News that there is now someone producing vodka in Ferndale, a Detroit suburb near where I grew up, first struck me as odd, then as amusing and then I thought, well why not? Ferndale was a worn out place in the 1970’s, when I lived in Michigan, but when I’ve returned home of late, I’ve found it emerging as a hipster haven, with interesting boutiques and restaurants. So vodka production – bring it on. The company is called Valentine Vodka and according to a recent story in Midwest Living mag, it was started by a former Wall Street trader who suddenly felt inspired to return to his native Detroit and start producing domestic vodka (to save us from having to drink that Russian stuff, perhaps.) Apparently Valentine Vodka also has a “speakeasy-esque lounge” for visitors. (If only I liked vodka.) It’s good to see people producing stuff in Detroit – more encouraging than the depressing documentary I watched recently about the city (Detropia).
Other made-in-(or near)-Detroit products launched by entrepreneurs (and mentioned in this same Midwest Living story) include:
– Peteet’s Famous Cheesecakes in Oak Park (started by a guy after his real estate business crashed).
– Corridor Sausage, producing artisanal sausages near Eastern Market downtown
– Love’s Custard Pies – another Eastern Market hotspot serving southern-style custard and fruit pies
– City Bird – a “hip housewares and gift shop” near Wayne State’s downtown campus.