Photos sponsored by Corriveau Photography
Our Grand Rapids area feature is Martha’s Vineyard and its child companies. This unique collection of businesses takes up a block in the Heritage Hill neighborhood and is a healthy mix of made-in-Michigan products, house-made edibles, and goods from around the world.
Second generation leader, Ilana Chamelly, sat down with Local First to share their story.
1. Tell us how it all began...
Kameel Chamelly purchased the building at 200 Union Ave in the early 1980’s. At that time, it was a small 900 square foot liquor store. Over the years, the store has evolved. Each renovation offering a new aspect to the business. The store has expanded over six times within the last 38 years, to include an extensive beer and liquor selection, an expansive array of specialty grocery, fresh and local produce, domestic and Europeans cheese, a from scratch deli, pizza shop and pastry section, to an incredible wine selection, showcasing wines from around the world.
Parallel to the in-store renovations was the development of complementary businesses: Martha’s Catering (Food and Beverage Catering Services), Nantucket Baking Co (Bakery), Martha’s Pizza (To-Go Pizza Shop) and Lyon Street Café (Coffee Shop/Café). All located within the block and sourcing from one another.
How would you describe the culture of Martha’s Vineyard?
Our culture is welcoming, attentive, and friendly. We are a team of customer service-focused, outgoing, and knowledgeable individuals ready to assist with whatever you might be looking for: freshly prepared deli items, a forgotten lemon, the perfect bottle of wine for the evening’s dinner, local beer, or specialty ingredients for cocktails or inspired flavors.
What do you see as innovative and extraordinary about Martha’s?
One of the many things that I admire about owner, Kameel Chamelly, is his ability to evolve. It’s not always easy to change with the times around us. I think that is a key factor in the success of the business over the last 30 years.
Imagine you are guiding a customer on through their first experience at Martha’s. What hidden gems, featured products, special services, etc. should they know about?
If someone new is walking into Martha’s, I would encourage them to take it all in – enjoy the aromas of food being prepped for the deli, sample a slice of fresh cut cheese, walk the grocery shelves and travel the world through our selection of wine through our main floor and loft.
Our deli offers some wonderful made-to-order meat and cheese boards, veggie, fruit and antipasti trays. One of my favorite pre-order options is the Picnic Tote, filled with meats, cheeses and fruits. It is an affordable picnic option to take to the many outdoor concerts throughout the summer and is packed in a Martha’s Vineyard re-usable tote bag.
What exciting things does Martha’s have on the horizon?
We have E.A. Brady’s Butcher shop going in just around the corner from us. They are a fantastic butcher shop that supplies freshly butchered proteins.