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November 27, 1992 - Image 68

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PLANNING A
PARTY?

.aoe

LET US AT BUDDY'S
DO THE WORK!

DISCOUNT PARTY
PACKAGES AVAILABLE
FOR GROUPS (10.75)
CALL BUDDY'S NORTHWESTERN

A Sweet Tooth Leads
To Business Success

855.4604

ASK MANAGER FOR DETAILS

TRY OUR NEW ITEMS:
• TURKEY BURGER
• TOMATO ALFREDO
• CHARGRILLED CHICKEN SAND.
• PASTA CRAB SALAD
• STUFFED POT. SKINS • ETC.

r

r

$2°° OFF

ANY LARGE PIZZA,
GREEK OR ANTIPASTO
JN
SALAD

DINE IN OR CARRYOUT

SEEN AT MARVIN'S

LISTED IN
WORLD ALMANAC'S
100 MOST
UNUSUAL MUSEUMS STEVE FELDMAN, Internist; RICK LEACH, Toronto Blue
Jays; JEFF ZAKS, Cardiologist; LYNN SILVERMAN,
IN THE USA

REMEMBER'
WED NIGHTS ARE
SINGLE PARENTS
NIGHT

DANNY RASKIN LOCAL COLUMNIST

1

Human Resource Development; CHUCK BERMAN, Mfgrs.
Rep.; ARNOLD FISHER, Willoway Camp; BRIAN SCHUR-
GIN, O.C.S. student; LARRY STEVENS, Camp Walden.

I BIRTHDAY PARTIES • GIFT CERTIFICATES

!SERVICE RENTAL 8c PRO S ORTHEIVIE PARTIES1

• 1 Coupon per Visit • Exp. 12-3-92

31005 ORCHARD LAKE RD.

626-5020

MON.-SAT. 10-10, SUNDAYS 12-8

L

F:a:wing Acclaimed
Chef Carlo Bruno

C4ttic.-

Entertainment

"F•N(44'

ITALIAN ACCENTED

CONTINENTAL CUISINE
Live Maine Lobster
Prime Steaks

36470 Moravian Drive,
(Just West of Garfield).
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Clinton Twp., MI 48035

Open For
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Serving

AUTHENTIC

Thoi Food
and
Cocktails

Bangkok
Club

Reservations
313-792-7200



11:30 am. to 10 p.m. Mon. Thru Thurs. • 11:30 o.m. to 11 p.m. Fri. • 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sot.

I OPEN SUNDAY 5 p.m. TO 10 p.m.

29269 Southfield Road north of 12 Mile
In The Southfield Commons

569-1400

H

e comes home on
Friday night and his
wife has some candy
for him . . . It's a week-
ly Sabbath ritual that has
been parlayed into a big
business success story.
Marty Benson admits to be-
ing a chocoholic . . . and that
Friday night source of delight
was wife Sandy making her
special white chocolate
peanut and pretzel clusters.
"Sandy must be missing a
gene," he says. "She's
genetically deficient not be-
ing a big lover of chocolate"
. . . Visitors to the Benson
home aren't offered a drink or
food snack, it's "what kind of
chocolate would you like?" .. .
He has a collection of
whatever people want.
When 4-year-old daughter
Dana was born, Marty pro-
claimed that she would have
a piece of chocolate every
evening . . . Being a former
pharmacist, he knows that
moderation is the best way to
go and says a little bit doesn't
do any harm . . . She now gets
a piece of chocolate nightly
before going to bed.
If the portrayal is that of
Marty's pockets always filled
with chocolates and him con-
tinually chewing on the
goodies, wrong . . . There is no
severity here . . . far from it
. . . He is surrounded by can-
dy all day long but has his
treats at home.
This is the first anniversary
of American Gourmet in West
Bloomfield Plaza, Orchard
Lake Road south of Maple .. .
and cause for reflection on a
growth that keeps getting
bigger.
Sandy started making
those chocolate goodies of
hers at home just for Marty
. . . then to satisfy requests of
friends . . . Suddenly, she
began getting calls from
temples, did bar mitzvahs,
etc., and the orders started
pouring in so fast that Marty
and Sandy had to have a
kosher commissary for trays,
baskets and loose candy.
Marty already owned the
American Bulk Food chain
and son Mitch had turned
their West Bloomfield store
into a communal standout.
Marty and Sandy began
making baskets wholesale for
Sanders at the American
Bulk Food store in Dearborn,
plus servicing department

stores and the four American
Bulk operations.
From the first day of open-
ing in West Bloomfield on
Nov. 1, 1991, American
Gourmet has been under the
supervision of Rabbi Jack
Goldman and his Metropoli-
tan Kashruth Council of
Michigan.
Two or three trays daily was
then considered a good start
. . . but little did Marty or
Sandy dream that a year
later they would be making
almost 300 trays a day plus
an untold amount of items for
department stores . . . And
what began with but four
baskets per day has grown in
such leaps and bounds that in
November they will make
over 8,000 baskets!
American Gourmet has
seen such growth that expan-
sion was an absolute necessi-
ty . . . taking over an empty
adjoining area a much-needed
must . . . And shipping locally
only is no more . . . Now
Marty and Sandy send orders
internationally as they pour
in from everywhere.
Former Detroiters run up
heavy phone bills to call
American Gourmet . . . It's
their link to that wonderful
Sanders hot fudge, among
other things . . . To date, the
Bensons have sold well over
100,000 jars . . . Their
Michigan basket is a big
seller and a wonderful taste of
Detroit for relatives who have
moved to other locales .. .
From five Michigan baskets a
week, the count is up to 2,000
a month . . . American
Gourmet started with one
type of Michigan basket and
now has three varieties that
include Sanders hot fudge,
Vernor's ginger ale, Traverse
City dried cherries, Franken-
muth pretzels, Petoskey
cherry preserves, St. Julian
wines, Sandy's two new Sab-
bath candies, one that Marty
loves with a passion, the
caramel, apple, cashews and
chocolate cluster, plus her
latest, dried apricot pretzels.
The big want for kosher pro-
ducts was quickly discoverd
as people found it much more
comfortable to give a kosher
gift . . . Many orders for
kosher trays and baskets
come from non-Jews because
of the health factor involved
with vegetable oil used and
not animal fat, for example.

One of the biggest feathers
in American Gourmet's cap
was its recent acquisition of
the highly popular Godiva
Chocolates line . . . People
previously had very few
places to go for the elegant
candy, but Marty and Sandy
now have Godiva in every
shape and form and boxes .. .
At their West Bloomfield loca-
tion, a completely separate
setup with display counter
has been installed solely for
Godiva.
They have trays of dried
fruits and nuts for people
with dietary restrictions and
send many of these to hos-
pitals so as not to conflict
with the institutions' diet
programs . . . There's even a
basket for patients recuperat-
ing from open heart surgery
. . . 100% fat-free and filled
with cookies, apricots, fig
bars, crackers, etc., plus a fat-
free hot fudge from Oregon

What began with
but four baskets
per day has grown
by leaps and
bounds.

they saw while vacationing in
LaCosta, Calif. . . . Seven
months ago, Marty and San-
dy sent one of the fat-free
baskets to a hospital . . . The
next day, orders came in for
eight more . . . Now they
average 100 a day.
American
Gourmet's
Design Center opens at 7 a.m.
so business people can bring
their logos, calling cards, etc.
to be put into corporate
baskets . . . Marty, Sandy and
their staff take care of
everything, including
distribution . . . They now
have seven computers to keep
lists from year-to-year for
clients.
The Design Center can
make a mold for anything
within the wildest dreams
and imaginations . . . and <
there have been plenty .. .
Among Marty and Sandy's
weird requests was the $100
basket they recently made for
a woman's dog . . . filled with
every pooch treat imaginable
(Coco would probably go crazy
if he saw it!)

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