TBT in the D: Nostalgic Stores in Metro Detroit

By: Scott Davis | November 12, 2014

If you are on any social media platform, namely Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (and chances are high you are on at least one), then you’ve most likely participated in posting a “Throwback Thursday” photo, or you’ve at least seen posts of old nostalgic photos of childhood and past memories on your newsfeed. We’re going with that general theme in this article; however, we’re putting our own “In the D” twist on it and showcasing stores, candy shops and more that allow you to bring back those memories.

If you think about it, nostalgia is one of the most powerful emotions around. There aren’t many other feelings that instantaneously remind you of something so heartfelt. Whether it’s a song, a movie, an old photo, your favorite childhood restaurant, your high school varsity jacket or anything in between, it leads you back to a memory. Sadly, the past is the past and we can’t go back to those times we remember. Although, some Metro Detroit businesses are kicking it old school and placing a high emphasis on nostalgia by selling products you don’t see much anymore, or even making things in an old fashioned manner. How exciting! Let us take a gander.

Candy Stores

Doc Sweets’ Candy Company, 135 N. Rochester Rd., Clawson, is Michigan’s largest retail candy store at 5,000 square feet. It has won numerous awards from Hour Detroit Magazine, WDIV, and the Daily Tribune! Even on the homepage of its website, Doc Sweets’ Candy Company mentions your days of visiting a candy shop as a child and the nostalgic memories it brings. This store has thousands of candies, both old-fashioned and new—things from the 1900s through today. Candies include, but are not limited to: Zagnut candy bars, Zotz, Abba-Zabba candy bars, Wonka Bars and even chocolate coated or candy covered insects. I’m not sure how I feel about that last one. You can get candy by the piece or by the pound depending on your craving. It is open seven days a week and heck, you can even order online. How convenient!

Sydney Bogg’s Sweet Essentials, 3233 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley, has that throwback feeling because the chocolate here is hand crafted and made the “old fashioned way.” The owners have more than 25 years of candy making experience and have honed their skills in the fine art of making chocolate. You can order either the premium assortment or traditional assortment. The premium assortment comes in a 7-ounce box, 13-ounce box or 26-ounce box and includes caramels, barks, turtles, toffee crunches, clusters and more. The traditional assortment box comes in an 8-ounce or 16-ounce box and includes delicious treats like cherry cordials, creams and nougats. You can also order your favorite candies individually.

Vintage Clothing Stores

Lost & Found Vintage, 510 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak, buys and sells vintage clothing. The 3,500-square-foot storefront opened in 2003 and offers both men’s and women’s clothing from the early 1900s all the way up to the big hair and jumpsuit style days of the 1980s. It has been named as Metro Detroit’s “Best Vintage Clothing Store” by Hour Detroit Magazine, CBS Detroit, Metro Times and Real Detroit Weekly. Needless to say, Lost & Found Vintage gets it. From a 1950s pencil skirt to a 1960s wool coat to a 1970s blazer, this store has it all. You can also shop the store’s products online through Etsy.

Mother Fletcher’s, 210 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, has 20 years of experience in the vintage clothing and accessories department. According to its Facebook page, Mother Fletcher’s boasts the largest selection of men’s and women’s clothing in Metro Detroit. The store specializes in both men’s and women’s clothing, so it’s nice for the fellas to have a good selection for once! Clothing and accessories at Mother Fletcher’s may range in time frame from anywhere in the 1920s through the early 1980s. In addition to all of the clothing, there is an extensive collection of shoes, ties, costume jewelry, purses, hats and more!

Arcades

Marvelous Marvin’s Mechanical Museum, 31005 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, is a wonderful place. Let’s be real, one simply cannot write an article about nostalgic establishments in Metro Detroit without including good ole Marvelous Marvin’s. As soon as you enter the website, you instantly get the vintage feel, and same when you walk into the place. Thousands of coin-operated, mechanical machines reside in this arcade/museum and it is a really cool site to see. It has several pinball machines, arcade games, mechanical fortune tellers and more. It has been in operation since 1990 and is listed in the World Almanac’s “100 Most Unusual Museums.” Marvelous Marvin’s is truly a place you have to experience yourself. And you’ll have to make several trips to experience everything the museum offers.

American Fun Center has locations in Oakland Mall in Troy, Universal Mall in Warren and Genesee Valley Mall in Flint. It is a classic arcade, with more than 60 games from both the past and present. Classic games allowing you to remember your childhood heyday such as skee ball, pin ball and of course several classic arcade games are all available. There are more than 30 ticket dispensing games, which of course you can redeem prizes with. You can book a party here as well. The Warren location recently added inflatables. It’s a great place to bring the kids or build back up your old arcade playing skills!

Record Stores

The Found Sound, 234 W. 9 Mile, Ferndale, specializes in new and used LPs, 45s, compact discs and just about any other musical format one could imagine. Again, if we’re talking vintage here, record stores are a necessity. In addition to all of the old records you can get, the store also has old video game and video game consoles such as Super Nintendo! The full-service, independent record store is always bringing in new releases and you’ll want keep up with the Facebook page because raffles happen frequently!

Encore Records, 417 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, buys and sells LPs, RPMs, tapes, compact discs and more. It has a great selection of music in formats you don’t see too often in today’s day in age. In addition to all of the great, vintage products, Encore also brings in musicians to perform at the store.  If you are looking for old vinyls, or even looking to make a few bucks off of your old collection, this is the place for you. The store is open seven days a week!

The moral of this story: just because the past has come and gone does not mean the old things you love are no longer around. While fads and styles come and go, some businesses are able to hang on to them just a little bit longer. That is a reason to smile! I leave you with this question to ponder, what is your favorite nostalgic establishment?