The “For Sale” sign in the window of the historic B.R. Noble building in downtown Lexington was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Sheldon Nueman, CEO of Joseph Productions, Inc., Livonia, MI knew he had to purchase the building, but the immediate plan for its future use was unknown. Together with his partner, Gene Galley, ASID, they tossed around ideas until they finally came up with the concept of NOBLE, a home & garden store with a “lakestyle” emphasis. Recognizing that the area was home to many permanent residents as well as vacationers, it was important to create a retail experience that was suited to both parties. In addition, with Lake Huron just 2 blocks away, the lake influence was a factor not to be ignored. Merchandise selected for Noble didn’t necessarily have to be nautical, but it had to reflect casual living with a focus on lakeside entertaining. Through last winter, a team of workers completed the remodeling of the interior based on Gene’s interior design selections. In the mean time Sheldon and Gene traveled to various gift and houseware shows looking for the right product mix.
Noble opened its doors Memorial Day weekend May 2007 bringing to Lexington and the Thumb Area a unique offering of merchandise. Maine Cottage furniture, hand-painted dinnerware, a collection of soaps & lotions, and Turkish cotton bath towels are just some of the items that complement the “home” emphasis of the store. In the back of Noble is a 20 x 20 foot outdoor space that Gene used his Master Gardener skills to transform into an intimate garden for customers to sit and relax in. Rumsford Garden tools, Aiden Gray French wire items, lighthouse shaped wind bells, and Haws watering cans are some of the components to the “garden” section that Gene felt were of good quality and essential for the weekend horticulturist.
An important element to Noble is the collection of kitchen tools, gadgets and gourmet foods. More and more people are rediscovering how much fun cooking and entertaining can be, and the selection allows even the most novice of cooks the ability to better their skills. Gene insisted that Cuisinart appliances, cookware and bake ware be offered at Noble along with an everyday sale pricing so that local customers could enjoy the benefit of getting a great product without having to travel a distance. The wine selection Noble carries is exclusive to Sanilac County and was the result of Sheldon’s research. Featuring wines from California, Spain, Australia, France, and Italy, many are under $10.00 a bottle.
Recently Noble held two cooking classes taught by Chef Diana. More classes will be available through the month of April. Gene, an interior designer and former lecturer at Eastern Michigan University, will also be conducting interior design workshops at Noble. We enjoy participating in community events, working with arts, and nurturing creativity. Our participation with Arts and Scraps is an example of how we are involved.
Located at 7247 Huron Avenue, Lexington, the grand building built in 1882 stands proud on the northwest corner of the main intersection. While every effort to maintain the historic integrity of the building was strived for, Sheldon introduced modern technology to the over-all shopping experience. At night the handsome architecture is washed with an ever-changing LED light color rotation that highlights the magnificent brick work and intricate details. The interior and garden area features state of the art speakers that play music selections from compact discs that are sold at Noble. A plasma TV in the demonstration kitchen showcases product as well as upcoming events and activities. It is not unusual for a shopper to linger in the store for an hour, sipping a cup of complementary coffee, while making their selections for purchase. The challenge is keeping things new and fresh, and the selection of merchandise is always being dotted with new arrivals that continue to make Noble a unique and ever changing place.