From Motel to Hotel: Downstate developer reveals $5M reno of iconic Charlevoix spot

Renovating an iconic 1950s-style motel in Charlevoix and staying true to the original architect’s vision isn’t easy.  And it doesn’t come cheap. [caption id="attachment_15891" align="alignleft" width="300"] Rendering by Shoreline Architecture and Design[/caption] Paul Silva, downstate businessman (and summer resident of Charlevoix), plans to invest around $5 million to...

Making It In Northern MI: Traverse Solar

Local startup Traverse Solar is out to capture energy from the sun. But instead of buying and selling solar panels, company owner Nathan Bildeaux and his two partners have designed, tested and are now marketing their own high-tech mounting system that automatically adjusts the angle...

New Owners Dig Molon Excavating

New owners Mark Steckly and Scott Porter. From their Central High School days as best friends, Mark Steckley and Scott Porter have come a long way. “If I’d go in a restaurant without Mark, people would say, “‘Hey, where’s your brother?’" said Porter, the new co-owner...

Making It in Northern Michigan: Moomers Ice Cream

Hot summer days push as many as 2,000 ice cream lovers through Moomers' shop on North Long Lake Road. There are at least two good reasons for that: The award-winning ice cream is the perfect antidote to warmer temps and there are always new flavors...

Making It In Northern Michigan: Big Dipper Dough Co.

In two short years, something sweet on Cass Road has exploded throughout the Midwest. Big Dipper Dough Co., which produces egg-free cookie dough that can be eaten uncooked, is now available in 655 stores located in 13 states. So far, there are two flavors: Rocket Chip, which...

Roofing Company Becomes Its Own Incubator

Most roofers stick to the job at hand.  But Terry Umlor's entrepreneurial savvy took him through the roof. When Umlor, an Air Force vet, bought Springfield, Inc. in 1995, it was a traditional roofing business. Umlor's team tore off old roofs and put new ones on....