with tapestry crochet.
Rose and I went to Have Company, which I was really excited about. I love following Marlee on Instagram and listening to her podcast. Her shop was as beautiful in real life as it looks online! I loved being able to feel the wonderful linen textiles and see the handmade ceramics in person. We spent some time hanging out, talking and knitting. Have Company is such an inspiring place that really fosters community. I would love to find a place like that in Detroit, or maybe even open up my own shop and community work space someday...
Rose took me to this really interesting place that I would never have found on my own called Wisemaker, inside a place called The Geek Group run by Kelly Allen. It's a little shop where you can donate art supplies and crafting tools and purchase them inexpensively. It's filled with all kinds of unique knick knacks like fabric scraps, yarn, tons of beautiful wooden crochet hooks, pieces of leather, paint brushes, popsicle sticks, scissors, etc. As a person who loves to work with repurposed materials, it was really exciting to be in a place filled with items to make with. I love that Kelly promotes recycling and provides a way for artists on a smaller budget to purchase supplies. If you're in Grand Rapids, I would highly recommend checking out Wisemaker.
We stopped by a little bakery called Nantucket Baking Co. and picked up some day old cookies. Rose had Mexican Chocolate cookies (very spicy!!) and I had a trail mix cookie. The bakery was really cute and had lots of amazing looking breads and scones too.
My grandparents do not drink coffee, so as per Rose's recommendation I wandered over to The Sparrow's coffee shop before heading out of town Thursday morning. It's a cute little coffee shop that has a selection of indie magazines and newspapers for sale as well as local Grand Rapids bagels and Madcap Coffee. They serve their coffee in a glass with a cardboard coffee cup sleeve instead of a mug which I was surprised by. I had a glass of coffee and an everything Grand Rapids Bagel. Bagels outside of NYC are always disappointing so I've started to lower my standards, although this one was ok. It was nice to hang out and knit with a coffee in a chill little cafe before the 2.5 hour drive back to Detroit.
I had a really great time in Grand Rapids visiting friends and family and exploring the neighborhood. I would highly recommend checking out any of the places I visited if you're planning on visiting.
Do you have any reccommendations on where to visit while in Grand Rapids? I would love to hear it in the comments below. I would also really appreciate you signing up for the newsletter to (sparingly) receive news and updates, discount codes, etc.