The Buzz

A Couple’s Labor of Love

In a Main Street building in Rochester dating from 1890 that’s been a roller rink, a ballroom and a jewelry store, Ryan and Pamela Walther have created, with their own hands — and help from architect Dave Donnellon, contractor Jay Noonan (who also helped with the design and drawings) of Design Resources for Architects, and skilled tradesman Geoff Davis — a welcoming, cozy hive for the work of some 70 artists called Bizzy Buzz Artisan Market.

Ryan and Pamela Walther, owners of Bizzy Buzz Artisan Market. Photo by Jacob Lewkow.

Everything from home décor items and pottery to glass, gourmet foods and fine art delight shoppers who visit the store, 409 S. Main St. ”We used our life savings, so we wanted to do as much ourselves as we could,” Pamela says. “As we chiseled away at the plaster walls, we discovered beautiful brick underneath (as well as the wooden ‘Cigar’ sign hanging behind the register) and an amazing tin ceiling. There was also a huge, antique safe in the floor — removing that was an adventure — that we transformed into a station where customers can listen to records we carry from Third Man Records in Detroit.”

The shop carries everything from grab-and-go gifts to high-end art, and from 50-cent honey sticks to $2,500, one-of-a-kind paintings.

“Ryan and I are thrilled to have saved the building’s original beauty, and to have inspired our neighbors on both sides to do the same.”

This article was written by Honey Murray and originally appeared in the January-February issue of Detroit Home magazine.