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Posted on Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

'Iconic Ann Arbor brand': New owner plans to liven up State Street Stucchi's

By Lizzy Alfs


The Stucchi's on State Street in Ann Arbor is under new ownership and is being remodeled.

Lizzy Alfs |

The new owner of the Stucchi’s ice cream shop located on South State Street in Ann Arbor plans to remodel the store, introduce new products and make the store a “cool place to be” again.

Jim Seta, who also owns a Stucchi’s franchise in Dexter, signed a lease to take over the 1,500-square-foot space at 302 S. State St. last week.

The opportunity came about when the previous owner, Ashvin Amin, planned to close the State Street store by the end of the year.

Since June, Deb Pearson of Bluestone Realty Advisors has been marketing the space for $42 per square foot per year. The landlord for the property is the Oxford Companies, owned by Jeff Hauptman.


Jim Seta added Bearclaw coffee and Mr. Pita to his Dexter Stucchi's location in 2010.

Photo by Janet Miller

But Seta said Stucchi’s - which started in Ann Arbor in 1986 by two brothers - is an “iconic Ann Arbor brand” that should be continued.

“This is absolutely something worth keeping,” he said. “When we heard about the potential of the store closing, we had to figure out a way to keep it open on State Street.”

Seta and his wife, Sarah, are remodeling the store this week, including repainting, adding televisions, installing new light fixtures, building a “sprinkle station” and installing chalkboards for customers to draw.

He also plans to offer gourmet chocolates and may eventually add coffee products.

“Over the course of the past several years, not a lot of reinvestment has taken place at that location,” Seta said. “It’s going to be bright and cheery and a fun place to be. Our slogan is ‘It’s the cool place to be.’”

The store will be closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 while Seta wraps up the renovations.

“We wanted to keep the store mostly open during the remodeling process, so there may be minor disruptions,” he said.

Although there is a Ben & Jerry’s right next door to Stucchi’s on State Street, Seta isn’t too concerned about the competition. The reason: All of Stucchi’s products are made in Michigan.

So far, Seta has hired five employees for the new location, including two who worked at the shop under the previous owner.

There is another Stucchi’s located on South University Avenue near the University of Michigan campus. There are several other locations that sell Stucchi's products in Michigan.

In 2008, Stucchi's Ice Cream was sold to Michigan-based Papa Romano's Enterprises, which also owns Mr. Pita.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

I found this article by Googling "Stucchi's Ann Arbor to close." I visited Stucchi's in Dexter just yesterday and discovered their last day of business will be this coming Friday (8/23/13). The employee also suggested one of the downtown locations will be closing. Have you heard about this and/or do you know the story?

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

@Mark: I have not heard about this, but I am checking right now. Thanks!

John Q

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

It can only go up. My last visit to the store was quite a disappointment and all signs were of a business going down fast.

Frustrated in A2

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

Stucchi's is the only place I go to buy ice cream/frozen yogurt so you all will definitely see me!!! Good luck to the Seta family!!!


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:44 a.m.

I wish Mr. Seta all the luck in the world. I have been to his Dexter store and although I did not have the ice cream, I did have a veggie sandwich and it wasn't tasty at all. It was dry and tasteless. Please make better sandwiches and from the looks of it better ice cream.

gregg rasmussen

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : midnight

Jim and Sarah, Thanks for saving the State St. Stucchi's! Good luck and we will be seeing you over a coffee and scoop soon.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

After eating bad Stucchi's ice cream at The Top of the Park, I stopped eating it. I hope the new owner can focus on pure and simple ingredients instead of adding the stuff that can not be found in an everyday normal kitchen. Until then, I will continue to make my own.

hut hut

Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

Best of luck to the new owners! But that part of town has seen a definite decline and not just economically. It can be intimidating and tense sometimes. The State St merchants working with the AAPD needs to clean up that part of the city. There's a fair amount of tension in the evenings at State and Liberty area with young out of towners and petty thugs, particularly when the weather is good. Daytime panhandlers can make the experience of shopping and eating ice cream a little uncomfortable for the folks they'd like to attract.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:38 a.m.

I'm sorry, but if State St. isn't gentrified enough to make you 'feel' safe and enjoy your 'shopping experience' enough, then I'm thinking you might be part of that problem. State St. in that area has been a market center for well over a hundred years. With the addition of N. Quad, more businesses have been quick to move in and retail rent has gone up to match. Both of these events belie what you say about decline. I see no 'decline', petty thugs. Young out of towners? You mean students? Or tourists? or Visitors? Just WHO are the folks they'd like to attract? You? I doubt it, with that type of negative spiel. Take it from a townie who's been here for 20 years. State St. is doing just fine.

Liz Hazel

Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

Good luck Jim and Sarah!!! I know you guys will do very well!


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

make the stuff in Michigan,Idaho or where ever you still have to sell it.Good Luck.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6:09 p.m.

The Setas have a lot of work to do. The two times I bought something from the State St. store in the past couple of months I was very disappointed in the puny servings and absence of basic supplies. The Ficheras built a great business making excellent ice cream and selling it for value. There are already a half-dozen places within a block or two to buy coffee or chocolate, so I'll be curious to see what could be so 'cool' about a redesigned store that will sufficiently distinguish it.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

I remember I got dumped at that Stucci's years ago. Good times.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

40,000 students eat a lot of stuff if you can attract them to your place. I hope it works.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

Yea! A business stays open in Ann Arbor! (Another Capitalist willing to risk his hard earned money surrounded by socialists)


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

US agricultural subsidies: milk, 2010 $1,147,695,434 Good thing the Setas won't be benefiting from this program, at all. Nope, that would be socialist! Should we even get into corn syrup and those subsidized programs?


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

yae, there is almost no business activity in Ann Arbor anymore. Those pesky Trotskyists have run everybody out. Socialism is to blame for Borders leaving, and Pfizer too. Actually, I think Obamas Uncertainty was the cause of Pfizers closing.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:32 a.m.

I don't think any of you talking socialism even know what that term refers to. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:20 a.m.

I'm sure Obama is to blame for this.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

I hear the Michigan comrade cherry sells quite well! But what do nihilists eat?


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

Billy you'd be surprised what people will eat when they aren't paying. Most of today socalists are only socialists because they think it means free stuff, it's when they find themselves in labor camps that they rethink what they really want.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

xmo...huh? Socialists eat, too, you know. They just don't eat steak and caviar as often as some others might, but they do eat.