What’s News


? Floor Covering Brokers of Traverse City was honored as “Business of the Year” for the northern region by the Better Business Bureau. The award was given at the BBB’s annual Best in Business award luncheon in Grand Rapids on Oct. 17.

FCB, owned by Tim and Kathy Hyland, was one of only three businesses in a 37-county area to be dubbed a Business of the Year.

The BBB had suggested that the Hylands enter, based on their advertising integrity, customer service, community service and ethical business practices.

“We’ve been a member of the BBB for 15 years,” Hyland said. “They went through our files and found that we’ve had no complaints in 15 years. For a carpet store, that’s pretty unbelievable.

The company employs 85, plus 50 subcontractors, at its five locations in Traverse City, Gaylord, Elk Rapids, Petoskey and Bay City.

“We’re in a very high expectation business, so to win this in a high service-oriented business is pretty good,” Hyland added. “We’re happy for everyone working for us because they did it.”

? Serenity Bed & Breakfast in Petoskey was one of 10 B&Bs to be featured in Time magazine’s Oct. 9 subscriber’s issue. Time editors indicated they were drawn by the B&B’s Web site (www.serenitybb.com), and other natural and historical attractions of the area.

Serenity is an 1890 Victorian-style home designed and built by Petoskey’s first architect. Renovated in 1995 as a B&B, it overlooks Petoskey’s historic Gaslight District while each of the three guest rooms has a private bath and offers a view of Little Traverse Bay.

Current Innkeepers, David and Peggy Vermeesch, purchased Serenity earlier this year from local residents Ralph and Sherry Gillett.

? Rehmann Robson, PC, the second largest public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Michigan with an office in Traverse City, has been ranked the nation’s 30th largest, according to the Public Accounting Report’s (PAR) “Top 100” listing for 2000. The firm rose nine spots from its 39th place ranking a year ago.

The PAR Top 100 is released each year by Atlanta-based Stafford Publishing. Rankings are based on exclusive research and such criteria as revenues, clients, personnel and offices.

? Arby’s of Cadillac won the “5 Star Restaurant Award” at the Arby’s 2000 World Wide Franchisee Convention held in Las Vegas in August. Out of more than 3,200 restaurants, Cadillac’s Arby’s was chosen to serve as a role model for the entire Arby’s system.

The restaurant was recognized for generating sales increases of 14 percent over the last two years, despite being closed for renovation for two months in 1999. The award also recognized the store for its operations, re-investment into the business and strong managerial stability. Manager, Cindy Walter, has been with Arby’s for 20 years; Assistant Manager, Sheila Thompson, for 12 years; and Regional Supervisor, Claude Scramlin, for 26 years.

“The key to our success has been the loyalty and dedication of our fantastic staff. We couldn’t have won the “5 Star” award without them,” said Michael Zipser, owner of Arby’s of Northwest Michigan, based in Traverse City.


? Passageways/Carlson Wagonlit Travel and MLT Inc. have signed an unprecedented three-year joint marketing agreement that will result in increased global travel service opportunities for customers.

Passageways is a 23-office Michigan agency based in Traverse City. MLT is Northwest Airlines’ wholly-owned tour operator.

The agreement features Passageways’ commitment to exclusively feature MLT Inc. products (Worry-free MLT Vacations and Northwest Airlines WorldVacations) in a number of marketing tactics, and MLT’s commitment to provide exclusive support of Passageways through marketing support funds during the three-year agreement.


? Honor Bancorp Inc. recently declared a quarterly cash dividend of 38 cents per share. The total dividend through the third quarter represents a 15% increase over 1999.

The Honor State Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honor Bancorp, Inc., was established in 1917 in Honor and has four branches in Benzonia, Buckley, Copemish and Lake Ann. Robert C. Yeager is President and CEO.


? The Northwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees has selected Cornerstone Architects of Traverse City to provide the architectural and engineering services for the Integrated Science and Technology Learning Center (ISTLC) on NMC’s main campus. Three local architectural firms had submitted proposals.

“We’re very excited about the selection of Cornerstone Architects,” Trustee William Janis, Chair of the Building and Site Committee, said. “They have some excellent ideas and a strong project team.”

The ISTLC will be about 40,000 square feet and contain 20 health and science laboratories, three general purpose classrooms, offices, and student interaction areas. This facility will link NMC’s West Hall and Biederman Building.

? NMC has acquired a new AS/400 business computer from IBM’s Partners in Education program for use in the Computer Information Systems program. NMC will offer an AS/400 technology curriculum to meet the growing demands of the marketplace.

Through the Partners in Education program, an IBM business partner or customer sponsors a college, university, or high school, and IBM offers a deeply-discounted AS/400 computer with software to qualifying schools. NMC will be able to receive new versions of AS/400 software at no charge for a five-year period.

Integrated Systems Consultants-Computerland is the local IBM sponsor. President Dr. Gilbert Mosher and his staff at Computerland will donate time and services to implement the system, assist in faculty training, and provide advice on AS/400 curriculum.


? NetOne Communications Inc. has acquired dialup and ISDN network services throughout West Michigan. The services, which offer state-of-the-art access equipment from the tip of the Lower Peninsula to the southern state line, will expand toll free access and increase Internet communication speed.

“NetOne has added more bandwidth to accommodate increased traffic, and has direct links to most of the major ‘backbone’ carriers,” said Tom Lyon, president of NetOne Communications. “Users will have the fastest possible routes to the Internet. In addition, our account holders can dial a local number to reach NetOne access from anywhere in West Michigan.”

Other services are unlimited connection tim, free family e-mail accounts, and no storage quotas for e-mail; 888-884-6381.

? CenturyTel has opened a location in the Grand Traverse Mall by the theater. It carries a full line of wireless products, as well as products for traditional phone customers, such as long distance and dial-up Internet service. Carol Gibbons will manage the locale; www.centurytel.com.


? The Boards of NOC, Inc. in Cadillac and MOARC in Big Rapids have been working together for several months to increase services to people with disabilities. The meetings resulted in action that will combine both organizations into one legal corporation, Hope Network North Michigan, serving counties in the Big Rapids/Cadillac area.

The goal of the boards is to expand the range of residential and vocational services that are currently being offered by each organization.


? Ruby Tuesday was expected to open in Gaylord on Nov. 7 across from Scientific Brake & Equipment on Dickerson Road.

The building will have an alpine flavor, like most of the businesses in Gaylord. Earlier this year, company officials questioned why they needed to add an alpine motif, kicking off a debate among business owners about how far out of the downtown area the Swiss theme should reach. Not long after, Ruby Tuesday officials changed their site plans to incorporate the theme.

? The Brew Zone has opened “The Purple Foot,” the area’s only wine-on-premise.

The Purple Foot follows the same principle of The Brew Zone, allowing customers to use commercial grade equipment, professional expertise and the finest ingredients to create their own custom wine. It will be importing grape juice from California, Washington and Oregon as well as Australia, Italy and Spain. As with custom-made beer, customers can create personalized labels for their wine with on-site computer software.

The Purple Foot is located inside The Brew Zone at the Horizon Outlet Center in Traverse City.


? Wallpaper Etcetera has renewed it commitment to the Habitat for Humanity-Grand Traverse Region. Last year the company worked with four families and expects to work with up to six families this year. Wallpaper Etcetera is locally owned by Ron and Wendy Pillen.

? GTP Industries has received a $10,000 donation from Huntington Banks to use toward the purchase of a lift van. A check was presented at the GTP Board of Directors meeting in October by Marilyn McCool, Vice President of Huntington Banks.


? The law firm of Barron & Golski, PLC, has moved to a new location. Its new address is: PO Box 309, Charlevoix, MI 49720.


Stone House Bread threw itself a birthday party in October to celebrate five years in business.

“Most new businesses don’t get to the fifth candle,” said owner Robert Pisor. “I’m grateful we can celebrate five years, and I’m please that our loaves have won a place at the table in many homes.”

The sourdough bread company, at 407 South Main in Leland, distributes freshly-baked loaves and baguettes seven days a week to more than 30 groceries and specialty food stores in northwest Michigan. Twelve restaurants and caterers, and several wine stores, also carry Stone House Bread.

The company uses only three ingredients in most of its breads: organic flour grown by Mennonites, well water, and sea salt. No yeast. No fat. No sugar. No preservatives.

“That’s why we dare call it an honest loaf of bread,” Pisor said. “When we light the candles on our 10th anniversary, I hope to find our distinctive paper bags in every grocery cart in the north.”

The bakery noted these milestones:

? Most Loaves in a Single Day – Aug. 7, 1999: 2,012 loaves

? Most Famous Person to Buy Bread: Jim Harrison, the writer; Madonna, the singer, Alice Waters, the chef. (Tie)

? Most Impact in National Publication: Forbes (March 2000), Men’s Journal (February 2000), Bon Apetit (June 1996)

? Strangest Request: A five-foot Ciabatta

? Total Loaves in Five Years: 1,355,435

? Most Popular Loaf: The Sweet Baguette

Stone House Bread bakes 20 sourdough varieties, including hearty wheat and seeded breads, and four ryes. During the October/November apple harvest, it makes Leelanau Apple Cider rye three times a week.

Learn more by calling Pisor at (231) 256-2577. BN