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Posted on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 11:26 a.m.

Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair Turns TWO!

By Amy Sumerton

Tyler Peace Sign.jpg

Robotier Tyler Brubaker, who helped put the new window display in AND has volunteered in the shop since its opening, shows how old the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair is.

It really, truly feels like we opened the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair about six months ago. In the sleep-deprived weeks leading up to the opening were, without questions, the most creativity- and inspiration- (and caffeine-) fueled weeks of my life. Perhaps it is some secret desire to hang on to that wholly unique time that makes it seem so recent.

Or maybe it’s just that I can’t believe how much the community has embraced us. The little robot shop that we opened, with much trepidation and fear, has become a huge success. In fact, it pays the rent AND the utilities for 826michigan, the nonprofit writing lab that is housed within it.

In May, the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair turns two. Can you believe that you’ve had a robot shop in Ann Arbor for two whole years? I can’t. And I can. To call the experience of managing this shop “transformative” or “life changing” just doesn’t put a fine enough point on it. I have an English degree. I had been the program director of 826michigan for three years when we opened the store. I knew NOTHING about retail. In two years, I’ve gone from buying anything that was metal or looked vaguely robotic to finding a way to fit in plants, radiometers, and suction cup clocks. It's been...awesome.

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME. I am thrilled to announce: To celebrate the second anniversary of the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair, we’ve got special deals happening all month long, AND they include cupcakes. The terrible twos are not so terrible if you're robotic, as it turns out. Ready? Here we go:

  • Any purchase of $5 or more will earn you a choice between a free mini-cupcake from the Cupcake Station, or TWO entire percent off your bill!
  • We'll be giving away free student publications (from the fine young people at 826michigan) to: 1) twins (both must be present), 2) anyone who comes in with pictures of TWO robots, 3) customers who pay with $2 bills, 4) creative types who bring in TWO cans of tuna (two-na; yeah, we know, bear with us) refurbished to look like a robot, and 5) other weird and random stuff as it occurs to us.
  • We will be open on Sundays! That's right, for the entire month of May, we'll be open from noon to six on Sundays, running special one-day-only deals. Stop in!
  • Special pricing on some of our most beloved items, like our one-of-a-kind robot travel posters!

You may have noticed we've got a new window up. I'll be honest with you, it's pretty rad. Volunteers Tyler Brubaker, Jason DePasquale, Natalie DePasquale, Cameron Flora, and Rachel Lieberman have created an amazing robot birthday party. Swing on by and take a look! And please, feel free to open the door and shout in that you love the window. Between us, that is one of our very most favorite things, when you do that.

birthday window.jpg

Maybe you've been into the robot shop a hundred times, and maybe you've just walked by it a hundred times and never gone in. Whatever the case may be, consider yourself officially welcomed to the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair this month (and the month after that, and the month after that...).

And THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Ann Arbor, for making us feel so welcome, for laughing along with us at all our silly jokes, for looking in the window and smiling, for yelling encouraging words as you walk by, for bringing your friends in to show them the "Pretend this is fruit" styrofoam ball in the display for Dr. Blotch's Fruit-Powered Clock, for continually popping in to ask what the heck is going on in here and then for being delighted by the answer, for bringing in your broken Roombas and having a sense of humor about the fact that we can't fix them (in all fairness to the six of you who have done that, it does say "robot supply and repair" REALLY BIG on the window), for calling us asking for advice on how to make a robot cake move sixty feet, for wearing our t-shirts, and, above all, for supporting what WE support, the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair's reason for existence: 826michigan.


Amy Sumerton has worked at 826michigan since it opened in June of 2005. She's met a high percentage of her very favorite people there. She met her fiance at 826's first-ever volunteer orientation. He proposed with a robot-store window. They're getting married on 8/26. She couldn't get away from 826michigan if she TRIED. (Not that she ever would.)