Located on Suttons Bay’s colorful St. Joseph’s Street, Enerdyne is a store committed to science and fun. It has been serving the village since 1980 year-round. It started out as a solar and wood energy company, but the science and nature emphasis took off in the late 80s. In recent days the store expanded into two areas connected by an archway called Enerdyne and Brain Storm. The toys sold at both stores are called “Playthinks” because they encourage children to think while playing.
“Science isn’t work, it’s fun,” Enderyne’s owner Dick Cookman explains. “Scientists are really overgrown children who are playing.”
The name Enerdyne is a combination of the words “energy” and “dyne,” which is an unit of force in the metric system. They sell microscopes, telescopes, imported English model sailboats that actually sail, books on every scientific subject imaginable, meteorological tools, science kits, wooden toys, pet supplies, and Breyer model horses. Albert Einstein’s friendly face peeks out from several mugs and t-shirts.
Brain Storm specializes in bird feeders, toys, puzzles, stuffed animals, wind chimes, Petoskey Stones, and all sorts of fun things for children who love to learn. Brain Storm is also now in charge of Enerdyne’s signature event, “Flowers, Fairies, & Frogs.” Every spring children and adults are encouraged to dress as fairies to celebrate fairy lore, local flowers, and Enerdyne’s unofficial mascot the frog. Participants can make fairy houses and gardens along with other fun crafts.
Cookman explains that the frog is their mascot because “of all the species out there, the frog is one of the ones most susceptible to environmental changes due to its thin skin.”
Brain Storm, which is run by Enerdyne’s former manager Michele Danserreau, will also be taking over another Enerdyne event: Antlers & Elves! Every December children of the village can pet and get their pictures taken with real, live reindeer.
As a child, Enerdyne was a mecca of discovery. As an adult, Enerdyne is still incredibly fun and interesting. The child inside you will delight in what you find. The store has become a Northern Michigan tradition and is incredibly popular in Suttons Bay. Many visitors wish that there was an Enerdyne in their town , however there are no plans to expand.
“We’re the only Enerdyne retail store in the universe and we want to stay that way,” Cookman says with a smile.
~Sarah Blodgett, feature writer