#F2HGratitude: Downtown Farmington businesses thrive together

Grateful Farmington

This week, we’re publishing a series of posts expressing gratitude for some of the things in Farmington and Farmington Hills that bring us together. With help from our supporters, we’ve chosen six, but there are many, many more. Join the #F2HGratitude conversation FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. Make sure you catch all of our posts by signing up for our daily (except Sunday) emails

Over the past several years, a quiet transformation has been underway in downtown Farmington.

We’ve seen the addition of nearly a dozen food-related businesses: Chive Kitchen, Los Tres Amigos, The Cheese Lady, Mother Mary’s Toffee, Farmington Brewing Company (FBC), MiMosa Restaurant, Neu Kombucha, Laziz Mediterranean Restaurant, Rumi Mediterranean & Persian Cuisine, Browndog Barlor, and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

And rumor has it at least one more restaurant is headed our way soon, in the former Grand Bakery & Cafe on Grand River.

The influx has created a unique synergy as owners find ways to connect among themselves and with other Farmington area businesses. Chive Kitchen and Farmington Brewing Company recently paired up for an event. Local bars carry the brewery’s products, as does The Cheese Lady, which also stocks Mother Mary’s Toffee, bread from downtown neighbor Sunflour Bakehaus, Farmington-based McClary Brothers drinking vinegars and Detroit Gourmet Nuts.

Farmington Brewing Company carries Neu Kombucha beverages and Cheese Lady cheese-and-cracker snacks, and you’ll find Browndog staff taking food orders from customers inside the bar. Farmington Hills-based The Ideal Bite catering serves up dinners at FBC once a week.

Cheese Lady at Sunflour Bakehaus
The Cheese Lady owner Joe Mantey chats with Farmington Hills resident Karla Dorweiler inside Sunflour Bakehaus, where cheese wrapping took place before the cheese shop opened in 2014. (contributed photo)

Sunflour Bakehaus transforms stout beer from the brewery and Mother Mary’s Toffee scraps into a decadent Toffee Stout brownie, and Bakehaus pretzels are sold at the brewery on Saturdays. Co-owners Jeff Pavlik and Becky Burns also assisted Cheese Lady owners Kendra and Joe Mantey three years ago, by giving them space to prepare for the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market before the store opened in The Groves shopping center.

“We’ve got a great downtown, and we’ve had some amazing food places come in,” Burns said. “It’s given us a shot in the arm to do some new stuff.”

The couple also knew many of the new business owners before they opened their shops. Burns said long before Farmington Brewing Company opened, Sunflour Bakehaus made a cake for co-owner Jason Schlaff’s graduation party.

“(These businesses) make great products, and to use what they make in what we make, it’s a win-win all the way around,” she said.

Next in our #F2H Gratitude series: Guess how many nonprofits base their operations in Farmington and Farmington Hills.