Pure Detroit is the original Detroit swag store, carrying everything from Hello Detroit coffee mugs to Faygo soda. The mission of husband-and-wife founders Kevin Borsay and Shawn Santo is simple: serve as ambassadors for the city they love. Wisely, Kevin (an architect) and Shawn (an artist) have sited their shops in three iconic Detroit locations: the Guardian Building, the Fisher Building and the Renaissance Center.
All three stores are uniformly airy, light and full of varied merchandise, including books detailing Motown’s architectural roots, locally made Mucky Ducky Mustard and Great Lakes Coffee. Due to trademark issues, shoppers can no longer purchase the wildly popular “Imported from Detroit” T-shirts inspired by Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad campaign, but not to worry, there are still plenty of other souvenir options worth stuffing in your suitcase. The Detroit City T-shirts ($24) are classics, and Pure Detroit is also known for its collection of Pewabic pottery, sleekly chic handbags made of seat belts (from $104), Sanders chocolate products and hippieish pendants bearing the motto Detroit Love in a funky 1970s font.