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I was born and raised in Michigan, then roamed around to a few other states for about 16 years before resettling just 20 minutes south of one of Michigan’s borders – a border I cross every day to work in Michigan.
When I tell people I’m from Michigan, they inevitably tell me that they have family in Kalamazoo or they went to school in Ann Arbor or they know someone from Detroit. And then I have to tell them, “Well, you see, I’m not from that part of Michigan. I’m from the U.P.” Then I would try to explain, using my hands to illustrate the state as all good Michiganders do, pointing out the Upper and Lower Peninsula.
Made in Michigan
You see, the whole of Michigan – all 600 plus miles it takes to drive from the western end of the U.P. to the Detroit suburbs – is home to makers. Building things seems to be in our blood, the way the water of the Great Lakes is in our souls. From the beginnings of the auto industry to the timber barons of the 1800s to the craft brewers of today, we can’t resist transforming raw materials into something altogether greater.
All of this made the job of choosing just 10 products or brands pretty difficult. In fact, this list has expanded since it was first published. We couldn't stop at 10. What are your favorites that I missed?
American Spoon handcrafts small batch fruit preserves and fruit products in Petoskey, Michigan. All of their fruit is sourced from Michigan farms. American Spoon's Sour Cherry Preserves is loaded with Montmorency cherries- Michigan's most famous fruit.
Eric Yelsma was looking for a specific pair of jeans a few years back and when he couldn’t find what he wanted, he decided to make them. For three years his company in Detroit has been hand-making high-quality jeansfor men and women with just the right details. From the pure raw copper buttons, to the meticulous design and placement of the back pockets, they’ve done everything right.
Rebecca Smith started Better Life Bags as a hobby. She was making bags from her home and selling them on her Etsy shop. She donated a portion of her sales to help low income entrepreneurs overseas, thus the name 'Better Life'. In 2012 Rebecca and her family moved to Detroit, Michigan and her sales were booming. She hired local women to help her catch up on orders. She noticed the impact that a steady income had on the families of the women she hired, so she has since made it a point to hire women who face barriers to employment, so they can have a 'Better Life'. Each handbag comes with a personalized message from the woman who makes it.
In 1930, Mabel White Holmes of the Chelsea Milling Company introduced the first prepared baking mix to the homemakers of the world. And all these years later, we’re still grateful. Now led by Mabel’s grandson, the folks at Chelsea Milling Company still make those iconic mixes in the little blue boxes all in their Chelsea mill. Expanding from the initial mix, they now JIFFY offers cake mixes, frosting mixes, muffin mixes, and more, sold in grocery stores all over the country.
How dare that we didn't add Koegel Meats to our made in Michigan list! We were informed by our USA Love List readers that Koegel's hotdogs are the best in Michigan. For over 90 years Koegel's has been producing meat products in Michigan and the Koegel's facility is currently located in Flint, Michigan.
Michigan Mittens makes fun and functional USA-made products made in the Mitten State. They've taken warmth to a whole new level with these double layer “SUPERIOR” Michigan Mittens. They are made to keep you nice and toasty warm on those cold winter days with a washed rag wool outer shell and a soft acrylic liner. Sensitive to wool? These mittens have a soft acrylic liner, wrapped around the cuff so that the wool will not brush against your skin. They are 100% USA made. These Michigan made mittens are knit, hand cut, and sewn in a family owned knitting company in North Carolina and finished in Pontiac, Michigan. They are decorated, label assembled and packaged at Earth 2 Earth, a printing factory in Pontiac. These mittens are handled by no fewer than 8 American workers.
Take 25% off your Michigan Mittens order with code USALOVE
Shinola is an American maker of fine luxury goods. While the original Shinola brand was known for shoeshine, the name was acquired and relaunched in 2011 as a home for luxury goods like watches, leather items, bicycles, and more. Do double check before buying though because they have added some imported items of late.
While the Original Stormy Kromer Cap was created by George “Stormy” Kromer and his wife Ida in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, this iconic cap has long been the official “unofficial” cap of the U.P. and made its home in Ironwood in 2001. Once worn just by your Grandpa, it is now embraced by hipsters, moms, and outdoor enthusiasts across the country. The product line has expanded and now includes coats, bags, shirts, mittens and more, all cut and sewn in Michigan and Wisconsin.
You need to keep Uncle Goose blocks in mind as a gift for baby or toddler! Uncle Goose makes wooden toys, including wooden blocks, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Each block is made by hand. The ink is supplied from and American manufacturer that does not use heavy metals, so the are safe for baby.
Established in Rockford in 1883, Wolverine has been crafting high-quality footwear for American workers for over 130 years. A number of their products are currently made in the USA, including the iconic 1000 Mile Boot®made in their Big Rapids factory. The Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot (so named for its durability) was introduced in 1914, and are the original boots that helped build railroads, erect skyscrapers and expand highways across the country.
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Spatz bread in Saginaw and Cherry Republic in Traverse City are both great Michigan made products.
Fabianos Homemade Candy (Family owned) is the best you can buy. Made in Lansing, MI.
OK I absolutely LOVE you because you are from my family’s neck of the woods! Spent much of my life in Iron River in the Western Yoop.
Gerber baby food made in Fremont Michigan and shipped around the country!!
We love Jiffy Mix! Kymora Kandles is a fairly new company that makes great smelling candles, among other things. Cherry Republic is also a Michigan company we love, they make the best cherry salsa!
It’s always grilling season ! Spinarri Autoskewers – Motorized skewers for your existing gas or charcoal BBQ grill. Made in Michigan. http://www.spinarri.com
SHERRY KOWALSKI KIELBASA
Coles Garlic Bread–it’s the best!!!!
Chaco sandals and Woodard patio furniture
I love Wolverine Boots. And I have to check out those jeans.
I’ve never been to Michigan. One of my Facebook pals is often posting so many nice photos, I’d love to visit some day. I’m checking out the Iverson Snowshoes – we’re in the market for them.
I love the Detroit jeans. We were in Michigan briefly not long ago and they had some great places there. I havent seen that brand of snowblower, I might look in to it.
Lot of new brands for me to check out
What about Buddy’s Pizza and Sanders
Grand Rapids Chair Company engineers, assembles and finishes restaurant tables and chairs in their Michigan factory. http://www.grandrapidschair.com
There is a furniture manufacturer, Gascho Furniture, who make solid wood, hand finished products. Great stuff. Their website is a bit lacking, but their products are good.
This is a great website! It is great to have this as a resource to find locally made products. During a time when so much is getting out-sourced overseas, it is great to have a local furniture manufacture. For over 20 years, Grand Rapids Chair Company has made high-quality chair and tables for commercial dining spaces using locally sourced materials.
Koegel meats for sure. MI is well known for these meats. I am not a hot dog fan except for a Koegel. awesome list for sure!
Always do a bit more research to find out where the processors are getting their meat supply. A Chinese company owns the largest pork producer in the US plus many others.
Jiffy Cornmeal Muffin Mix and cake mixes…Chelsea MI.
Jiffy Cake MIx and their fabulous Jiffy Cornmeal Muffin Mix!
Envision independent projects for students needing more challenge – proudly printed in Michigan! By Mind Vine Press
Vernors ginger ale, Kitchenaid, Kellogg’s to name a few. 🙂
I haven’t heard of most of these. Great list!
General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Whirlpool, Carrhart, Bissell, and kellogs cereal. Gibson guitar was originally founded in Kalamazoo, they have since moved to Nashville.
I would like to add Gramers Old Fashioned Candies in Jackson, MI. They make all of their own candies right here in my town. They are at:
803 N. Waterloo St. Jackson, MI 49202 Phone: 517-784-0531.
Detroit Bikes should definitely be on there! Manufactured on Detroit’s West side in our 50,000 square foot facility.
Michigan is a great make state. Let’s bring back manufacturing to American and especially to Michigan.
Detroit Bikes- the only large scale bicycle factory in the U.S. bringing manufacturing of bikes back to Detroit after Henry Ford
American Spoon Foods- delicious jams and spreads and special recipes.
Steelcase Furniture- furniture company with great values on sustainability
I love Steelcase!! I bought one of their chairs to work remotely. I could not have done without them!
We make Michigan products like our Michigan Decorative Clocks, white pine wooden Adirondack Chairs is the only way to go and show off the Great Lakes State! With our white pine wood Adirondack Chairs, or our photography hanging on your wall; or one of our Michigan Wall Clocks – We’re thinking with Your Pure Michigan Heart you’ll love our Michigan made Products. Locally made right here in Kalamazoo, Michigan and delivered for free.
HopzGirl makes all natural handcrafted soap and beauty products with locally grown hops and fruits near Grand Rapids.
Yes please do Made in Michigan Pt 2. You definitely missed the wineries, Vernors, BIGBY COFFEE, and American Spoon Foods,
Please do a Made in Michigan part 2! 🙂
Michigan Mittens! Always have a “map” on hand!
Lots of great companies in Michigan! I am sure Detroit Denim makes wonderful clothing.
American Spoon Foods from Petoskey
Besides the Koegel meats and Vernors, you forgot Better Made Chips, Corn Flakes, Hudsonville Ice Cream, Pioneer Sugar, St. Julian wine, Chateau Chantel wine.
Vernors, koegel meats, two MI products that I miss a ton since moving away.
Connor’s Sports Flooring in Amasa, Michigan makers of the Final 4 basketball floor.
Alot of us Michiganders winter down here in FLORIDA., and yes we do miss our Koegels…. We can buy Vernors now.
We are having a Michigan party and have ordered 30 lbs of Koegel’s
vienna frankfurters…Boy , do we miss those Flint Coneys….
What else can you not get in Florida from Michigan.