Have a Made in Michigan Party

To celebrate my husband’s 10th year of living in Michigan (and the U.S. for that matter), our family had a Made in Michigan party last year.  The idea was simple; everyone was encouraged to bring something made or grown in Michigan.  We had potato salad, kale chips and apple pie made from fresh farmers market produce.  We had wine from Traverse City and beer from Detroit that we purchased at Whole Foods.  The hamburgers were made from Michigan grass-fed beef from Creswick farms with buns from a local bakery.  It was a fun way to celebrate the decade my husband has been in Michigan, and it was surprisingly easy to plan.Map of Michigan

As I planned for the party, I was amazed at how many Michigan-made or grown products were at the stores I visited all the time.  All I had to do was look, and as I looked, I thought of some additional Michigan themed parties that could be fun for any family:

Wine & Cheese Party
The Royal Oak farmers market has a number of vendors who sell cheese made in Michigan as do many smaller grocery stores.  Ask them, and they will be happy to show you where their local cheeses are located. In addition, most wine stores will have a Michigan section where local wines are displayed.  Or, if you are an online shopper like myself, Grassfields Cheese located just outside of Grand Rapids will ship you some of their fresh cheeses, if you can’t find them at a local retailer.

Pampered Spa Party
Invite your girlfriends over and have an evening of pampering by trying on different cosmetics and beauty products that have been made in Michigan.  Nature’s Boundaries in Chesterfield Township offers a full line of makeup that can be shipped right to your door.  Or, stop by the Rochester farmers market and purchase some of the wonderful spa products from Helga Soave of Choices Bath and Body.  Combine this party theme with the wine & cheese party for even more Michigan fun!

Christmas Gift Exchanges
Consider shopping local this Christmas.  Many people assume that it is too much work to go from store to store looking for something made in Michigan, but many local artists sell their wares on etsy so you can do your shopping online.  Do a search for Michigan on their local search option to find people in Michigan.  If you are someone who likes to purchase things in person, Catching Fireflies, with locations in Rochester and Berkley also does a great job of sourcing work from local artists as does Firebrick Art Gallery in downtown Rochester. 

Have a Michigan Thanksgiving.  Many of the things we eat for Thanksgiving can be made from Michigan’s produce.  Michigan grown apples, squashes, turkeys, and winter greens can all grace your harvest table.  Major grocery chains like Meijer and Whole Foods are generally very good about labeling products that come from Michigan.  If you are looking for something specific, try local harvest, a website devoted to helping you find local produce. 

All of these parties can be made more memorable with a few special touches like flowers from the Backyard bouquet to decorate, candy dishes filled with goodies from Sanders or The Cherry Republic to snack on, or coffee from a local roaster to wind down your meal.  A party in Michigan filled with things from Michigan is a surefire way to add enjoyment and memories to any gathering.

Julie Magro
Co-Founder of Boardroom Couple
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