Blue Heron Trading Co. is a coffee, tea and specialty gourmet gift store, quickly becoming a community hangout for knitting clubs, book clubs, and church groups. Mark and Alisa Maul opened the business in September 2016, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony September 15, 2016 and just celebrated their third year at the business.
The Mauls have owned several businesses in the past, including operating a vegetable farm in California, a small nursery business, and interior design with silk plants for Ethan Allen Furniture. Alisa Maul said she previously had shot down her husband’s suggestion of buying the building on Huron River Drive because when she first saw it, it was “very dated” with 1970s-style wood paneling, a drop ceiling, linoleum, and residential rather than commercial doors and windows! However, after he suggested the location a second time and said he had a vision for it, she decided to trust him. The couple started by renovating two apartments above the store, followed by extensive remodeling to the rest of the building, including improving the look of the exterior and adding large front commercial picture windows for more light and to give it a store front look.
The Maul’s named the business after the Blue Heron because the birds are frequent visitors to the Flat Rock area. Alisa wanted the name to remind people of the proximity of the Huron River, where the birds make their home. “We decided to open the store to bring more ‘shop local’ opportunities to Flat Rock,” Maul said. “We carry a lot of items that you can’t find without driving to Plymouth, Northville or Ann Arbor,” he added further.
In addition to offering teas and coffee fresh roasted from their roaster, they also offer nitro coffee and cold brew which are customer favorites in the summer. Alisa and Mark also use a local favorite, Calder’s Ice Cream, for their frozen coffee drinks! The store also offers a large selection of gourmet foods, flavored oils, as well as, balsamic vinegar, soaps, lotions, and other gift items. The Blue Heron also offers a large selection of Cherry Republic candy, jams, and salsas, as well as Germack Nuts. They recently added Ann Arbor-based Zingerman’s candy!
Customers praise the locally roasted hot coffee and the specialty jams and jellies, with several mentioning they need to go back to pick up hot pepper bacon jam, which is the “best seller.” Blue Heron Trading Company has been growing steady since they opened three years ago. Their customers come from all over Downriver and beyond. Next year, Mark and Alisa plan to open our second location in the City of Trenton on Jefferson and West Avenue.
Alisa remarked, “People are looking for a place to relax and slowdown from the hustle and bustle of life,” visible in their lovely seating area with a cozy fireplace and leather couches, which Blue Heron customers love.
Blue Heron Trading Co. is located at:
26217 E. Huron River Drive in Flat Rock, MI.
Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday,
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday,
Sunday 12 to 4 p.m.
Come by and enjoy a wonderful visit and a great hot drink by the fireplace!
For more information, please call 734-789-7986 or click below for their webpage
Click Here for Blue Heron Webpage.
Feature story written by Shayla Viterllo-Hopper
Flat Rock Our Hometown