Northville shop employing special needs youth wins Editors Pick

Mod Market wins 'Best Community Advocate’ in Vote 4 The Best Editors Pick

Mod Market (Amy Bonser)

Our special Editors Pick edition of Vote 4 The Best was made to highlight businesses who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic. Mod Market in Northville is the Editors Pick for Best Community Advocate!

A Living and Learning Enrichment business dedicated to giving work experience to special needs young adults, Mod Market was an obvious choice for their winning title. With over half of their employees being special needs teens and adults, Mod Market is one of the more unique businesses in the Metro Detroit area.

Mod Market cashier practice (Amy Bonser)

“We are on a mission to help all people live their most independent lives possible,” Mod Market manager Amy Bonser said. “A large part of independence is employment, and 90% of adults with special needs are unemployed.”

Not only does Mod Market provide a safe place for special needs adults to learn professional skills, but it also provides a unique artisan market for local artists.

Chalk drawing by a Mod Market artist (Amy Bonser)

“While not all of our employees have special needs, over 50% of the handcrafted goods in our store were made by local special needs adults in the community,” Bonser said.

Like nearly all businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Mod Market. Because of the current restraints on in-person business, Bonser was forced to be more innovative in recent months.

“On the positive side, we’ve been able to launch something we’ve always wanted to do and that’s an online marketplace to sell and purchase goods,” Bonser said. “Our virtual sales meetings have allowed our employees with special needs to continue practicing social skills without coming into the store.”

Mod Market survives off giving back to the community, which is how Amy Bonser became so enthralled by the business.

Mod Market popup shop (Amy Bonser)

“I find great joy in helping individuals who learn in less traditional ways,” Bonser said. “I have loved being able to adjust my teaching skills in order to incorporate more types of people.”

Mod Market celebrated their one-year anniversary on September 21st, and looks to be the ideal place for special needs teens in the community to learn business skills for years to come.

For more favorites of every type of business you can think of, chosen by locals like you, check out the winners of our main Vote 4 The Best contest!

Our Sponsor -- We’d like to thank Wallside Windows for their longtime sponsorship of Vote 4 the Best and their support of southeast Michigan’s local businesses. Wallside is a Taylor, MI-based family business that manufactures and installs custom replacement windows, now in their third generation.

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