For the downtown Berkley businesses owners along Coolidge Highway, life is like a diamond in the rough.
The street and storefronts may not be fancy and they certainly stand out from the downtown’s prominent shopping district at 12 Mile, but is determined to lead the way in giving them the TLC she says they deserve.
“As I was doing my round of intros in the area, the one thing I noticed that was really missing here was a little unity,” she said about moving into Berkley last fall. “I wanted to have my business here. I thought it would be a really fun place to launch something neat. But we don’t look or feel anything like 12 Mile, though we are part of the downtown area.”
With the inspiration of having a more “progressive and hip” feeling along Coolidge, and Popkin’s motivation rallying local business neighbors, the Coolidge Collection was formed as a partnership to improve the vitality of business and experience for customers. For her, it was the obvious thing to do.
“I just said, ‘Let’s get together and talk about this and figure out what we can do to bring about some positive change for businesses alike’,” she explained. “The cool thing about the Coolidge Collection is you can conduct your life within all of these businesses.”
Whether you are looking to do yoga, having a wedding party to plan, buying a gift, remodeling your house, shopping for new glasses, in need of a massage, or fixing up jewelry, it’s all there.
“You can do it all within three or four blocks, and that’s really cool,” Popkin said.
With nearly 20 businesses in the Collection now, Popkin said it’s like a family, and they want to extend that warmth and appreciation to others — primarily the customers who have helped make it all happen.
Customer appreciation at the Berkley Art Bash
To get in on the excitement of the on Saturday, the Coolidge Collection will be offering a slew of events as an extension of the art show meant to show off downtown Berkley.
Each of the partnering businesses along Coolidge (which will be well marked) will be offering sidewalk sales, freebies and a chance to get to know more of Berkley’s independent business owners.
Vistors can stop by the shops for free wine and cheese at and various other samples of what each business offers, such as free eyeglass repair at , jewelry cleaning at MHG Jewelers and a five-minute massage at .
In the parking lot at 2745 Coolidge Hwy., a free concert, dubbed will entertain visitors. It includes the performing with its jazz band and drum line from noon to 2:30 p.m., with the School of Rock onstage 2:30-5 p.m.
“This event is all for our customers. Anyone who wants to come out and see what we’re doing here on Coolidge, come on down,” Popkin said.
The opening of will also be celebrated and it will be supplying the hot dogs for the Coolidge Rocks event.