89.1 WEMU

Indie Awards Recognize Entrepeneurs

Jun 27, 2014

ANN ARBOR – Independent businesses will be the stars of the show Saturday night when Think Local First of Washtenaw County throws a street party to celebrate its second annual Washtenaw Indie Awards.

Credit Think Local First of Washtenaw County


The party, featuring local food, live jazz and RnB music and craft beers from Arbor Brewing Company, will take place from 6-10 p.m. on Washington Street between Main and Fourth. The award presentations will begin shortly after 7:30.


“Independent local business are critical to making Washtenaw County a vibrant and unique community that’s a great place to live and raise a family,” said Jud Branam, interim Executive Director of Think Local First. “We’re proud to honor these outstanding entrepreneurs.”


The street party will feature jazz from Kim Vi and the Siblings, RnB from The Stomp Rockets and food from a half-dozen local restaurants and food stores. Local DJ and concert organizer Matthew Altruda will serve as MC. More than 60 businesses are in contention for four awards.


The Washtenaw Soul Award: A business that represents the unique spirit of Washtenaw County by celebrating diversity, creativity, is confident in their individuality and supports their community. 2013 winner: Zingerman’s Family of Businesses
The Big Leap Award: A business that "took the leap" and successfully created a new idea, model, or solution despite all the risks.  2013 winner: Ghostly International Records
The Hidden Gem Award: This is a great business that is overlooked and more people should know about. 2013 winner: Urban Ashes
Community care award: This non-profit stands out for the clarity of its mission, the dedication of its volunteers, and its long-term impact to the citizens at large. Award being offered for the first time.


Candidates were nominated through Think Local First’s website in May, then winners were selected by a panel of local business owners in advance of Saturday’s event. The event also will include distribution of TLF’s annual Resource Guide, a catalogue of local businesses organized by their service area.


Tickets for the event are $10 for TLF members and $15 for non-members. They are available at the door or through http://thinklocalfirst.net/Buy-A-Ticket-to-Indie-Awards .


The complete list of nominees includes:



Washtenaw Soul:

  • Reconsider
  • Ludy Web Design
  • Fourth Avenue Birkenstock
  • A2 Fitness Professionals LLC
  • Arbor Brewing Company
  • Treasure Mart
  • Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room
  • Overture Audio
  • Big George's Home Appliance Mart
  • Mast Shoes
  • Nicola's Books
  • Sidetrack Bar and Grill
  • Northside Grill
  • Tree Town Murals


Community Care:

  • Ann Arbor Thrift Shop
  • The Neutral Zone
  • Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County
  • The Family Learning Institute
  • Friends of the A2 Skatepark
  • Washtenaw Literacy
  • Performance Network Theatre
  • Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor
  • Wild Swan Theater
  • Girls Group
  • Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW)


Big Leap:

  • The Brinery
  • Hut-K Chaats
  • Mark's Carts
  • Sic Transit Cycles
  • The Thingsmiths 3D Printing
  • Sava Lelcaj Businesses
  • Unity Vibration
  • Books By Chance
  • Overture Audio
  • Harvest Kitchen
  • Russian Ballet Theatre Schoo
  • Vault of Midnight
  • Oxford Companies
  • Maggie's Organics
  • Bill's Beer Garden
  • A2 Fitness Professionals
  • Ann Arbor Seed Company

Hidden Gem:

  • Bar at 327 Braun Court
  • Thomas Brothers Painting
  • Dascola Barbers
  • Maggie's Organics
  • Washtenaw Dairy
  • Sharesleuth
  • A2 Fitness Professionals
  • Leon Speakers
  • By The Pound
  • Insider Telecom
  • Leon Loft
  • RUB Ann Arbor
  • Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room
  • Ivory Photo
  • Overture Audio
  • Native Plant Nursery
  • The Ravens Club
  • Taco King
  • Juicy Kitchen
  • The Yellow Barn
  • Sic Transit Cycles
  • Morgan & York Fine Wines & Specialty Foods