Sunflower Skate Shop blooms in Buchanan

Published 5:58 pm Thursday, May 30, 2024

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BUCHANAN — A new Buchanan business is ready to roll and grow the skateboarding culture in southwest Michigan.

Jason Kelly opened Sunflower Skate Shop last month at 101 Days Ave., Buchanan.

The shop, open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, features a wide variety of skate products and merchandise including skateboard decks, trucks, wheels, clothing and more. After working in logistics for years, Kelly – a Buchanan resident – rediscovered his passion for skateboarding and BMX after watching his daughter pursue skateboarding during the onset of the pandemic.

“I took it up as one of my hobbies,” he said. “It was great just being more active. That got me into doing things I enjoyed when I was younger, the cool things you give up when you’re an adult.”

Last year, Kelly made the decision to pursue opening a skateboard business to fill what he viewed as a void in southwest Michigan. After testing the market with Sunflower Skate Shop, Kelly hopes to one day open an action sports store.

“I’m just trying to see if the market is viable,” he said.

Sunflower Skate Shop is one of four small businesses housed inside 101 Days as part of Live Buchanan’s Hometown & Co. small business incubator.

The building was bought and renovated by the Rowland Property Group, which leased the space to LiveBuchanan. After being accepted into the business incubator, the businesses spend a year learning and growing together with the intention of finding long-term homes for their businesses in Buchanan at the end of the program. LiveBuchanan provides a shared market/retail space, business training, one-on-one coaching  and connection to vital resources to help support these businesses on their journey. Each vendor selected for the program is required to attend trainings, be present during open hours and pay a monthly program fee.

“Finding this spot lets me test the market without having a high overhead,” he said. 

According to Kelly, the feedback he has received has been positive.

“The market is spread throughout Berrien County, Cass County, St. Joe County,” he said. “We get people who come out from Illinois, southern Indiana and Michigan. We’re getting aa really good reception from it.”

Kelly would like to see a skatepark established in the area and has circulated a petition that has more than 200 signatures. The petition can be found on the Sunflower Skate Shop Facebook page.

For more information on the skate shop, contact Jason at (269) 340-2455 or by email at