Week of 2.20.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Bates Street Society Dinner

The Community House Board of Directors welcomed 200 to the second annual dinner ($200, $250 tickets) honoring significant donors ($25,000 plus). It also saluted community Pillars of Vibrancy who were toasted at a preliminary champagne reception. The 2017 Pillars are: Culture - architect Victor Saroki and publisher of Downtown Publications David Hohendorf; Wellness - Richard Astrein and Beaumont Hospital President Rosanna Morris; Philanthropy - Lois Shaevsky and George Miller; Education - Margaret Matthes. They were eulogized by house CEO/President Bill Seklar and received tribute pins from past pillars before joining the dinner crowd.
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This weeks social light photos…

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oakland confidential

March 2017

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA: Oakland County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) may have picked a fight with the wrong person in power when she called out county board chair Mike Gingell and vice chair Mike Spiz , both Republicans, during board swearing-in ceremonies on January 11. "She seemed determined to create dissension," said a fellow commissioner. "She ...more»
business matters birmingham/bloomfield

Mid-east chocolatier

Bateel, a gourmet chocolate and fine food shop, is bringing a taste of Dubai to Birmingham this spring. Located at 215 N. Old Woodward Avenue, this is the first Bateel to open in the U.S. "It's a very sophisticated, elevated line of chocolates, sweets and a combination of dates and specialty chocolates," said Mo Asker, director of the Birmingham store. Bateel specializes in dates, a prominent fruit used in Middle Eastern cuisine. "We will offer a range of all types of dates. Dates are a natural sugar. We will sell it by the pound, piece or pre-packaged box." Bateel will also offer pastries, pastas and specialty balsamic vinegars made organically from dates. "All our products will be imported from Dubai," he said. Bateel has been in operation for 25 years. "We saw success internationally, and the U.S. was the next (region) to explore." ...more>

Men's salon, coffee shop

Lady Jane's Haircuts For Men will open a 10,000 sq. ft. deluxe salon including Birmingham Roast, a high-end coffee house this spring. "This building is going to be our brand new headquarters," said Jesse Dhillon, director of finance and project manager on the development. The office building will be located in Birmingham's Balmoral building at 34901 Woodward Avenue. "The office building is going to be very modern and state-of-the-art. The whole building, on the inside, is made of glass." President of Lady Jane's, Tim McCollum, said the salon specializes in men's haircuts as well as hot lather neck shaves, scalp massages and eye brow waxing. "The atmosphere is a big part of it," Dhillon said. "We like the aesthetic side of the city and it will be a nice complement for what the city has to offer." The salon will feature sports memorabilia, multiple high-definition televisions and high-end barber chairs. "We truly believe it will be the nicest men's salon in all of Metro Detroit," Dhillon said. "We're in the business of building relationships between stylists and men and making (clients) feel important, special and comfortable in our environment." They are in the process of developing the menu for Birmingham Roast. "We'll have a wide variety of coffee drinks, warm and chilled," Dhillon said. "The ripple-maker allows you to customize your coffee with personal messages." Patrons will be able to write "Happy Birthday" or an affectionate message. There will also be a limited food menu, including breakfast sandwiches. Chad Johnson founded Lady Jane's in metro Detroit. "We could've taken our corporate headquarters anywhere, but we're very committed to the metro Detroit community that has been so great to us," Dhillon said....more>

Spa expansion

Maciek Lyko, owner of Spa Mariana at 909 Haynes in Birmingham, has opened a second location at 6447 Inkster Road in Bloomfield Township. "We offer body treatments, facials, massages, traditional Thai body work and nutrition counseling," he said. Spa Mariana also offers private yoga treatments and has a medical doctor on staff. In the new location, "there are four major treatment rooms," Lyko said. "There is also a relaxation lounge with a boutique area and kitchen. The minute you walk in, you are walking into an aromatherapy world. It's very calm and relaxing." Spa Mariana is known for treating VIP and celebrity clients. "They often request a special entrance or they'll request the spa to be reserved for just them," he said. "We work with sports teams and we are the exclusive spa for the Townsend Hotel." ...more>

T-Mobil expands

A new T-Mobil store is slated to open in Bloomfield Marketplace at 1916 S. Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Township early this spring. The 1,550 sq. ft. location, owned by Jay Yaldo, will offer equipment and T-Mobil phone plans. "We offer phones, no contracts, unlimited data, no overages, and taxes and fees are included," said Yaldo. "The reason why we chose to open that location is there has been huge growth (for T-Mobil) from Verizon and AT&T (customers)." Yaldo said he scouted the location for two years and has confidence that the area is going to thrive. "I believe that area is going to have high traffic," he said. "I think it's going to be a downtown area. I think the whole area is coming back." Yaldo is a Bloomfield Hills resident. He owns liquor stores and another T-Mobil store in Pontiac at Telegraph and Elizabeth Lake roads. He will be looking to hire staff members for the new location....more>

New exercise form

Stretch Zone, a facility specializing in practitioner-assisted stretching, recently opened its doors at 1083 W. Long Lake Road in Bloomfield Township. "It's not stretching as you know it," founder Jorden Gold said. "It's a proprietary system. It's different than anything that has been done before." The equipment at Stretch Zone is patented, and trained practitioners specifically position clients to optimize results. "We do all the work; you get all the benefits. We're a lazy man's yoga," Gold said. "It's programming your nervous system to have instant flexibility." The 1,500 sq. ft. space, situated at Telegraph and Long Lake roads, is arranged like a studio. "We have five tables and there is a big, soft area with cushiony tables." According to Gold, clients can expect swift results. "You can actually feel and see the results," he said. "There is no pain or discomfort. It's done with great control." Stretch Zone facilities have been utilized by basketball and football teams, entertainers and celebrities. Their techniques are equally beneficial to the overall health of the average person and clients who have sustained injuries. "People want to be able to do what they no longer can do. (Stretch Zone) stretches back the years." The first session is free to new clients, and a typical session lasts 30 minutes. " The new location employs five certified practitioners with extensive, on-site training and undergo continuing education. The Bloomfield Township facility is the 29th location nationwide. "I formed the company in 2004," Gold said. "We went from two (locations) to 29 this past year, and we already have 40 more teed up for this year."...more>

Unique meatball diner

Polpetta, a new meatball restaurant is opening at the end of January at 126 S. Old Woodward Avenue in Birmingham. The restaurant will offer a variety of meatballs, sauces, breads and salads. Owner Sam Abdelfatah, who also owns Brooklyn Pizza in downtown Birmingham, decided to open the eatery to offer more variety to Birmingham patrons. "Meatballs have become very trendy in the last few years. I went to New York and that's how I was inspired. I saw a need for it," he said. "I always thought there weren't enough lunch options in Birmingham. I think that's why we're so busy in Brooklyn." Polpetta will offer carryout, delivery and they have about 28 seats for diners. "It's a different take on meatballs," he said. "There are a variety of balls: regular Italian, spicy pork and vegetarian." They will also have bar b que chicken and buffalo chicken. The meatballs will be served on a variety of buns, with an assortment of sauces. They will also feature other sandwiches, pastas, sides, and salads. The remodel was done by the eminent Ron & Roman design company. "When he (Ron Rea) designed the store, he took into consideration how narrow it is," Abdelfatah said. "He was very, very creative. He divided the dining room with a glass wall and created a forefront in the store. I wanted the restaurant to look like an old-world butcher shop." Abdelfatah is looking to hire 15 new employees for Polpetta. His 16-year-old son, Hani Abdelfatah, has worked for him at Brooklyn Pizza since he was 11-years-old. The family lives in nearby Bloomfield Hills. Brooklyn Pizza is going into its 21st year in business. ...more>

Luxury pampering

A genuine Mother of Pearl red shell wall, metallic tiles and a cozy fireplace greet clients at the Color Box Luxury Nail and Beauty Bar in the Rail District at 2159 Cole Street in Birmingham. Husband and wife duo Kendra and Victor Geralt envisioned a unique, posh nail salon that would pamper clients and offer an organic, natural experience. "Every pedicure is done in a zero gravity lounge," Kendra said. "We don't use jets or tubs. They're all done with steam towels. Water will expand your nail plate and it makes it harder for anything to adhere to it. The advantages (to using a steam towel) are that your polish is going to last longer. It's also less likely to peel and chip. It's more sanitary and there is no risk of waterborne bacteria." Rather than using paraffin wax, Color Box uses beeswax. "We also carry a line of organic, naturally scented oil that can be added to (the beeswax)." Kendra is certified in manicuring oncology from the Wellness Center for Cancer and said the steam towel method makes for the safest pedicure for clients who suffer from health conditions such as cancer or diabetes. The Color Box currently employs seven manicurists, a makeup artist, a reflexologist and an eyelash expert. "Everyone that I hired has several years of experience," Kendra said. "They are very down-to-earth and creative." The pricing is comparable to any other elegant nail service in Birmingham, she said. "We are going to offer series pricing that can be discounted for loyal clients and all new clients will receive a complimentary manicure with a pedicure."...more>

Unique dining option

Looking for a new place to eat? 2941 Mediterranean Street Food will open their third eatery at 176 S. Old Woodward Avenue in downtown Birmingham the end of February. "We have different regions that we bring into the cuisine," said Nic Saad, director of operations. "2941 is actually the longitude and latitude of the Mediterranean in the Middle East." The eatery offers healthy and flavorful cuisines inspired from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Egypt and Israel. "People are leaning more towards a healthier options," Saad said. "The food has a lot of flavor and it's really, really tasty. Nothing is frozen and you can feel good about it after you've eaten it." Diners are able to choose their meal and customize it with their choice of protein, sauces, vegetables and salads. "We have a variety of street snacks, salads and desserts," he said. "We want to offer something that people have never tried before." 2941 seats approximately 55 diners and offer carryout. 2941 also has a restaurant in Rochester Hills and midtown Detroit. Two more metro Detroit locations, in Auburn Hills and West Bloomfield, are slated to open in 2017....more>

Quick fitness options

A new kickboxing and fitness gym, 9Round Fitness, opened for business in January at 2406 Franklin Road in Bloomfield Township. Located in the Sugarbush Plaza at Square Lake and Telegraph roads, the center offers 30-minute full body fitness workouts. "I wanted to help people lead better lives and be healthy," said owner and trainer Guy Shaham. "This made the most sense. The market is right. There are a lot of fitness options in Bloomfield Hills, but people are looking for something different." Clients can walk in anytime during the day for a workout. "There are trainers there to motivate and train," he said. "We do different workouts every day. You can get a good, effective workout. I want people to see results quickly." Hence the business name, there are nine different stations that can be tailored to meet the needs of individual clients. "If someone has a bad knee, we can customize the workout to whatever the person needs." The 1,100 sq. ft. gym offers a month-to-month or 12-month registration. To ensure the most effective workout, they incorporate heart rate monitor technology. "The heart is the best gauge of how hard people are working. We want to make sure people are getting the most effective workout possible." The fitness facility has two trainers on staff in addition to Shaham, who is also a trainer. "We'll probably be looking for two or three more (trainers)," he said. Dr. Rick Kattouf is a nutritionist on staff who provides dietary support for clients. "Were just here to get people fit in nine rounds at a time." ...more>

In-home health care

Local entrepreneur Edwin Wudyka recently opened BrightStar Care, an in-home care agency, at 44004 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Township. The company provides companionship, skilled care, infusions, meal preparation and hospice assistance to the elderly. The decision to embark on this business venture was personal for Wudyka. "I had an aunt, who was like my second mother, and she was passing away from cancer two years ago," he said. "There were (workers) helping her. They bathed her and did her hair. They tidied her house. It allowed her to maintain her dignity. It was just the little things that made a dramatic difference in her life." Wudyka said he realized it was his calling. Caregivers at BrightStar are certified nursing assistants. They undergo background checks and have been drug-tested. "We continue training with them monthly to make sure they continue providing good care." BrightStar Care is a nationwide company. The Bloomfield Township location services Birmingham, Bloomfield, Berkley, Pleasant Ridge, Franklin, Bingham Farms, Oak Park and Southfield....more>

No more cake

Imerman Cake Company, a family-owned company based in Bloomfield Hills, recently closed for business. The all-natural, organic company was launched in 2010 by mother and son team Jeffrey and Jane Imerman after Jeffrey's brother battled and survived cancer. According to a Facebook post by the company, the reason for the closure was a financial decision. "From the beginning, we have used only the highest quality organic ingredients. We pledged to never compromise those principles. But, the cost of organic ingredients increased our expenses to a point that we are not able to achieve the volume we need to sustain the business for the long-term future," Imerman Cake Company was created to provide the community with USDA-certified organic, eco-friendly packaged products. In the process, they raised awareness and donated proceeds to Imerman Angels, a non-profit international one-on-one cancer-support organization. "We will always be grateful to those of you who believed in our cakes and the principles that they represented. We truly cannot thank you enough."...more>

Realtor expansion

Max Broock Realtors at 255 S. Old Woodward Avenue recently expanded their offices by 14,000 sq. ft. "We added 16 offices," said Jon Swords, broker manager. "It was a pretty big expansion. It's a very contemporary space. It's all glass interior and glass offices." The Birmingham institution has occupied the space since 1947. Max Broock has increased their staff from 40 agents to 231 agents. "We've really grown," Swords said. "Our success has been based on service. We've always been known as a hometown business and we really wanted to stay with our roots." The renovations took four months to complete. "It was a pretty involved operation." Rather than seek a larger space elsewhere, it was essential to the real estate company that they remain in Birmingham. "The city has been very supportive of us," he said. "The most important thing for me is that our growth has been built on culture. It's important to have (agents) who are happy and healthy at work. Our agents love downtown. It's a really great place." ...more>

Rehabilitation expansion

Team Rehab, a physical and occupational therapy company that is rapidly growing throughout the midwest, moved to 281 Enterprise Dr. in Bloomfield Township from 799 Denison Court in Bloomfield Township. "Our lease in our current space was running out," said assistant clinic director Jodi Sandvik. "It's right in the same area, which is what we wanted." The rehabilitation center offers physical, sports and orthopedic therapy. "We have three physical therapists and an athletic trainer." They updated the space to accommodate their needs. "We gutted it and redid it all," Sandvik said. "We had new flooring put in, new paint and updated the bathrooms and cabinets."...more>

BIG Planning moves

The solutions-driven wealth management firm, BIG Planning, recently moved into a new space at 39533 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Hills. The company relocated to the space at Long Lake Road and Woodward to accommodate their growing clientele. "Our move was necessary to continually provide our clients with excellent service in a centrally located office," said Mark F. Burns, managing director. The company provides service to individuals, families and institutions. They focus on understanding their clients' needs, developing an action plan, implementing tailored strategies and continually evaluating the progress of their plan, Burns said. They also have locations in Chicago and Naples, Florida. ...more>
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