Appreciation Awards Honor

DDA Businesses & Volunteers


The Ferndale Downtown Development Authority honored its standout businesses and volunteers with Appreciation Awards, voted on by the public and presented during DDA Appreciation Night,  Monday, April 19 at Rosie O’Grady’s.

More than 100 downtown businesses and volunteers were nominated in nine different categories, were honored for achieving milestone anniversaries or were acknowledged for contributions of time.

The awards cited achievements made from 2007 through 2009 and highlighted economic restructuring initiatives such as the DDA’s Build Program, which grants businesses funds for façade or signage improvements.  Nominees were selected based on business start dates and/or participation in DDA programs.  More than 250 votes were made through an online survey distributed to the DDA’s Eblast mail list, and links on the Downtown Ferndale Facebook Fan Page and at  

The cumulative success of Monday evening’s award nominees and winners creates a synergy that establishes Downtown Ferndale as a leader among downtowns.  Appreciation Award winners include the following:

Best Build Project: 2007 - Affirmation/2008 - Blumz by JR Designs                               

  • Best Façade Improvement: Inyo Restaurant
  • Best Historic Rebuild/Renovation: Rosie O’Grady’s
  • Best Window Display: Pinwheel Bakery
  • Best Landscaping/Al Fresco Space: Rosie O’Grady’s
  • Best New Independent Retailer: Detroit Comics
  • Best New Independent Service Business:  Blumz by JR Designs
  • Best New Independent Restaurant/Bar/Club:  Anita’s

Businesses and volunteers who went above and beyond the call of duty were recognized as “Fabulous Friends of Downtown Ferndale,” including: 

  • Dean Bach, Owner – Dino’s Restaurant & Lounge for the Ferndale Film Festival & involvement in the Pub Crawl, Blues Festival and Holiday Ice Festival.
  • Brian Kramer, Owner – Rosie O’Grady’s for perseverance in improving parking downtown.
  • Michigan AIDS Coalition – Mayor Craig Covey for organizing the Blues Festival & Pub Crawl in Downtown.
  • Chris Johnston, Owner – WAB/Emory/Loving Touch for organizing the DIY Street Fair.

Ferndale DDA Volunteer of the Year was Jacki Smith of The Candle Wick Shop; and the Spirit of Ferndale Award went to AJ O’Neil of AJ’s Music Café and promoter of the Assembly Line Concert.

Service Recognition Awards were given to Stacey Tobar, Sharon Chess, Stephanie Smith, Larry Mills, Rick Ax and Carrie Copeland.

While most awards recognized business accomplishments from 2007-2009, many businesses were cited for longevity including:  Wetmore’s, 82 years; New Way Bar, 75 years; Crane Optical, 61 years; Danny’s Irish Pub, 25 years; Woodward Investment Properties, 15 years; State of the Art Framing & Gallery and The Twisted Shamrock, 5 years.