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What Do You Bring to the Table?

Local business owners share what they will contribute to Thanksgiving get-togethers this year.


Liz Blondy, owner of Canine to Five (Commerce), said she’ll definitely be bringing stuffed KONGs for all the dogs. (If you’re not a dog owner, a KONG is a uniquely-shaped toy that can be used for fetching, chewing, problem solving, feeding and more).

“You can fill these hollow rubber toys with all sorts of delicious treats to keep the family pet busy during holiday gatherings,” Blondy explained. “Dog-safe ingredients from your shopping trip can include pure canned pumpkin and peanut butter for a Canine to Five twist on doggie pumpkin pie! Simply cap the holes with peanut butter, freeze overnight and you've got a very happy dog on the floor beneath your Thanksgiving table!”


Dr. Fienman worked in a deli growing up and loves to cook. Since college, he has been in charge of the turkey, and since he and his wife (Tracie) bought their home, they have hosted Thanksgiving every year, always bringing smiles to family members through cooking.

“I perfected my Thanksgiving turkey recipe years ago,” Dr. Fienman said. “I usually roast one and smoke one. The smoked turkey is a big hit.”

Fienman’s Tips to an “Expertly-Prepared” Turkey:

“Don't cook an extra large bird over 20 pounds as they end up dry and tasteless. Opt for two smaller birds (about 12 pounds) for a big crowd. I have perfected a citrus and herb recipe, heavy on the garlic. Use fruit wood, Cherry and Apple, to smoke the bird. Use a meat thermometer to know when you are done cooking.”


Mr. Ralph, owner of S.W.A.G Kids Gym in West Bloomfield, is known for bringing laughter, joy, excitement and a true sense of gratitude and appreciation to his clients, but he said he does the same for his friends, family members and anyone else who supports his passion.

“Giving back to communities and helping people feel great about themselves regardless of what they are going through is very important to me,” he said. “Thanksgiving is always special, and we all have so much to be thankful for!”


John Calvin of Calvin Law Center, PLLC grew up in a very big family and was the ninth of 10 children. Clearly, Thanksgiving was always a very large undertaking in his house. A fond memory he has of this holiday during his childhood is his mom always making it a point of going around the table to ask what each child was thankful for that year.

“That is something I bring to the table with my family,” he explained. “I love being able to impart to my own kids how important it is to remember the good things in our lives and to share them with others.”