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Celebrating Black History Month by highlighting businesses in Wayne

Cory Calhoun manages the downtown Wayne Puffer Reds store for owner Eric Williams.

By Sarah Shurge – Black History Month was created to recognize and honor all African American people from all periods of U.S. history. In celebration of Black History Month, we want to highlight some of the black-owned businesses in Wayne. Our first acknowledgment goes to Puffer Reds, which was established in 1979, and has been in Wayne since 2005.
Puffer Reds is a street-wear boutique that carries the latest apparel, footwear, and accessories in fashion. Puffer Reds is in direct account with suppliers such as: Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Purple Brand, Timberland, and countless other brands.
Need inspiration with putting an outfit together? Puffer Reds has head-to-toe pre-set outfits on display in the store to make the customer experience easier.
Throughout the month of February, Puffer Reds has special sales for every brand throughout the store.
Puffer Reds is located at 5002 W Michigan Ave, and is open Monday-Saturday 11a.m-7p.m.
For more information about Puffer Reds, visit pufferreds.com or call (734)722-6630. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching “Puffer Reds.”
“I want to thank the city of Wayne for the support they’ve given over the last almost two decades,” said Eric Williams, Puffer Reds owner. “I appreciate being part of the city.”
Our second acknowledgment goes to Gents on the Ave Barber Shop, which has been in Wayne for 10 years.
Gents on the Ave is a family-friendly, full service barber shop. Gents on the Ave provides the following services: men’s haircut, men’s lineup, beard mustache trim, and kids’ haircut.
Gents on the Ave offers senior citizen discounts.

Gents on the Ave Barber Shop master barbers Marcel Hardeman, Keith Knight, Randy Moore and Rob Fuller.

“Thank you for welcoming us here and being supportive for over 10 years,” said Rob Fuller, Gents on the Ave Barber Shop owner.
Keith Knight is the other owner of Gents on the Ave.
Gents on the Ave Barber Shop is located at 34836 Michigan Ave, and is open Tuesday-Saturday 9:30a.m.-7:30p.m.
For more information about Gents on the Ave Barber Shop, call (734)344-0075 or book online at Stayreadyrandy.com or Booksy – Marcel at Gents on the Ave.
Our third acknowledgement goes to Klassy Kellection, which opened in Wayne in March 2021.
Klassy Kellection is a salon and boutique, all in one location. It is a storefront with lots of windows for mannequins and the building is sectioned in half, making it extremely easy to separate the salon and the boutique.
Klassy Kellection has salon services, accessories, and women’s clothing ranging from sizes small to 3X.
In honor of Black History Month, Klassy Kellection is offering 20% discounts this month.
“I feel proud to be a black business owner in Wayne,” said Kelly Whitehead, Klassy Kellection owner. “I feel very accomplished as black woman to overcome not only health issues but different obstacles in life as black person in general.”
Whitehead is planning on adding shoes into her Kellections in the future.

Klassy Kellection owner, Kelly Whitehead

Klassy Kellection is located at 34840 W Michigan Ave, and is open Wednesday-Saturday 9a.m.-7p.m.
For more information about Klassy Kellection or to shop online, visit klassykellection.com or call (734)398-1440.
“I’d like to thank the community for the support, I hope to continue to do great business, and remember to “keep it klassy”,” said Whitehead.
Our next acknowledgment goes to Brookie’s Cafe, which opened March 2021 in Wayne.
Brookie’s Cafe is a family-oriented bar and grill. The food is in the middle of southern comfort and northern class, and Brookie’s is known for its Alfredo pasta – the Alfredo sauce being housemade.
“There is a variety of food for everyone, young and old,” said Andre Mosley, Brookie’s Cafe owner.
Troy Dillard and Andre Dixon are also partners associated with Brookie’s Cafe.
Brookie’s has weekly specials from 4-7p.m. dine-in only, including: $1.50 Wing Wednesdays, $10 Alfredo Alley Potato on Thursday, $12 Fish and Fries on Friday, and more. Weekly drink specials include: $5 Lemon Drop on Thursday, $3 Green Tea Shots on Friday, and more.
Brookie’s Cafe is launching a new brunch menu, inspired by live jazz.
“We’re excited about our brunch menu for an added twist,” said Mosley.” It’s giving our great chefs and line cooks a chance to explore their talents.”

LaRosa Cigar Lounge and Brookie Cafe partners (front) Andre Dixson, Stephen Rich, (back) Fernando Merida, and Andre Mosley.

Brookie’s Cafe is located at 35234 W Michigan Ave, and is open Tuesday 12-10:30p.m., Wednesday-Thursday 12p.m.-12a.m., Friday-Saturday 12p.m.-1:30a.m., and Sunday 2p.m.-11p.m.
For more information about Brookie’s Cafe, visit brookiescafewayne.com or call (734)895-3083. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram by searching “Brookies Cafe.”
Keep an eye on their website and social media for upcoming events.
The next acknowledgement goes to LaRosa VIP Cigar Lounge, which opened on July 9th, 2022.
LaRosa VIP Cigar Lounge is a VIP cigar lounge that is welcome for anyone to come and enjoy the arrays of cigars (including many black-owned cigars brands).
“Come on in, if you’re familiar with cigars or even if you aren’t, don’t feel intimidated. All are welcome,” said Mosley, LaRosa VIP Cigar Lounge owner. “Whether you’re a smoker or not, there is something for you to enjoy. Come in and get a taste of the smoke. Get a taste of the lounge.”
Andre Dixon, Stephen Rich, and Fernado Merida are also partners associated with LaRosa VIP Cigar Lounge.
LaRosa Lounge has live music on the weekend, and shares a kitchen with Brookie’s Cafe, so food and drink is available for purchase. LaRosa has specials including 50% off selected cocktails, 50% off selected cigars, and more.
LaRosa has a space available to rent for small events. For event scheduling, call (734)658-2229.
LaRosa Cigar Lounge is located right next door to Brookie Cafe at 35228 W Michigan Ave, and is open Wednesday-Thursday 5-11p.m, Friday-Saturday 5p.m.-12:30a.m, and Sunday 5-11p.m.
For more information about LaRosa Cigar Lounge (including VIP memberships), visit larosavipcigar-.com, call (734) 331-3082, or email larosavipcigarlounge@gmail.com. You can find them on Facebook by searching “LaRosa VIP Cigar Lounge” and Instagram by searching “LaRosa VIP Cigar.”
Mosley, LaToya Warren, and Omar Bethay have a new and upcoming business – Drinktology Bartending School. This bartending school concentrates on in-depth bar associated training, tip certification, customer service etiquette, professional development assistance, and an introduction to sommelier (a wine pairing course).
For more information about Drinktology Bartending School, call (313)704-4421.
Our next acknowledgement goes to Party with a Tee, which has been in Wayne since November 2022.

Party with a Tee owner Renee Bey. Photo by Jo Darby

Party with a Tee specializes in custom apparel (for birthdays, family reunions, graduations, corporate events, small businesses, etc.), hosts T-shirt painting events for all occasions, and offers event space rentals for small gatherings (such as: baby or bridal showers, birthday parties, vendor events, book signings, workshops/meetings, and more).
In honor of Black History Month, Party with a Tee will have a 10% discount for T-shirt painting attendees and a 10% discount for bulk orders (20 items or more) for custom apparel (mainly T-shirts or hoodies).
“Being black, I always feel it’s important to keep black history alive and know the culture,” said Renee Bey, Party with a Tee owner. “It’s always good to keep knowledge going and acknowledge people that paved the way.”
Party with a Tee also hosts several community events each year, such as the Black History Book Fair and the Back to School Backpack Giveaway Event.
“Our mission is to uplift everyone,” said Bey. “We love helping the community, and we’re looking for more events to expand.”
Party with a Tee is located at 3158 S Wayne Rd, and is open Friday-Saturday 12-5p.m., T-shirt painting is Monday-Friday 6-9p.m., and business hours for service Sunday-Thursday are available upon request.
For more information about Party with a Tee, call (734)589-0111. For online shopping, T-shirt painting events, and event space rental inquiries, visit partywithatee.com.
First Responders receive a 10% discount on all merchandise in store (customized orders, Event & Meeting space rentals, and T-shirt painting events are excluded).
Party with a Tee’s next event is “Brushes and Wine Glass: Valentine’s Day Celebrated with Class” on Wednesday, February 14th from 6-9p.m.
Bey is currently working on a childrens event for March, so be sure to check the website for updates and more information. If you’re interested in volunteering for any Party with a Tee events, email partywithatee@gmail.com.

Curtis Huffman, owner/chef of Taste the Smoke

Our final acknowledgement goes to Taste the Smoke, which opened for regular hours on Wednesday, April 26th, 2023.
Taste the Smoke is the city of Wayne’s first barbecue restaurant, but it is a different style of barbecue.
“There isn’t just one way barbecue should be served. This is Michigan barbecue. This is different. We smoke low and slow,” said Curtis Huffman, owner/chef of Taste the Smoke. “We rely on our smoking process as well as blends of seasoning. Sauce is an option, it’s not a go-to.”
Huffman stated that the best sellers at Taste the Smoke are the ribs, pulled pork, and the brisket.
“Give us a try,” said Huffman. “We’ve been open for about 10 months, so if you came in the beginning, come and check us out again. We’ve been changing and improving things.”
Taste the Smoke is highlighting Black History Month by serving soul food everyday for the whole month. There are daily specials offered outside of February as well.
Huffman is starting the process for smoking and cooking outdoors.
Taste the Smoke is located at 35445 W Michigan Ave, and is open Wednesday-Saturday 3p.m.-10p.m., and Sunday 12p.m-7p.m. Starting February 10th, there will be live music (Father and Son Duo – Jerry and Jacob) on Saturday nights.
To contact Taste the Smoke, call (734)725-5990. You can find them on Instagram by searching “Taste the Smoke” or “A Special Taste.” A website and Facebook are coming soon.
Be sure to check out and support these businesses in Wayne!

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