Nine area retailers have been nominated as finalists in HOUR Detroit Magazine’s Best of Detroit 2022 competition. From the ultimate bike shop to best toy store, Grosse Pointe has its hat in the ring to represent Detroit’s best in many categories. To vote, visit now through Tuesday, March 15. 

Apple Blossom Baby

Reigning champions in the category, Apple Blossom Baby has been nominated once again for best kids’ clothing store in the area. Owner Anne Murphy said the upscale baby boutique enjoys catering to its community with unique merchandise.

“I love the way our community supports us and I like supporting the community,” Murphy said.

Community is at the center of the store, as the shop was inspired by Young Clothes, a Grosse Pointe children’s store from 1945 to 2002.

Apple Blossom Baby is in the running for best kids’ clothing store against Egg, Lil’ Rascals, Little High Flyers and Perfect Trading.

Bikes, Blades & Boards

Bikes, Blades & Boards competes for the title of best bike shop in the Detroit area. Owner Brian Breslin said what makes the shop stand apart is the customer service it offers.

“For us, it’s just customer service comes first,” Breslin said. “It’s not about the product that we sell or the brands that we sell. It’s just the service that we offer. We’re always willing and want to go above and beyond for our customers. …

“We try to be as helpful as we can all the time for everybody,” he added. “I think that’s always been our biggest success is that we care.”

Bikes, Blades & Boards competes against Al Petri and Sons, American Cycle and Fitness, Ferndale Bike, Detroit Bikes and KLM Bike & Fitness for the title of best.


Up against Alexander’s of Northville, Carl Sterr, Coup D’etat, Hersh’s Essence Clothing and Tender, store manager Gigi Badalamenti said Capricious is the best high-end clothing store in the area due to the business’s high-quality customer service and all-inclusive experience.

“There really isn’t a place you can go anywhere now and get service with … knowledgeable stylists, that you can get outfitted head to toe,” Badalamenti said. “We have undergarments, the shoes, hosiery, jewelry, handbags and then outfits, so I think that kind of differentiates us from anybody.

“We’re a one-stop shop,” she added, “with the best customer service I’ve ever seen.”

Churchill’s Bistro Cigar Bar

Running against Ambassador Cigars & Spirits, Godfather, Hill & Hill, Robusto’s and Wild Bill’s Tobacco for best cigar shop, manager Ernest Yeldo said what makes Churchill’s Bistro Cigar Bar the best is its extensive inventory and customer service.

Churchill’s offers a rewards program, which allows the business “a little bit more of an intimate relationship” with its customers, Yeldo said.

“We know what everybody likes, what they don’t like,” he added, “and providing that for them allows us to maintain inventory for them.”

The Grosse Pointe Woods location of Churchill’s has been serving the community since July 2016, with its two other locations also servicing the metro Detroit area.

Hill & Hill

Also in the running for best cigar shop against Churchill’s, Hill & Hill Tobacconists Ltd. stands out with overall knowledge and the wide array of pipes it boasts, according to owner Jim Simon.

“I import 11 lines of cigars myself since 1985,” he added, “of which three of the lines are the biggest sellers. They’re rolled like nothing else in the world.”

Simon’s imported cigars hail from the Dominican Republic, from a 10-man factory he found on his own search. The cigars even have a stamp of approval from some big names, including Bill Clinton and the late James Gandolfini, of “The Sopranos.”

Serving the community since 1974, Simon is proud to keep his shop running every day of the year, other than Christmas.

Coreander’s Children’s Bookshoppe

Among big names like John K. King Used and Rare Books and Literati Bookstore, newbie Coreander’s Children’s Bookshoppe on Kercheval in the Park has been nominated as a finalist for best bookstore. What makes Coreander’s special, manager Jennifer Kendall said, is the in-store experience.

“I think it’s a combination of the feeling the person has when they walk in the door and the environment they’re in in the actual store itself,” she said, “because you’re put not just in a space with books, but in a space with literature. You’re really connected to stories of your childhood. You’re sharing them with your children or grandchildren and it’s just that feeling you have when you’re in here that’s incredibly unique.

“I think it’s partly the architecture of the building and the artwork and design,” she added, “the secret spot underneath the stairs that the children run to, back to the cafe.”

Also finalists in the category are Book Beat, John K. King Used and Rare Books, Literati, Pages Bookshop and Source Booksellers.

Farm Field Table

With a location in Ferndale and recently selling at a storefront in the Park, Farm Field Table has provided Grosse Pointers with quality meats both in-store and by delivery for years. The business is a whole animal butcher, partnering with farms practicing sustainable farming.

Farm Field Table is a finalist in the best butcher shop/deli category, competing against Marrow, Stage Deli, The Village Butcher and Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market for the top. In last year’s contest, Farm Field Table placed third in the same category.

Viviano Flower Shop

Placing first in 2021, Viviano Flower Shop hopes to continue its title as best flower shop in the area. It competes against Blossoms, Blumz, Fleur Detroit and Thrifty.

A community staple, Viviano is a fourth-generation family business.

“We are celebrating our 85th anniversary this year and proud of our Detroit history of helping people celebrate all of life’s celebrations,” owner Cecilia Viviano said, “from birthdays, holidays, new births, weddings, funerals, anniversaries and the everyday celebration of the beauty of life. From the simplest events to the grandest, the Viviano family creates beautiful floral designs to bring joy to others.”

Whistle Stop Hobby & Toy

Co-owner Julie Everitt said Whistle Stop Hobby & Toy stands apart as a great toy store due to its personalized customer experience.

“I think the No. 1 thing that keeps us a favorite is how we wait on our customers one-on-one,” Everitt said.

She added the large selection, appealing to many different age groups, also helps.

Up against Whistle Stop for the best toy shop in the area are Funky Monkey Toys, Genuine Toy Co., Modern Natural Baby, Nerd Out and Toyology.

By: Kate Vanderstelt