Brenda and Craig Warburton have retired and closed their custom jewelry business, Austin & Warburton.
The business traces to 1959, when Jack Austin opened a jewelry shop on South University, according to their website. Austin Diamond eventually melded forces with the Warburtons, who kept Austin atop the company’s name after his retirement in the mid 1980s.
Craig tells the Observer that they tried to find a buyer, and there were discussions, but ultimately the value of the remaining business was “hard to convey” given that they hadn’t bought finished inventory in some fifteen years.
“Unfortunately, it is no longer a business that just needs an owner,” the couple explain on their website. “Brenda’s artistry and skill are not easily replaced.” An award-winning designer and maker, her work graces the jewelry boxes, fingers, wrists, earlobes, and necks of generations of customers.
“While we have been part of so many lives, in Ann Arbor and beyond, you must realize how significant a part of our lives you all have been,” the couple write. “It’s been wonderful.
“We are very grateful.”
Vedge Café, Amanda Ratke’s vegan lunch spot at 205 N. Main, has closed after a nearly six-year run. On their Facebook page, Ratke and her husband, Danny, cited “life circumstances and the rising cost of everything” for the decision, and thanked the community and customers they’ve enjoyed seeing “graduate college, have kids, get married, and even retiring.”
At the foot of Tower Plaza, Chatime served up its last bubble tea on September 17. Angel Chen and David Lee opened their franchise of the Taiwan-based chain in May 2019, and in February 2020, it topped an Observer taste test of four local boba spots. Another tested spot, Bubble Island, has also closed since then, but boba can still be sipped—and chewed—at fourteen other establishments around town.