June 2015 Issue
From Grapes To …Flour?
New products being created from the leftovers of winemaking.Don Coe knew there had to be a better way to utilize "waste" from winemaking.
The owner of Black Star Farms was taking the residue – namely seeds and skins – and adding it to the fields as a natural organic fertilizer. He thought there had to be some better way to utilize it.
He contacted William Koucky, owner of Grand Traverse Culinary Oils, and the two hatched an idea. Two ideas, actually. One was to press the grape seeds to make grape seed oil, an increasingly popular choice for low-fat …
Next Crop Shortage? Affordable Farmland
Mary Brower and her husband, Aaron, relocated to northern lower Michigan several years ago in search of affordable farmland. Together in May 2012 they launched Bluestem Farm in rural Antrim County and in the years since built an active community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and even hosted a farm-to-plate dinner as a benefit for a nearby farmers’ market.
“My husband and I farmed on leased land in New Hampshire, but then we lost our lease,” Mary …
A Tip Of The Cap To TIF 2
Mistrust in government can sometimes skew perception into reality – to the point where it’s getting harder to even acknowledge much less appreciate things the government is doing exceedingly well.
A significant anniversary of sorts is coming up in Traverse City, both worth celebration and contemplation over how our state and community view public investment. The 30-year lifespan of the city’s “TIF 2” tax increment financing district – which covers Old Town, the River’s Edge/Hagerty …
Making It In Northern Michigan: Kalkaska Screw Products
Despite its name, there are no screws produced at Kalkaska Screw Products.
“Basically, we make five different types of components, mostly for the automotive industry,” said President Kevin Schlueter. “But no screws.”
From its facility just north of Kalkaska at 775 Rabourn Road, Kalkaska Screw Products (KSP) manufactures an assortment of tiny parts used in air bags, seatbelts, direct injection fuel rails, engine control management and brake systems. Those five areas account for 97 percent …
Putting The "Grow" In Grow Benzie
Josh Stoltz has a lot he wants to do.
Seven months on the job as the first full-time paid executive director of Benzonia nonprofit Grow Benzie, the 39-year-old Stoltz is immersed in everything from examining ways to provide a broader outlet for farmers’ produce, to promoting Grow Benzie’s farmers market …
The push to spread the story of the tart cherry – both nationally and globally – is stronger than ever. The TC Business News (TCBN) checked in with the Dewitt-based Cherry Marketing Institute for a report on the latest target markets and the biggest challenge to telling the story.
Big 3 In TC
Office furniture has long been big business in west Michigan. But now new faces and a construction and development boom here in northern Michigan has our region’s interiors industry reaching new levels of competition.
First Autos, Then Furniture
West Michigan’s manufacturers have dominated the global market for decades, led by …
Newsmakers: People On The Move
Leslie Falconer, owner of Mother Goose Time Publishing in Interlochen, was recently recognized as an emerging leader in the May 2015 issue of Exchange magazine, a publication of the Childcare Exchange. Emerging leaders in early childhood education were selected from around the world based on the following criteria: …
Briefly: Big News In A Small Format
40 UNDER 40 NOMINATION PERIOD NOW OPEN
It’s that time of year again: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 NMC Traverse City Business News’ 40Under40!
Now in its ninth year, this celebration recognizes individuals in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie and Kalkaska counties – under the age of 40 …
Agribusiness On The Grow
Before buzz words such as “agribusiness” and “agritourism,” or even the ever-popular refrain “buy local” were even thought of or really considered cool in northern Michigan, there were people in the business of farming and producing goods locals could enjoy. Yet, they were largely invisible to the general public.
Book Review: The Road to Character
Random House 321 pages April 2015
Hardcover $28, eBook version $12
In a Nutshell – Nationally known writer and political pundit explores the subject of character along with profiles of others who have demonstrated tremendous virtue.
Who’s it for? – The overworked and overachieving who are seeking meaning from life.…
Venture North – Find Money For Starting, Expanding, Improving
There’s a new name in town for businesses looking for loans – whether for start-up assistance, gap financing for expansion or funding to improve energy efficiency. Meet Venture North – created from the merger of the Traverse City Area Chamber Foundation and the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
Local Investing - Creating A Sustainable Local Economy
Much like the slow food movement that focuses on food quality and nurturing a sustainable and resilient food system, there is also a “slow money” movement focused on creating a community that is healthy, sustainable and equitable – based on a local economy that is strong and resilient. And much …
Commentary: What's In A Name?
Last month the Michigan Land Use Institute (MLUI) changed its name to the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. We wanted a name that better reflects the spirit and substance of our work – and, ultimately, to build a stronger base of support.
After two decades as MLUI, we simply outgrew …
Investing In Growth Companies
The scenario may go something like this: Your business has made it through the start-up years, you have a core group of good employees and growth is happening. All good, right? Maybe. While the basic operational structure seems “fine,” this growth may be starting to strain day-to-day operations with related …