DBusiness Daily Update: Southwest Detroit’s Danto Furniture Re-opens in New Location, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Ashley (left), Irwin, and Charles Danto are opening a new Danto Furniture store in southwest Detroit. // Courtesy of Danto Furniture
Ashley (left), Irwin, and Charles Danto are opening a new Danto Furniture store in southwest Detroit. // Courtesy of Danto Furniture

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Southwest Detroit’s Danto Furniture Re-opens in New Location

Danto Furniture is re-opening its southwest Detroit retail operation with a 3-5 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday.

A fixture on Vernor Highway for 82 years, Danto moved two blocks north to the corner of Central and Dix into a 40,000-square-foot facility with 12,000 square feet of showroom space. Its previous home featured several rooms on three floors and 11,000 square feet.

“I have been working in the business on and off for the past eight years and I’m in awe of my grandfather, Charles Danto, current owner and family patriarch,” says Ashley Danto, who works in sales and marketing for Danto’s. “His work ethic and energy, even at 92 years old, is amazing. He has been in the store six days a week, pretty much every week, since he was 19 years old. He is the best salesperson we have; everyone is always looking to talk to Charlie, and when he is not in the building you can feel the difference.”

Julius Danto, a Lithuanian-Jewish immigrant, opened Danto Furniture in 1940. The store employs a multi-lingual staff who are fluent in English, Arabic, and Spanish and has customers throughout metro Detroit.

“I think one of the most important reasons that Danto Furniture has thrived for more than 80 years is because of our dedication to serving others and doing the right thing,” says Irwin Danto, general manager of the store and a third-generation Danto. “My grandfather Julius understood that he was not the only immigrant who had come to this country; nor he realized, was he the only immigrant who needed a hand-up. In many cases, Danto Furniture has been among the first stops for newly arriving immigrants; and we are proud of that.”

During the grand opening celebration, Danto Furniture will offer up to 40 percent discounts on furniture and appliances, offer children’s face painting, balloons, popcorn, piñatas, Delia’s Food Truck, cuisine from restaurant El Nacimiento, grocery store E & L Supermercado; and Postres y Delicias by Dianys Salinas.

Detroit Youth to Experience Real-life Financial Simulation

Comerica Bank and the BIG Institute is offering young Detroiters an opportunity to experience real-life financial situations with the Surviving in the Real World simulation Nov. 15 at the Joy Preparatory Academy in Detroit.

The program is a simulation that assigns 80 K-12 students with different financial circumstances such as credit scores, household size, and income. The students then progress through various stages where they must make decisions regarding their finances such as purchasing a home, car, and groceries.

At the end of the simulation, each student has the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a program leader, including Comerica volunteers from the bank’s Financial Education Brigade, to discuss whether they “survived” in the “real world,” depending on if they completed the simulation with enough money to pay all expenses, afford food, navigate through financial burdens, and to evaluate how the simulation prepared them for future real life experience.

“Surviving In the real world provides students an experience where their future selves will thank them for making the right financial decisions today, leading them to a prosperous tomorrow,” says Laketa Dumas, founder of the BIG Institute.

Umi’s Comfort in Detroit Aims to Revive Lost Art of Quilting

A Detroit business owner hopes to revive the lost art of quilting by opening the city’s only quilting business. Umi’s Comfort, located in the Nardin Park neighborhood, offers handmade custom quilts, pillows, and quilting classes for community members.

Umi’s Comfort was a $50,000 Motor City Match recipient and marks the 141st brick-and-mortar business opened by the program.

After experiencing turmoil and hardship, Kecia Escoe, the founder of Umi’s Comfort, found peace in the arts. But it wasn’t until she began quilting that she felt fulfilled. She soon realized others within her community could also benefit from the craft. That’s when she decided to turn her passion into a career and add vibrancy to her westside community.

“I want to bring back that creativity, the history, and significance of everything we do as humans so that we may slow down and appreciate the lives we live,” says Kecia Escoe, founder of Umi’s Comfort. “Quilting is a lost art that holds value to any and everyone involved in the process, whether that be giving, receiving, or creating one.”

Escoe, who comes from a lineage of quilters, says her business can make quilts using remnants of memorabilia. The business also provides quilt cleaning and restoration services and offsite quilting classes for children and adults.

Unlike most Motor City Match businesses that are located along major commercial corridors, Umi’s Comfort is located along a residential street at 12200 Petoskey at the corner of Richton, near Livernois and Davison, making it a neighborhood business. The grant funding she received from the program helped Escoe renovate the small building and open her business.

Birmingham Offers Shopping Incentives on Small Business Saturday

The Birmingham Shopping District is recognizing Small Business on Nov. 26 with a $25 Birmingham Bucks e-Card for every $100 spent at local retailers and restaurants. The promotion extends to Nov. 27.

“Local businesses reinvest on an average more than 70 percent of their earnings back into their community,” says Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the organization. “They not only invest in their downtown, but also the people who live here.”

The celebration includes:

  • Free Parking in downtown municipal structures
  • Santa Walk beginning at 9:30 a.m.
  • Complimentary hot chocolate from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. courtesy of Hazel’s
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Shain Park

For more information, visit here.

Somerset Collection’s Castle Gets a Revamp in Time for Santa’s Arrival

Somerset Collection’s three-story holiday castle in North Grand Court got a new sprinkling of snow in time for Santa’s arrival Nov. 19.

The castle was first built for the Somerset Collection in 1996 and now is newly adorned with turrets covered in fluffy snow and glistening icicles. Once Santa arrives, the holiday events will begin, including:

  • Pictures with Santa, 10 a.m.-6:55 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon-5:55 p.m. Sundays
  • Children’s Only Holiday Shop, noon-6 p.m., Dec. 1-23
  • Santa’s Departure, 7 p.m. Dec. 23
  • 24 Days of Gifts and Surprises, Dec. 1-23, Somerset Collection North, Level 2

Holiday hours at Somerset Collection are as follows:

  • Thanksgiving – Closed
  • 25, Black Friday – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • 26-Dec. 15, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
  • 16, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • 17, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Dec. 18, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 19, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Dec. 20 – 23, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • 24, Christmas Eve – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 25, Christmas Day – Closed
  • 26-30, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • 31, New Year’s Eve – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 1, New Year’s Day, noon to 6 p.m.

MRLA Honors Hospitality Stars of the Industry at Awards Dinner

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association honored the hospitality industry’s top leaders during its annual Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner on Wednesday at the Saint John’s Resort in Plymouth Township.

The awards recognize outstanding individuals within Michigan’s hospitality industry who have demonstrated professionalism and creativity while going above and beyond their role to contribute to the positive image of the industry.

“It’s a wonderful occasion to be able to celebrate the achievements of some of the finest in our industry,” says Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the association. “These individuals have made an impact on the guest experience, their coworkers, and respective organizations, and the broader industry in general. We are extremely proud to recognize some of hospitality’s finest leaders and innovators within our state.”

Give Old Electronics New Life at the Detroit Zoo’s E-Recycling Event

The Detroit Zoological Society is helping the community divert waste from local landfills by collecting large and small electronics with its free, annual E-Recycling event, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Each driver who brings items for recycling will receive a complimentary admission ticket to the Detroit Zoo. An additional ticket will be provided for people who carpool. Admission tickets may be used during daytime zoo hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) through Dec. 31.

Items that can be recycled include:

  • All TVs and monitors (flatscreen, CRT, etc.)
  • Printers
  • Computers and laptops
  • Cell phones and tablets
  • Holiday lights, cords, and other wire
  • DVD and VHS players
  • Batteries*
  • Radios

* Please use clear tape to cover all terminals of the following types of batteries: lithium (including button cells), sealed lead-acid, anything greater than 9 volts and any batteries that you are unsure of the chemical composition. Clear tape helps in properly identifying chemistries. Uncovered terminals on the specified chemistries are fire hazards.

Personal information should be deleted from electronic devices before coming to recycle. All hard drives will be destroyed to U.S. Department of Defense standards. A certificate of destruction can be emailed upon request.

Madison Heights’ Puff Cannabis to Give Away 1,700+ Thanksgiving Turkeys

Madison Heights-based Puff Cannabis is giving away more than 1,700 turkeys to people in need for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday.

“Thanksgiving is the time for all families to come together, to celebrate and be thankful for what they have, but also to think about others who are less fortunate,” says Justin Elias, founder of Puff Cannabis. “That is why I decided on behalf of the Puff Cannabis company we would give away over 1,700 turkeys in the communities where we are located.”

The distribution schedule is as follows:

  • Puff Utica, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 18
  • Puff Hamtramck, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 21
  • Puff Madison Heights, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 22

Turkeys will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis. No purchase necessary.

Outdoor Ice Rink at Centennial Commons in Royal Oak to Open Nov. 19

The Rink at Royal Oak, a new outdoor skating rink is opening Nov. 19 in the middle of Centennial Commons in downtown Royal Oak.

The 60-by-90-foot family-friendly ice rink is sponsored by M3 Investment Services and will accommodate up to 250 skaters at a time.

“A significant reason M3 Investment Services calls Royal Oak home is the tremendous sense of community here,” says Mike Pesendorfer, CEO of M3. “When approached about the opportunity to support the new rink in Centennial Commons, we jumped at the chance. It’s the perfect family-friendly winter spot to come together, as well as a special attraction that will encourage people to support our downtown retailers and restaurant, too, while also adding to the seasonal ambiance of downtown Royal Oak and building holiday and winter memories that will last for years.”

The rink’s grand opening weekend, Nov. 19-20, will feature opportunities for free skating, rentals, marshmallow kits, and more.

A ribbon cutting will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 19, with performances from Royal Oak’s New Edge Skating Club and the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills to follow. Live music performances from James Wailin and Bobby East of The Reefermen and Detroit R&B artist Alise King also will take place on Nov. 19. The Oneders perform two sets on Nov. 20.

Washtenaw Community College to Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week Nov. 14-18

Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor will host several events during the U.S. Department of Labor’s eighth annual National Apprenticeship Week Nov.14-18.

WCC’s events are being hosted to observe the 85th anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act and to increase student and employer awareness of and participation in the college’s diverse and high-quality apprenticeship programs.

The college partners with employers to offer apprenticeships in the areas of advanced manufacturing (robotics and automated systems), information technology (cybersecurity), transportation (automotive services, automotive test, and powertrain development technicians), and welding.

Apprenticeships at WCC were developed to help employers fill their talent needs with qualified employees who possess advanced skills and knowledge.

Apprentice employees earn wages while on the job and participate in registered technical instruction or specialized WCC courses customized and tailored to the demands of specific industries.

To celebrate and raise awareness for this event, WCC’s Center for Career Success will host several events during National Apprenticeship Week. Among them are:

  • Virtual Apprenticeship Information Session, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Nov 15. Visit here to register.
  • Apprenticeship Information Table at Campus Explore Event, 6-8:30 p.m., Nov. 15, Student Center Atrium, second floor
  • Explore Apprenticeships at WCC, 9 a.m., Nov. 16, at Garrett’s Restaurant, first floor of the Student Center.
  • Virtual Apprenticeship Information Session, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Nov. 17, visit here to register.