People say we have something for everybody, and we do,” Bruce Hoffman says while taking me around the Road Show, the 9,000-square-foot Roseville store he owns and operates with his wife, Shelly, and their three sons — Jacob, 39, Josh, 34, and Jarrett, 28.
A young woman in a quirky yellow skirt and T-shirt approaches. “That’s Angela. She takes care of my animals,” he says.
The two discuss numbers and prices of incoming inventory of live bearded dragons, crested geckos and tarantulas. They also carry a variety of snakes, rabbits, turtles and hedgehogs, many of which are bred on-site. Hoffman donates animals to be auctioned off at congregation Temple Shir Shalom’s annual Purim carnival, where they attend services.
Before opening the Road Show in the ’80s, Hoffman, a resident of Bloomfield Hills, co-owned Tobacco Road in Firemill Village in Southfield throughout the ’70s. “It was basically a head shop with lava lamps and incense,” he says.
The Road Show has “stock that appeals to an all-ages hippie sort of sect,” Hoffman says. “My idea was to have a big store with a little bit of everything. We have jewelry, we have unique gifts, we have clothing, we have home decor. You can see the store is just amazing as far as the quantity and the quality of our merchandise. It covers the spectrum.”
He points out handmade, stained-glass lamps from Turkey, hanging silk lanterns from Vietnam and clothing from Nepal. Jarrett, who started working at the store at the beginning of 2016, oversees the metaphysical selections. Currently one of their most popular areas, it has everything from salt lamps to singing bowls to sacred geometry talismans, as well as an extensive collection of healing stones.
Something of a Spencer’s Gifts on steroids, Hoffman’s store carries all sorts of oddities and novelties, as well as nostalgia-inducing items. You can find Beatles, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, made-in-Detroit merchandise, tapestries, posters, patches, stickers and body jewelry.
“A customer told me today, ‘If you can’t find something in here that you like, you don’t have any joy in your life,’” one of his employees shares.
“I have a saying: If we don’t have it, you don’t need it,” Hoffman adds.
Priding himself on the store’s achievement of bridging the generation gap, Hoffman tells me to look around: “There’s young, old — everybody shops here. That’s one of the unique things about my store. We have kids telling their parents about the store. We have parents telling their kids about the store, and they shop [here] together. When do you see teenagers come shopping with their folks?”
Parents who had black light posters in their rooms in the ’70s have seen the trend come back around with their children. He keeps them in a special black light room where the most in-store selfies are taken.
This inter-generational unity exists on both sides of Hoffman’s counter, as all three of his sons have come to work for him over the years.
“I get to see my kids just about every day,” he proudly says. “Not only is it nice to have them, but they’re good at what they do, so their input is so valuable.”
Referring to his son Josh as “mini me,” Hoffman says the store was “taken to the next level” after he came on in 2005 and took over much of the buying. Shelly, his wife of 35 years, picks out most of the women’s clothing.
“Nobody cares like your family. Nobody is devoted like your family,” he says. “I am so lucky and grateful to have my whole family contributing in making the Road Show one of the most dynamic and successful small businesses in Michigan.”
The Road Show is at 28500 Gratiot Ave. in Roseville. Call (586) 779-7623 for info.