‘Best in glass’: Front Street Glassworks opens gallery, gift shop

Published 2:11 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2022

BUCHANAN — A new downtown Buchanan business picked the perfect day to open up shop.

Front Street Glassworks – a glass gallery, studio and gift shop featuring a variety of glass and recreation products, gifts and accessories – opened its 113 E. Front St. doors to the public for the first time Wednesday morning, much to the delight of 4/20 celebrators.

The business will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The first 50 customers received a free gift bag featuring an assortment of products.

Co-owners Brett Thompson, of Niles, and Anthony Osowski, of Edwardsburg, set up shop in Buchanan intending to complement local dispensaries with a business focused on glass products.

“We saw an opportunity in downtown Buchanan,” Thompson said. “With all of the dispensaries here, there was a lack of a glass shop or a head shop. Heady glass, custom glass and glass blowing is something we’ve always been into.”

An Indiana native, Thompson moved to Michigan in 2009 after it authorized medicinal marijuana and founded Gromart, 26402 US-12, Edwardsburg, last year. After Osowski convinced Thompson to start a glassworks business, the duo took over the space formerly home to Bucktown Nutrition in February and were able to open in time to take advantage of 4/20. 

“We knew 4/20 was coming up and everything is going on down here so just decide to jump in with it and make it happen,” Thompson said. “We did our homework and we want to make sure we do this right. I enjoy the cannabis business and obviously this really jumps into that. … Our idea here is that every time you come in, it’s different. You’ll come in and see new products and arrangements.”

Front Street Glassworks features imports as well as pieces from glass blowers in Michigan and Indiana. The store also offers traditional gift items such as posters, jewelry, books and more.

The feature piece of the store, Thompson said, will be the glassblowing studio located in the back of the space. Thompson and Osowski are in the process of bringing in professional glass blowers to create glasswork for the business and to teach glass blowing classes. Thompson said the glassblowing studio will be open by June.

“Everyone has been asking about that,” he said. “We’re excited; we just have to get some ventilation put in there as well as some permits.”

While smoke-related glassworks will be at the forefront of what they offer, Front Street Glassworks aims to emphasize the art aspect of the business and to cultivate a welcoming atmosphere for customers seeking non-smoke-related products.

“We want to be classy,” Thompson said. “We want to be exclusive and take the ‘head shop’ out of that; it’s never been a good term. We want to be more of a glass gallery. We’re showcasing nice pieces of art and what we want to focus on is creating a gallery here where people come from an hour away, even from Chicago. We want to be tasteful so that our parents, aunts and uncles walk in and they feel comfortable here. We want to be the nicest glass shop in the area.”

Thompson looks forward to being a part of the Buchanan movement going forward.

“I just love Buchanan,” he said. “It’s really gaining a lot more attention and has become a destination. We want our business to be a destination, that’s our true goal. We know a lot of Indiana people come up here and we look forward to being a part of that.”