The Saline Sports Shack is a home-grown sporting goods store that offers its customers quality Hornets gear for nearly every sport. The business, owned by Roy Palmeri and David Mezger, specializes in varsity jackets for the surrounding area schools, including Saline, Milan, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
Opened in 1979, the Sports Shack was a way for its owners, who worked at St. Joseph Hospital, to get out of the business of life and death. The two men and Roger Cox, who helped start the business but is now deceased, played softball together in Saline. Palmeri spearheaded the move out of the hospital when he noticed that, besides what is now the M Den, there was not a good source for jerseys for local teams.
Both owners, along with their store manager, Jeff Bowman, enjoy keeping up with the local sports teams. Indeed, they sponsor teams for almost every intermural sport season, including baseball, basketball, soccer and more. And the gentlemen are more than willing to talk to people about their athletes when they come in to shop.
“We’re community-oriented. It’s an oldtime concept. We always refer to ourselves as a ‘Mom and Pop’ sporting goods store. We still keep up to date([with Saline sports.) When you come in, we can talk to you about what your kid has done. It’s a fun thing to do,” said Palmeri.
The store offers a large range of gear, from jerseys and t-shirts to sports equipment and Under Armour. The Hornets logo and name is everywhere, and they can personalize gear for individuals as well, be it customized printing, embroidery or silkscreening. They also can make uniforms, and not just for sports teams. If you are starting up a business, like, for example, a lawn service company, and want shirts, hats or sweatshirts, the Sports Shack can handle the job. The store’s mainstay is still varsity jackets, which they have available for most of the local area high schools.
“(Our inventory) changes with the seasons. As basketball or football season comes in, we have a little more of a look along those lines. Baseball is probably our biggest thing, though,” said Palmeri.
Who: Saline Sports Shack
Where: 435 E. Michigan Ave, Saline
What: Saline Hornet merchandise, along with varsity jackets and some sports equipment
When: Monday & Friday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday 9:30 a.m.– 2 p.m.