Michigan Pantry Shows Market for Michigan Made Goods

By Jane Whitttington on October 23rd, 2015 / Comments

It’s all local, all the time at Michigan Pantry. Virtually everything for sale at both the Holland store and the new location at the Grand Rapids City Market is made in Michigan, and most items, in fact, are from West Michigan.

The Holland store was, for many years, called Shaker Messenger and was owned by Diana Van Kolken. Robin Nash worked with Van Kolken for years and, when the time came to pass the store along, Van Kolken worked with Nash to establish her own store design and product mix. Nash opened Michigan Pantry fifteen years ago after a complete remodeling of the original store.

She says, “We added Michigan-made beer and wine and also continued to carry some of the food items offered in the original store. However, we have also added to and expanded the line of food and gift items that are available. “

She adds, “We are always looking for new things to offer our customers, and many Michigan vendors contact us to ask about selling their products in our store. We try to have as many items made in West Michigan as possible, but we do go farther afield when we discover a good product made in another part of the state.”

Michigan Pantry opened in the Grand Rapids City Market at the beginning of October, 2015. It offers a wide variety of food and gift items. According to Nash, business in Grand Rapids has been good and, like the store in Holland, they are anticipating a spike in sales as the holidays approach.

Nash says, “We offer gift baskets at both stores. We have some that are pre-made or customers can make their own. Businesses also buy our baskets as gifts for their customers and clients. A nice thing about this is that we can not only assemble the baskets, we can also ship them both for individuals and businesses. It’s a really easy way to take care of holiday shopping!”

One of their premade baskets celebrates the area’s Dutch heritage with a selection of Dutch candies, cookies and tulip-bedecked items along with a brightly colored Dutch windmill for decorative purposes. Their Italian themed basket includes pasta from Local Epicurian in Grand Rapids, wine, Sicilian cookies and pasta sauce. And they can create personalized baskets out of anything in either store.

Products available in one or both stores include Blueberry Haven Jam (Grand Haven), Fireside coffee and hot chocolate (Swartz Creek), Lomonaco Sicilian Cookies (Grand Rapids), Cherry Republic products (Traverse City area), Rumi’s Organic Salsa (Holland), Salt of the Earth Breads (Fennville) and many others along with Michigan Pantry’s own line of maple syrup, blueberry products and dips. In addition, they carry gift items and art from local craftspeople and artists.

Shopping local is easy at Michigan Pantry. Not only do its customers support a locally owned and operated business, they also support all those local vendors who sell their products through the stores. It’s not just a win-win, it’s a win-win-win!

For more information about this delightful store, visit in person or go to www.michiganpantry.com.


About the Author

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Grand Rapids. A Michigan native and Michigan State University grad, she enjoys reading, travel, politics and volunteering.