Thrifting Through Grand Rapids, Michigan

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to go on a whirlwind trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan with my friend Albert. He had to go pick up a car near there so we made it into a vintage-packed day and a half excursion.
Before heading North I consulted with fellow bloggers (and vintage lovers), Katherine Raz of BackGarage/The Vintage Bazaar and Tieka of Selective Potential on where to shop and what to eat. Since we were pressed for time we unfortunately did not get to visit the famed sculpture garden downtown or explore the art museum. We did, however, hit almost all of the antique shops in the area and several thrift stores! Be sure to scroll down to see photos of the stores we explored.
It’s become standard to take a goofy photo of Albert on our outings now– we found this antique industrial implement on the porch of an antique store. At the time I thought it was an old fashioned lawn mower but realized it isn’t while looking at the picture now; can anyone identify it?
Our first stop was lunch at The Nantucket Baking Company. We actually picked up sandwiches made with their bread next door at Martha’s Vineyard, an upscale deli and wine shop. At the bakery I had a difficult time choosing just one of the treats, everything looked delicious!
Towers of gigantic cookies, ridiculously low priced at $1.35 each! I decided on something old fashioned, a molasses cookie that was chewy and perfectly spiced.
My yummy chicken salad sandwich; there were no benches or seating at the bakery so we ended up eating lunch on the steps of a nearby church!


I’d never seen a rhubarb-flavored soda before; I found this bottle at the Martha’s Vineyard deli. The Dry soda company is based out of Seattle and is a more natural and organic approach to soda.

Makeshift picnic!
Our first vintage stop was 29th Street Antiques, a rambling 2-story antique mall that contained a variety of goods for reasonable prices. Sadly the days of absurdly low prices are gone– I kept having visions of finding Herman Miller chairs for $20 or under. No dice!
The owners of 29th Street Antiques were very friendly and even printed out a google map and highlighted other antique shops in the area. Thankfully all the shops were within a 5-10 minute drive of each other, some were even clustered all together on the same block.
We raced over to a flea market that the owner of 29th Street Antiques told us about– unfortunately it contained only 4 vendors! Surprisingly we still found a few treasures and luckily there was a massive brick warehouse (used to be the Sligh furniture factory) across the street that contains 3 antique shops. Antiques at Victoria’s Warehouse was already closed by the time we got there but we stopped into Lost & Found Treasures and Century Antiques. The owner of Lost & Found actually sells at the Randolph Street Market here in Chicago and accordingly had a focus on higher end Midcentury Modern and industrial furniture.
At Lost & Found I found an owl lamp that matches an owl side table that currently resides in my dining room. They also carried the now ubiquitous design staple, the giant marquee letter.
A sculptural lamp seen at Lost & Found Antiques. It reminds me of fiber optic displays.
My favorite stop was Century Antiques, a rather cluttered antique mall where I had to dig a little more for the treasures but they had lower prices and lots of ephemera, knick knacks and all around good junk. I’d much prefer to search through piles of vintage goods over feeling like I can’t touch the pristine 1950s furniture that costs thousands of dollars– makes it feel more like a treasure hunt.
An oversized GE fan, due to my fear of vintage electronics I still haven’t bought one though it would be useful in this horrible heatwave Chicago is currently experiencing.
A glorious confection of a hat, it would be perfect for the spring time.
Hrm, photography magazines used to be pretty racy– look at the bombshell pinup on the cover! Can you imagine paying 10 cents for a magazine?
I’m a collector of vintage tins (mainly tea/biscuit/cookies) and was tempted by the potato chip and LARD cans. Aren’t the colors and graphics wonderful?
We also visited the Salvation Army and St. Vincent’s thrift stores on Wealthy Avenue. Despite the Salvation Army being 2 stories I didn’t find any pre-80s clothing and most of the items in both stores were fairly new. Maybe we went on an off day as The Salvation Army store was highly recommended by several people. 🙁
We ended the day in Grand Rapids by grabbing dinner at Marie Catrib’s, a farm-to-table cafe dedicated to organic, seasonal fare. The menu had a Greek/Mediterranean bent to it and there were plenty of vegetarian and even gluten-free options. Both Albert & I eat meat but appreciated the restaurant’s approach to food. The photo above depicts my iced tea and Albert’s dinner of grilled fish tacos with garlic-lime-citrus slaw. I really wanted the fish tacos too but unfortunately they were marinated in cilantro (I’m allergic!).

Instead I opted for this heavy mess of deliciousness–meatloaf made with beef and pork stuffed with cheese and roasted red pepper. There is more cheese and marinara sauce over the top of it. It’s an open faced sandwich as the meatloaf is nestling on a piece of grilled brown bread spread with mashed potatoes. Yes, I fell into a food coma after eating this, I can imagine it would be perfect for the cold, dark days of winter.

Thank you Albert for letting me tag along on the trip! Look for more photos of the antique stores and our purchases in the next post.

Comments 0

  1. Oh my gosh, I absolutely LOVE that dress! The color, the bows, the pockets…it's so cute!! Thank you for the feedback on my blog font being difficult to read. I was just playing around with it tonight and I'm glad to know it didn't work. I changed the text back to black so hopefully it is easier to see 🙂

  2. That implement is a lawn roller, meant to roll out the bumps in your lawn. They are often filled with water or oil to make it heavy. My guess is this one is empty or your friend would have a hard time lifting it! Usually they have a hitch to be pulled behind a lawn tractor- imagine having to push this one around by hand- that is insanity!

  3. This looks like so much fun! I wish I would have know about this whirlwind thrifting trip because Grand Rapids isn't too far from Ann Arbor. And you dress is so very dreamy. Pink and white stripes remind me of the carnivals and cotton candy, two of my favorite things about summer. It looks like there were plenty of vintage goodies for you to bring back to Chicago! xx

  4. wow, you look so pretty in that outfit. Pink and red are my fav color combo so the photo with the red bottle and dress fabric is ssssooo nice. I wish I could go thrifting with you, the midwest seems like a great place for that (not to mention you'd be awesome)

  5. SHUT. UP. that's my home town!! and my house (which we are renting out to friends) is about a block from Martha's and Nantucket. first you come to Pilsen…then to Grand Rapids…we're bound to run into each other one of these days 🙂

  6. your outfit is beautiful and your pictures always take me on a trip!! you have such a lovely blog 🙂

    I think the equipment you thought was a lawnmower actually is a concrete press, the thing they use to flatten roads etc

Leave a Reply