Main Street Survival

The trucks are rumbling, the lampposts are down, and restless drivers are snaking their way around Rochester’s side streets. The reconstruction effort has wasted no time, and the street has quickly begun to be deconstructed first. There’s no doubt that when the project is complete, Rochester is in for a fresh visual appearance. What worries me, as an inch past block after block of heavy equipment, is the livelihood of our local independent merchants.

Without any prompting, my precocious six-year old voiced her concerns over how workers would get to their jobs on time. I conceded that she had just tipped the iceberg on the issues that arise in an undertaking this large. Workers may need to adjust their commute allowance, but additionally the community itself needs to embrace the music of jackhammers and the smell of dust if we want our storefronts to survive.

This won’t happen naturally. It requires for us to bravely and intentionally accommodate the time and effort to shop and eat downtown despite the construction. Until the construction is done, I’m vowing to shop or eat downtown at least once every week. For me, that embarrassingly is an increase, despite the fact I live in walking distance to Main Street. I feel convicted though to make this change now, as it is more important than ever.

I’m encouraging everyone I know to take up this challenge now to increase their frequenting of our wonderful small businesses. To encourage you, here’s a few ways I plan to start this week.

1. Kids gifts – We have a birthday party to attend Saturday. Froggy’s Toy Stop is our destination, as we have a special idea in mind already that we know they can fill.

2. Diet splurge – A month ago, I stopped in the new Holy Cannoli’s on a whim, and have not been able to get the craving for their decadent baklava out of my mind!

3. Oh, babyGreen Baby is my go-to place for special baby gifts, and it seems everyone I know is having a baby lately! I need to pick something up for a friend, something that will be the highest quality for her little one.

4. Raise a glass – On one of those amazing warm days, a friend and I stopped into Fieldstone Winery to see what it was like. I am so glad I did! I had no idea they can custom label wine bottles, a perfect gift idea for Mother’s day, and they also have some with local names, like Stoney Creek Sunset.

5. Eat up – We rarely eat out, because a few of us in our house are on restricted diets. But, I was impressed by Chomp and their gluten-free options the last time I ate there. And let me say, I had the best Gyro ever there. That’s saying a lot from a place that isn’t even Greek!

There are many, many other great places to stop in all through town, more than I have room to mention! Let’s keep the town as alive as ever, especially with some new places coming in even during all the chaos. We can make a big difference this summer, and our local merchants will appreciate it immensely!

About Heidi Morris

Rochester Hills mom of three. Loves life, loves family, loves to share new and interesting things with everyone. Contact her today at

Speak Your Mind