Constellation Collective gets creative with cuisine for busy Ann Arborites on the go

A place for students, professionals to grab a nutritious bite in Nickels Arcade

By Sarah M. Parlette - Associated Producer

Constellation Collective opened on Jan. 7 in Nickels Arcade. Photo | Sarah M. Parlette

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - It’s been about two weeks since Constellation Collective came to Nickels Arcade and people have started to take notice. Sitting in the sleepy pedestrian walkway, the collective aims to bring delicious yet healthy grab-and-go food to downtown Ann Arbor.

The brainchild of U-M alumni, the shop mixes their passions for food, nutrition and Ann Arbor into a smoothie of success. Products, such as sandwiches, salads and soups, come from local community partners such as Juicy Kitchen, Harvest Kitchen, Tasty Kitchen, Salad’s Up, and Michigan partners like Fluffy Bottom Farms (in Chelsea) and Better Health (in Novi).

While you may be wowed by the big storefront windows and commercial coolers packed with products, make sure to take a look at the wall next to the register -- which collects suggestions on what Ann Arborites want to see in the store.

What would you like to see Constellation Collective carry? Photo | Sarah M. Parlette

We emailed with Danielle Butbul, communications director at Constellation Collective, to ask her how the shop’s first two weeks have been and for any hopes that the food-stop might have.

You already have quite a few local partners in the Ann Arbor community. Is there anyone else that you would like to bring into the fold?

Butbul: We are always looking to add new members to the fold! Our goal is to reach about 20 members who will collectively provide a wide variety of food items and beverages to choose from. This includes foods that accommodate various food allergies and intolerances, as well as having representation of international cuisines. We're excited to have recently added Boochy Mama kombucha to the roster! 

Having a store in Nickel's Arcade means that you are exposed to a lot of foot traffic. Who are you hoping will walk in the door?

Butbul: We're hopeful that everyone who comes through the Arcade feels comfortable stopping in to check us out and meet us, but we expect most of our regular customers to be professionals who have offices nearby, those who work in retail among in the many stores in the area, and university students, employees and professors. When the weather warms up, we also anticipate a large volume of tourists who are in town for events like football games and the Art Fair.

Products include juices, sparkling water, sandwiches, soups and fresh produce. Photo | Sarah M. Parlette

Lastly, Constellation Collective has been open for about two weeks now. How has it been?

Butbul: It's been awesome! The community has been extremely supportive and has shown us a lot of love. Our neighbors in Nickels Arcade have been especially welcoming and have even brought flowers as kind gestures. Customers also seem to enjoy the products provided by the members as food has been flying off the shelves. In response, we'll be ramping up deliveries from our vendors and will continue to have more and more product on our shelves in the days and weeks to come.

If you’re interested in partnering with Constellation Collective, check out its website. For regular updates, head over to its Facebook page.

Grab a quick snack or meal to go in Nickels Arcade. Photo | Sarah M. Parlette

Constellation Collective officially opened on Jan. 7. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Constellation Collective is located at 12 Nickels Arcade.

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