Ypsi’s VG Kids, considering a move to Ann Arbor

My friend James owns the local screen printing company, VG Kids. I’ve written about them here plenty of times in the past, and I’ve held them up as an example of the kind of young, dynamic, quality-focused, arts-centered company that we need more of here in Ypsi. So, as you might expect, I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic when I heard from James not too long ago that he was thinking of moving the company to Ann Arbor… After a few conversations on the matter, I asked him if he’d mind my bringing it up here on the site. He was open to the idea, and what follows is a short email exchange between the two of us.

MARK: In your quest to find a more suitable VG Kids production facility, you’ve begun looking outside of Ypsilanti, and I’m wondering what it is that you’re looking for that you haven’t been able to find locally.

JAMES: Its true we’re looking for more space, and after searching in Ypsi and coming up empty handed, I’ve gradually gotten used to the idea that VG might not have a future home in Ypsi. I shouldn’t say empty handed- the search yielded SPUR Studios.

We’re looking for 4-5000 sq ft. of clean light industrial space with adequate sewers, power, and gas. Roll up doors. Basic stuff as far as buildings go, and the location has to be easy to find, as we’ll be doing customer service and production out of the same building. It would be ideal if we could take part of a larger building so we would have room to grow.

The neighborhood is important, we want to be close to other like minded people where we can benefit from one another and build some energy, not isolated off by ourselves somewhere.

MARK: So, as of right now, no decisions have been made? I’d hate to see Ypsi lose VG, as I think, along with Beezy’s, and a few other places, it kind of represents a new, more sustainable direction for the community. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t want to keep you here if it’s not in the best long-term interests of the company. An Ann Arbor-based VG, is, after all, better than no VG at all. It’s just frustrating that we can’t seem to make it over that hump as a community, where we have critical mass.

JAMES: Correct, we haven’t officially decided. I put a note out to our close friends that we were moving to Ann Arbor, but we haven’t signed on anything yet, and the more I talk about it with people, the more I realize how much I really would like to keep VG in Ypsi.

It’s been surprising to me that we haven’t been able to find something suitable, I’m sort of hoping someone will suggest something obvious that I’ve overlooked.

It’s brought my attention to how little space we have that’s practical for new people to put down roots. We want more businesses, but our stock of space is pretty limited.

As a sidebar, it’s frustrating to see buildings on the Water Street property that might work, and get the response that they’re slated for demolition for this long term plan. A long term plan that I had reservations about to begin with, has stumbled at every turn, and isn’t attracting what I consider to be the right kind of investors.

I don’t think VG has the time to wait, but maybe this is something that we should address in whatever comes of the Water Street property. Light industrial zoning that’s close enough to town that businesses and makers are a part of the community and welcomed.

MARK: It seems likely to me that you could find a space that meets your physical requirements without going to Ann Arbor, but that second part of the equation, about being surrounded by synergistic young businesses, is going to be lot more difficult. Here in Ypsi, we don’t have a lot of young companies leveraging the know-how and capabilities of one another. When it does happen, it’s very cool, but we need more of it. I’m reminded of the time that Linette designed scarfs for Maggie’s Organics, which you printed at VG, that were then sold at the Co-op (as well as though Whole Foods nationally). That’s the kind of thing we need to see more and more of. Losing VG would be a huge blow, but I’m not sure how long we can reasonably expect for an entrepreneur like yourself to wait.

JAMES: I think there’s energy in both places, its just different. In Ypsi we’ve got this reputation of being this bad-ass arts town, which feels incredible to be a part of. It may not manifest itself that often, but the esteem that goes with the vibe is huge. Things like Shadow Art Fair, the Maggie’s Organics lines you mentioned, these art-kits for FLY that Linette, Ruth, and I are working on. There are more examples, but I agree there should be 10x that many.

Emotionally, I’m there with you. But just as an example, we need this new conveyor dyer for our t-shirts, because as we do more waterbased inks on shirts, the old one isn’t cutting it. The new one is 7 feet across and 36 feet long. It doesn’t fit in the building we’re in, and they only thing that seems possible in Ypsi is way out East Michigan or by the Willow Run airport. If we were all the way out there, would anyone even care if we were still in Ypsi? We would be totally isolated, it would be a tough place to keep a crew like ours motivated.

If I’m looking at this from too negative a lens, I want to hear about it. If someone shows me the perfect spot, I’ll take it.

I think it goes without saying that I’d like to keep VG here in Ypsi. I’m tired of seeing people who are genuinely dedicated to this city, and doing really good work, have to leave. It still pisses me off that we as a community weren’t able to sustain a shop like Henrietta Fahrenheit, and I don’t want to see it happen again. So, if you know of a location that might work for our friends at VG, please send me an email or leave a comment.

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  1. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    It is probably too small, but Ted’s Electric in Depot Town may be closing soon. (Ted swears he is going to retire this year, but he’s been saying that for a while now.) There are also several at the west end of Ecorse Road, but they probably fall out of that like minded neighborhood ideal. I hope that something can be found, VG is exactly the kind of buisness we are trying to bring to Ypsi. You know, the old 555/flea market is not scheduled to come down in January. Maybe what we need is to petition city council to turn it over for rehabilitation and get some tax credits for the work. A metal smithing company is doing that on Lincoln Street right now. If some one wanted to buy 555 and fix it, can the city afford to day no? Seems like they should throw the. (failed) plan aside and follow the Money if its there. In this case you get good for the community as a bonus with the money.

  2. Posted November 16, 2009 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Good idea, Andy. I’ve also got a call out to someone about a vacant facility near SPUR. It’s set up as an institutional kitchen at the moment, but I think that it might be reconfigurable. I’ll keep you posted….

  3. Phonies in reality.
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Mr. Ypsilanti is moving to Ann Arbor,

    Phonies in reality.

  4. Oliva
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Well, just yesterday some of us participated in a very cool architectural treasure hunt designed by some very lovely and hardworking neighbors. We sought out details shown on handsome pages of pics, walking around Michigan Avenue and other Ypsi streets. And one item was one of the bike “racks” designed by James. Those, VG Kids itself, the wonderful, colorful flags/banners (what do you call them exactly?) that James designed for Michigan Avenue . . . it would not be the same place were VG Kids to move away. (The art kit project sounds very intriguing.)

    Thanks Mark, for bringing this to people’s attention before it is too late. Thanks James, for being willing to entertain discussion and stick around for now. I hope that the space problem will be figured out easily after all and feel lucky that OY’s Andy is brimming with ideas and commitment. Presumptuous of me to describe One Ypsilanti, when it’s Andy’s baby, but I think the One part would show a bad crack were VG Kids to go.

  5. rodneyn
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    One of the services that Ann Arbor SPARK offers to businesses is relocation assistance – help with finding the right space in the right place, and help with local government issues. If James has not already made use of these *free* services that Ypsilanti/Ypsilanti Twp. have helped pay for, he should do so before making the decision to move.

    It is a bit of an oddity, but there is a building on N. River St. by Highland Cemetery that might be suitable. It has been used in recent years as a flower shop/greenhouse, but might work for VG Kids.

  6. Phonies in reality.
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I’m sure, a deal was already struck for VG’S to move to Ann Arbor.

    There are plenty of Screen Printers in town. They do just fine with the space they have and would be happy to see their business expand.

    Have fun in Ann Arbor.
    We will continue to grow Ypsilanti.

    Phonies in Reality.

  7. Linksys
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Now on the Ann Arbor Chronicle site:


  8. Stephen
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I’ve had occasion to work with a number of regional screen printers, and I think it’s safe to say that the VG crew is heads and shoulders above the rest in terms of both their work and being professional. They’re the kind of arts-oriented service company IMHO that the city needs at its core.

  9. Woody Lefurge
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    These are probably things they’ve looked at, but the industrial building behind Standard Printing has been underused. The light industrial building across the parking lot from that (located at 301 N Park) has been for sale/lease.

  10. Chucker
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Lest we forget, not even Ann Arbor was able to sustain a business like Henrietta Fahrenheit. It’s not really comparable to the VG Kids issue.

  11. Woody Lefurge
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Here’s links to the two Depot Town light industrial sites I mentioned.

    316 Lincoln:


    301 N Park:


  12. Phonies in Reality
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Thank you Chucker.
    Henrietta Fahrenheit lasted a year in Ann Arbor, 2 in Ypsilanti.
    To even bring that business into a space issue is a joke.

    I’m sure plenty of space could be found for VG Kids to stay in Ypsilanti.
    Sounds like a done deal to me.
    Stephen, I’ve used all the Screen Printers in Ypsilanti and they are all very good.
    Don’t even go there with VG Kids is above all.
    They are leaving Ypsilanti and that’s the reality.
    Other stores and business people will stay here and be loyal to Ypsilanti day in and day out.

    Have fun in Ann Arbor VG Kids.
    Mr. Ypsilanti (Mastermind) has left the building.

    Phonies in Reality.

  13. Steph
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I don’t think he was making the case that HF and VG were similar situations. I think he was only saying that it sucks when people doing good work leave Ypsi for A2.

    And you might want to dial down the rhetoric, Phonie. You’re coming across as jealous.

  14. Phonies in Reality
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Jealous, now thats funny.
    Just stating reality.
    Phonies talking smack and just bolting or going belly up.

    I’m staying right here in Ypsilanti.
    Making no excuses.

    Phonies in Reality.

  15. Posted November 16, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Well, at least they’re not leaving Michigan.

  16. Oliva
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The bitterness of P in R’s comments stands out starkly among these hopeful, helpful comments. It seems over the top.

  17. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Phonies in Reality, you are being part of the problem. You sound like a selfish, angry, crybaby with an axe to grind if you were to be judged by the comments you leave here. If James was just going to walk away and bail, would he have even bothered to tell Mark about this, let alone allow him to publish this exchange, before a deal was done in A2?

    Be Part of the Solution
    One Ypsilanti

  18. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    After thought. Maybe James is stuck. Maybe the only way to expand his business is to move to the dreaded and hated Duce, or at least the only finacialy viable one. Two thoughts:
    1. Well, at least he leaves us with SPUR Studios, which is a pretty big frigg’n commitment to Ypsi.
    2. Comments like those left by PIR serve to chase any other cool business that would think about coming to Ypsi. Why would you want to come to a city that treats businesses like that (same goes for bad mouthing the French’s, FYI)

  19. Woody Lefurge
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know what’s going on with 110 N River (the former radiator place)? After being dormant for years, there’s a flurry of activity. New paint and work being done. It’s just over 5,000 sq ft and has a roll up door in the rear. Situated neatly between down and depot town. I think I recall seeing a “for sale by owner” on it recently. It’d be worth seeing if the folks doing the work are fixing it up to rent or if they already have plans for the space.

  20. Posted November 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Okay – I’ve yet to read all the comments here on this post… but I’d just to clarify before I dig any deeper that using fake names, like “Phonies in Reality” is a little bit 1996.

    It being almost 2010 I would think, by now, more people would realize that it delegitimizes their argument or statement to hide behind anonymity. If you want to call some a “phony”, then let’s lay off the irony a bit and use a non “phony” name. Okay? Thanks :P

  21. Posted November 16, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Since going public with this info, I’ve had some great conversations and suggestions, some of which seem plausible. Thankfully Ypsi is a place of ingenuity and resourcefulness, and the negative ‘its over, forget it’ mentality is not prevalent.

  22. Kim
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    And I thought that Mark was Mr. Ypsilanti anyway.

    Did he exceed his term limit?

  23. Louis Feldes
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    James. Don’t just think big, think BIGGEST! The Visteon Plant is the perfect place for you to grow…

    Seriously though, have you looked at all in the light industrial park (West Ypsi Commerce Park) less than one mile from downtown? Lots of clean, current available spaces.

  24. roots
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Love VG Kids! Hope they can find a new Ypsi home!

  25. Cooter
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    2nd that roots. . we had our record covers printed there and stickers as well. Would love it if they moved into 310 north park…that is Carnie country.

  26. James Marks
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    The contractor that was showing the old radiator building on River is MIA- if anyone knows how to contact the owners, I’d appreciate the tip. I’ve heard the owners have passed and that the kids are trying to sell, but they sure aren’t open about it, from what I’ve seen.

  27. Posted November 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, for what it’s worth, I wasn’t suggesting that the situation facing VG was anything like the Henrietta Fahrenheit situation. They’re completely different. In the case of HF, Jennifer chose to move to Ann Arbor because that’s where most of her customers were from. In this case, as James said, it has more to do with finding a site that meets their production requirements. Regardless, though, they’re similar in they’re two entrepreneurs who very much want(ed) to make something work in Ypsi, and, for whatever reason, had to look elsewhere. My point was that I don’t want to see people like that – especially ones that really seem to understand design and customer service – leave.

  28. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Phonies’ Ypsilanti is like that cult in Poltergeist II.

  29. Dave
    Posted November 17, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Here are some sites:
    1) Old radiator shop on River between Coop and Dairy Queen.
    2) Forest Ave Baptist church on Forest near High Scope
    3) Old Motor wheel plant. They have an extra building they want to rent.
    4) How about the train depot, or the “good” part of the Thompson building.
    Being an engineer, could we redesign your dryer and make it vertical so it would fit in your current building?

  30. Kimbo
    Posted November 17, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I’d like to commend VG for sticking out this long in the toxic environment they’ve been in on Michigan Ave. Working below the blood plasma center has to be spiritually draining.

  31. Posted November 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    What about vacant buildings off Ecorse. Acme glass is now gone, and the building is empty. Also what used to be the Salvation army store. 1/2 that building is vacant (it is next to Dollar General or Family Dollar (one of those two)).

  32. rex
    Posted November 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Congrats to mark for having a popular enough blog to attract trolls.

    I’m happy for VG Kids, regardless if they’re in Ypsi or Ann Arbor.

  33. Posted November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Right on, Rex. I am likewise happy for James and VG, whether they end up a couple blocks away or a couple miles away. They’re still part of the community.

    That being said, I hope they stay :)

  34. Posted November 18, 2009 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I think it was James that attracted the troll, Rex. So all praise should go to him. I just provided a forum.

  35. Ypsiosaurus Wrecks
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I wish VG the best in A2 or the tucky…

  36. Movin' out
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    All of the vacant space in Ypsilanti, and you can’t find ANYTHING suitable? Many suggestions have been floated right here on this forum. You’re a print shop. Give me a break. I guess that if you can’t be right downtown, or in Depot Town, you can’t be hip enough. Go ahead and move to Ann Arbor. Good luck…I won’t forget it, and neither will my business dollars. Do any of you have any suggestions for a good LOCAL YPSILANTI print shop I can use now?

  37. Normal & Cross
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Yikes, somebody call the Waaambulance.

  38. Dave
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Can’t you read? He says he’s still looking for space in Ypsi.

  39. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Move’n Out, First, is VG going way out of their way to allow this debate to even be posted here, showing an effort to stay in the city. Second, if you would like to atract more buisness to Ypsi, berating the current ones for on the chance they may move out out town in order to expand is not really a good way to go about it. I feel like I’m repeating myself. Oh, wait, I reread this thread and I am reapeating my self.

  40. Movin' out
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I never berated anyone Andy…I was just stating my opinion. I’m sorry you disagree with it. Dave…I can read…and I can also read between the lines. Sounds like they are trying to make a smooth transition to A2, and pleasing all you hipster shmucks on here is a great way to ease their way out of Ypsi. VG Kids, I’m so sorry if I insulted you, but if you move to our neighbor to the west, I will no longer frequent your business, and will vote against using you in the artistic endeavors that I participate in. That’s just how I feel. I love Ypsilanti, and will choose it over our big brother A2 anyday of the week, when I get the chance. Normal & Cross… up your butt with a coconut.

  41. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    You never berated any one? Did you read your posts? Who qualifies as a “hipster shumck”?

  42. Phonies in Reality
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    X-press printing has been in downtown Ypsilanti for several decades
    and Heikks is right downtown also.
    Heikks was with his brother for years, I beleive, in Ypsilanti. Until he broke away and started on his own nearly 10 years ago.
    There are also other printers downtown on Huron and embroiders also.
    All these continue to give Ypsilanti a business and don’t draw a line as to what is cool and what isn’t.
    They just continue to provide a service to Ypsilanti and surrouding areas as does many other buisnesses in Ypsilanti.
    Does being COOL pay the bills?

    Phonies in Reality.

  43. WRT
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Those businesses that you mention also don’t have a clue as to how to run professional businesses. I challenge anyone to look into the windows of these three print shops and tell me that VG isn’t heads and shoulders above the others.

  44. Phonies in Reality
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    These businesses have lasted decades in Ypsilanti and continue on.
    The business you seem to be pumping, seems to be leaving for a “COOLER” plac after just a few years.
    Ypsilanti will live on.

    Phonies in Reality.

  45. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Did you all act like this when Henrietta Fahrenheit left? Is it really such a crime that VG wants to have their business close to like minded business owners. Art galleries. Foodie friendly restaurants. Great bars. They need an industrial building with a large roll up door. Ypsi’s stock of those is actually not that big, and most of them are not near any of the three business zones that have undergone renewal. With no offence to the other printers in town, VG runs a larger operation, from an equipment standpoint if nothing else. They are not looking to be in an industrial site, and that’s what you get over in the Ecorse corridor. And I guess the huge investment that James made in Spur Studios doesn’t demonstrate his personal commitment to Ypsi in any way. I’ll hate on A2 with the best of them, but James has more than demonstrated his love for Ypsi, even if he takes away VG.

  46. Movin' Out
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Andy…why don’t you take a long walk in one of your dream parks, and chill out. I never berated anyone until you started crying that I did. That’s when I used the term “hipster shmucks”. Now, go get your fucking shine box….

  47. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Sticks and stones. Those who have tried to do right by Ypsi are used to this kind of treatment from a few of their neighbors by now. Good thing this kind of talk hasn’t driven out all of the people putting in the effort. But I guess we should throw the constructive conversation out the window and just start flipping the bird to everyone. Screw that guy if he moves one of the two businesses he runs in Ypsi because that was his best option for success. We should tell him to get Spur Studios the hell out of here too. It’s all Ypsi or nothing at all right? I’m sure that both MO and PIR know a lot more about running a high end screen printing operation than James, and are probably real estate experts as well. Hey, we should all start complaining about Aubree’s having the nerve to open locations outside of Ypsi, too.

    Look, all I am saying is that the kind of talk that is going on here is in no way beneficial to Ypsilanti, and it will do nothing to help improve the city, or bring in more business or tax payers. You are being part of the problem, not the solution. OY

  48. Mel
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    These other shops may have been downtown for decades, but, in that time, what they contribute? How did they strengthen downtown? Did their presence draw other businesses and investment? Did they improve their buildings? I’m not saying that they don’t do good work. I don’t know. But I do know that VGs presence on Michigan Ave has helped.

  49. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Wait… I once defended anyone’s right to move out of Ypsi for whatever reason, and, I think it was you, Andy, made me out like I raped demon babies in my spare time, I was so evil. I think it was over the bus thing. I know it’s contentious of me to bring it up now, but that kinda pissed me off and I’m curious about the difference. To clarify: I have no problem with anyone, VG Kids included, moving out of Ypsi for whatever reason, and I’m not saying I’m going to, so don’t start there.

  50. Movin' Out
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Mel…they contributed to the tax base. They still do. It’s not their job to draw other businesses to the area. That is the Downtown Development Authority’s job…which they are not doing…otherwise, they would assist VG Kids in staying and help them find space they need…so they can continue to “draw other businesses and investment” as you claim. What about space near Spur Studios? All I said was, I, personally, will not use their business if they leave Ypsilanti. No offense. They do good work. I own some, and market some with projects I have become involved with. I think it’s funny how people can laugh and joke and make sicko comments and humor on this blog…then I make one statement about refusing to continue to support a business moving out of town, and y’all go off half cocked. Priceless.
    Andy, I don’t know squat about running a real estate or print copy business. Never claimed to. But…I can complain or praise anything I wish on this blog, whether you want to lower the rope and let me in your little clubhouse or not. I’ve participated my time and money to charities and events to benefit this town, and I really dig living here…and I could give a dumptruck full of shit what you or your finely manicured beard think. Cheers to you, Son. Have a great weekend.

  51. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    MO, no, it is not the responsibility of a business to draw in other businesses. But some do have that effect. VG Kids, The Rocket, Beezey’s and others are businesses with non-traditional business models that make our downtown area more attractive, and thus attract other businesses. Those hipsters you hate so much have been attracting business and tax money. How do you think A2 got to where it was before the recent corporate turn? Because a few new, hip businesses found a home there and other businesses saw how well they did and moved on in. That’s how it works, no matter how good your city’s DDA is. If you don’t have the other businesses to draw from, your DDA could throw millions of dollars around and accomplish nothing. If you read Ypsi’s 2020 plan, drawing businesses based in the creative arts is one of the main ideas there. VG Kids design service certainly fits that bill. Again, there is no offense to the other printers in town; VG just has a different aim. Losing VG would be a blow to Ypsi’s 2020 vision, and the community at large and the tax base, if they do move.

    I’m not saying that anyone should agree with me. You have every right to post what you please. But you are crucifying James for something that he hasn’t done. And again, even if VG leaves, James is still running Spur Studios in Ypsi. He is still an Ypsi business owner. That is far from the cut and run that a couple people accuse him of. You say that all you ever said was you wouldn’t patronize him if he moved to A2, but that was not the tone of your post. “you can’t find ANYTHING suitable? Many suggestions have been floated right here on this forum. You’re a print shop. Give me a break. I guess that if you can’t be right downtown, or in Depot Town, you can’t be hip enough.” Yea, that’s a totally civil tone to take.

    Glad you know who I am, where I hang out, and what I look like MO. I make no secret of who I am. You can look me up on Google, and find me by the name I use here. I scream and yell and own up to it at the bar latter that night, and then do it some more in person. I don’t suppose you’d like stand behind your comments here without the cloak and dagger screen name, would you?

    Oh, and as for hanging out in my dream park, Friends of the Border to Border Trail will be having a Water Street trail walk on Dec. 5, and another on New Year’s Day, if you’d like to walk through it with me. I will be posting the full details on that soon. Go ahead and put that in your shine box, son.

  52. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, missed a paragraph in the transfer. This was supposed to be the first part of my last post.

    B.A., I don’t support VG moving out of Ypsi. Not at all. I, personally, would take my business to Heikk’s if VG moved to Ann Arbor. But they haven’t. PiR and MO are screaming about something that hasn’t happened yet, and may not happen. They refuse to put any stock into the effort that James is showing toward trying to stay in Ypsi, instead deciding that is nothing more than a attempt at face saving PR. I would respectfully disagree. Your comments on the other thread were along the lines of “I can’t wait to get out of this hell hole”, where as James is saying something more like, “please help me find a suitable place so I can stay here in Ypsi” I support his attempts to stay.

  53. Andy C
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Look at you go Movin’ Out. I assume you only buy your clothes from Puffer Reds, your food at Dos H. or the Coop, etc. Where do you buy gas in downtown Ypsi or do you also support the Township too? Do you also only eat food grown in Ypsi? So hardcore!

  54. egpenet
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Certainly don’t want VG to vacate Ypsilanti.

    Gotta be a way to leverage one of the present buildings on Water Street with the Planning department or look into a deeper facility downtown that will accommodate the dryer (and more) even if you have to punch out a few arches in the walls, or buy/rent two adjacent buildings to do the same.

    The relative limited sizes of these 1860s brick commercial buildings is not easy for many businesses to make work. They are never too large, they’re usually too small to seat enough patrons or stock enough merchandise or install the right equipment. Tap Room, Spark, etc. HAD to expand into two or more buildings.

    Don’t move. Good luck.

  55. egpenet
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    By the way, you can’t move, because … MIX is coming! MIX is coming! MIX is coming!

  56. Phonies in reality.
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I just popped some popcorn.
    Keep the posts coming.
    This is AWESOME!!!

    Phonies in reality.

  57. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Permalink


    I have to admit, I don’t get the hostility towards people leaving places or groups or whatever. If I were the leader of some group or another, and somebody thought I was a crazy incompetent idiot, or my policies lead to disaster, or they just didn’t feel like being part of whatever kind of group it was, I wouldn’t begrudge them for quitting and leaving at all. That’s their right as a free human being! It’s a way to defend yourself if you’re outnumbered or overpowered. Marriages, yes; there’s a contract there. But who ever signed a life-long commitment to a city or a state or a church or a job or whatever? That just seems codependent, possessive and cult-like to me. Like trying to pressure people to ignore the bad effects of bad policy so you can force people to suffer your foolishness forever instead of changing the policies to fit reality, and improving things for real for fear of people quitting. And calling that stubborn devotion to failure “love” really takes the cake! More like you can’t sell your house; or summon the courage to endure the accusations, migrate, and start over. But that’s just me, I guess. Some folks around here seem to get pretty bent out of shape and hostile about it.

    This shall not be construed as my saying I’m moving away from Ypsi. But I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone who did, especially after this whole Ypsitucky nonsense and every other bad policy decision in this city and state we’re forced to suffer.

    On the plus side: cool people, urban chickens, and bees!

  58. jt
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    It looks like Bill French is trying to unload his banquet hall/restaurant space in depot town.

    – 10,000 sq ft
    – basement level loading dock
    – 4 store fronts in Depot Town
    -… liquor license

    I know the politics in depot town can be interesting. Not sure if zoning would allow this venture and it would be a significant amount of remodeling, but this could be a sweet space. Hot shit business by day, hipster music venue by night with booze!

  59. Peter Larson
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t get it. Who cares if James is in Ypsi or not? I thought you did business with people because they provided you a decent service for a decent price, not because they have a particular mailing address.

    By you guys’ logic, somebody that lives out in Bridgewater would be completely fucked. All there is is a bar and a really bad convenience store. I guess there’s a lumber yard.

    Heikk’s isn’t a very good printer, by the way. He’s fine if you want to print one colors for your soccer team, but for anything else he’s not going to be your man. James is a push over. He’ll print anything stupid that comes along. Most other printers won’t. I would think that would overshadow a mailing address.

  60. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Its the difference between “we’re moving on, good luck” and “you people are f’n crazy, I’m out of here.”

  61. Suzie
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    This whole thread seems so odd to me.

    I feel compelled to chime in to say I love vgkids for tshirts & I love heikks for embroidery.

  62. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Its the difference between “we’re moving on, good luck” and “you people are f’n crazy, I’m out of here.”

    That’s such an awesome answer.

  63. Movin' Out
    Posted November 21, 2009 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    hehehe…Survivor Series is this Sunday. I gotta go with the Undertaker…Jericho & The Big Show are a pretty sweet team too! I hope they can co-exist! Bailey’s Sports Pub in Canton shows ‘rasslin’ pay per views for $2 bucks a head…

  64. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 21, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Movin’ Out, if you step in this ring with me, I will dig up your dead relatives and beat you to death with their corpses! That belt is mine!!!

  65. notoneofthecoolkids
    Posted November 21, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I really miss editorial boards.

    I Like reading interviews with local business people. I don’t like the general, unsubstantiated mudslinging of local businesses through anonymous blog postings.

    Just another reason why my feelings about the internet are every changing.

  66. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Clearly I took my angry self righteous pills yesterday. The point is we want to support Ypsilanti business. A2 is a big place, and has plenty of residents to support the businesses there. I hope that James is able to find a place here in town. But it’s just not constructive or fair to crucify the guy for a decision he hasn’t made yet, especially considering that, if he does choose to move VG, he is still an Ypsilanti Business owner.

  67. Josh
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    I’m enjoying the constructive and positive comments, but it seems at least one person needs to keep their copy of Catcher In the Rye safely in their back pocket where it belongs.

    Nice one, Kim.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] took some shit from someone recently for trying to keep VG Kids here. This reader of my site was arguing that, as VG doesn’t employ a bunch of people, and pay […]

  2. By VG stays put in Ypsi on December 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    […] how I mentioned a week or so ago that our local screen-printing shop VG Kids was looking to relocate to Ann Arbor? Well, I have good news. It looks as though, as of a few minutes ago, they’ve just signed a […]

  3. […] In Reality, who said emphatically, in a series of comments left on this site, that there was no way that we could keep the VG Kids here in Ypsi.] This entry was posted in Locally Owned Business, Ypsilanti and tagged Phonies In Reality, VG […]

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