Work is underway at the former Heller’s Jewelry building in downtown Rochester. Pamela Walther and her husband Ryan are currently in the midst of extensive renovations to the building, which will soon become home to their Bizzy Buzz Artisan Market. The Walthers hope for a spring opening.
Bizzy Buzz has already accepted 22 artist vendors and is currently on the hunt for more. Items fashioned from glass, pottery, metal and more will make up their inventory of locally made fashion, jewelry, and home decor items. The Walthers are even carrying records from famous Detroiter Jack White’s Third Man Records, complete with a listening station to preview records.
“For local artisans, what makes us different than other markets is that the vendors don’t have to be here,” Pamela says. “Just keep the shelves stocked. We’ll take care of the rest.”
The building itself is a piece of locally-made art in its own right. Built in the year 1900, the renovation process has peeled away decades worth of modifications to the building. The drop ceilings have been removed to expose the original tin-tiled ceilings. Even the walls have been removed to expose tin tiles covering the bricks. Pamela says those tiles will be relocated to cover the cinder block-walled addition in the back, leaving the original exposed bricks up front.
Another discovery was a bank vault built in the 1890s. While the previous owner of the building kept his lunch in the vault, the Walthers are planning on using it as the Third Man Records listening booth and display area.
“It’s just the perfect spot. As much work as the building needed, we decided to give it a go,” says Pamela. “We put the word out to the artisans and got a real good turnout.”
“It won’t take long to fill up.”
Local artisans interested in having Bizzy Buzz carry their products can apply online via the company’s website.
Bizzy Buzz is located at 409 S. Main St. in downtown Rochester.