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With new name comes new focus on repair of game systems, phones, computers for former Play N Trade

Change is on the horizon for the former Play N Trade franchise in Muskegon, and that change involves a new focus on repair services for handheld game systems, game console systems, mobile phones, and computers.

Electronic Entertainment Exchange, Inc. (E3) purchased the former Play N Trade franchise at 5506 Harvey St. and will relocate it this spring to 222 Seminole Road under the new name of E3 Trade N Repair. The new location, formerly the site of Bitz Computer Repair, will undergo some façade improvements before the store moves in.

Customers are still able to trade in games and purchase game-related accessories like they did at Play N Trade, but will have the added convenience of being able to drop off their broken gaming systems for repair and save a bit of money, says Ron Kuszewski. Kuszewski owned the Play N Trade franchise and will stay on at E3 as general manager.

"We have accessories and games for all game systems going back to Atari days," Kuszewski says. "We can work with any game-related item. Vintage game systems parts are not readily available elsewhere, and there's really nobody who fixes handheld game systems like Nintendo DS, DS Lite, DSI, or 3DS. We repair all of them."

Kuszewski says customers can also drop off broken tablets, MP3 players, and laptops for repair.

The store, still located on Harvey St. until the move, has made the shift to the repair services and is accepting electronics for repair now. E3 Trade N Play employs three certified repair technicians. Kuszewski says most repairs take just two to five days.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Grand Rapids' growing West Side attracts another business, 70 employees relocate with it

A new vibrancy west of the Grand River, paired with corridors of established businesses, has proven to be an effective attractor of companies looking for a downtown presence on the fringe of Grand Rapids' core. Next spring, logistics leader C.H. Robinson (CHR) plans to join west side entities like OST, Rockford Construction, and Grand Valley State University and relocate its nearly 70 employees to 10,000 square feet in Clark Place at American Seating Park, 801 Broadway NW.

The redevelopment of a vacant 1891 American Seating warehouse and the surrounding property into a mixed-use commercial and residential hub began in 2001. With the C.H. Robinson lease, office space occupancy is now at 95 percent, says Chris Beckering, director of business development for Pioneer Construction, the project builder.

"We hire a lot of young talent right out of college, and we want a high-performance environment," says Matt Albers, general manager for CHR Grand Rapids. "We have music playing nonstop and we like that work hard/play hard atmosphere. We don't want to lose any talent because of having an old-atmosphere office."

Albers says CHR plans to hire five to 15 people in 2014 and that many again in 2015. The wide-open office setting with Grand River and city views can accommodate 100 people. CHR plans to reach that number in five years and has the option to expand another 4,000 square feet, if needed.

"We're moving downtown for the vibe of downtown because that will help recruiting," Albers says. "We didn't want a space that was the old mold, and we wanted everyone in one big room to create energy. We're a Fortune 250 company, and to step up the office for that Fortune 250 company we want to step up the atmosphere."

That atmosphere includes daylight throughout the space, a kitchenette set up as an employee lounge, and state-of-the-art technology.

Design: General Office Products
Builder: Pioneer Construction

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Renderings courtesy of General Office Products

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New in Rockford: The Home Studio offers home furnishings, Pillows by Dezign, interior design savvy

The Home Studio in Cascade has stepped out in style with the Dec. 2 opening of its second home décor showroom.

The cozy and comfortable shop at 10 Bridge St., Rockford, offers 1,600 square feet of home furnishings, décor accessories, and lighting. In addition, the shop features some 400 designer fabric pillows by The Home Studio's sister business, Pillows by Dezign.

"This is the coming together of two businesses to open a new store," says owner Marian Silverman. Silverman is also a business partner in Pillows by Dezign with her son, Brian Manley. "People come in [to the Cascade store] and say it's so hard to find cool accessories and pillows. There's been such a huge need. We opened the Rockford store in response to our customers."

The Rockford showroom enables customers to see a sampling of the styles and brands of furnishings The Home Studio offers. In addition, customers have access to the design experts and resource library located at the Cascade store. But instead of making the 30-minute drive, the designers and resources will come to the customer.

"If you walk into the Rockford store and say I need a bedroom set, we'll be able to sit down at the store or in your home. We'll use our resources to get you exactly what you're looking for," Silverman says. "We work with hundreds of manufacturers, just about the same as Gorman's or Klingman's, and we carry the major brands. People think a big furniture store is going to be less expensive, but we are competitive with everyone's prices."

Silverman adds that instead of having periodic sales, which eat up time and money, the everyday product prices are discounted by 35 to 40 percent.

"When you walk into your home, you want to feel good," Silverman says. "We're here to help guide you with your décor. That's really important to us. We're here to help you create your environment."

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon. - Fri.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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A year after purchase, Seva Yoga owners expand yoga school, add classes, start mountain biking team

It's been a year of passion and inspiration, says Melissa Tungl when she speaks of the purchase of East Grand Rapids' Seva Yoga studio and retail shop. Tungl and her husband Tobi bought the business in January 2013.

Since then, Melissa, who manages the business, has put heart and soul into adding classes at 2237 Wealthy St. SE, expanding the yoga certification school, and offering classes to benefit local charities. Next up is the 2014 sponsorship of a mountain biking team.

"Tobi is a mountain biker and, starting next year, Seva will sponsor Seva Cycling," Tungl says. "It's interesting how my passion for teaching yoga has blended so nicely with his passion for mountain biking."

The number of daily classes for gentle yoga, Hatha yoga, and Vinyasa has grown. This week, the studio has 26 classes on the calendar, which Tungl says is a typical number for any given week.

Along with an increased demand for classes comes a heightened demand for registered yoga teachers. Tungl has expanded the existing school, now offering prospective teachers the ability to become a registered yoga teacher with the 200-hour RYT program or an optional 500-hour RYT program.

"There are a lot of opportunities for yoga teachers in West Michigan. Seva graduates are teaching at gyms, studios, and schools," she says, adding that she got her own certification through Seva Yoga and became an instructor before buying the business. "I had always practiced yoga, and getting my certification was calling to me. I took my training at Seva Yoga, so I feel that I have roots here. When I'm teaching, it's such a unique experience. I feel a very deep connection to everyone in the room."

Throughout the year, Seva Yoga has sponsored special donation-only classes to benefit specific charities. The studio donates the space for the classes and the yoga teachers donate their time. These classes generated nearly $3,000 for the Humane Society of West Michigan, Kids’ Food Basket, and Purple Community.

"Seva means 'selfless service,'" Tungl says. "That's been one of the big highlights for me and makes it so rewarding. It's very satisfying to go to work and to just love it. I don't know how many people can say they get to show their passion to people every day."

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Photos courtesy of Seva Yoga

Amid early snows, Furniture City Creamery owner dreams up ice cream recipes for new East Hills shop

The frigid winds and blowing snow of a multi-state blizzard have not cooled Rachel Franko's enthusiasm for whipping up new recipes for her handmade ice creams, cones, and toppings known as Furniture City Creamery.

Franko and her husband, Matt, have nearly completed the paperwork to purchase 958 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids, a tiny 500-square-foot building in the popular East Hills business district. If all the ingredients fall into place, the new creamery will open in May 2014.

Rachel Franko, who has a degree in process development and worked the last 12 years developing industrial processes and products, says she loves the hands-on aspect of "doing mixing day-in and day-out." After starting her own consulting firm, she found that she was doing more talking about mixing than actually mixing. And that's when the idea of making her own ice creams came like a "little parachute from the universe."

"I saw the popularity of these types of ice cream shops on the West Coast and I thought, that is perfect," she says. "We sold our ice creams out of the Mitten Brewing Company last summer and used their commercial kitchen, knowing that, ultimately, we'd want our own spot."

Franko plans to have the creamery kitchen front and center in the shop, with bars and barstools along the walls and front window. A small covered patio space off the back, accessible from the building and from a pedestrian alley along the building's east side, will have additional seating.

Besides making all the ice creams from scratch using locally sourced ingredients, Franko makes vegan ice creams, all of her own toppings including the chocolate chips, and her own cones. Except for the dairy-based ice creams, all other items are vegan-friendly.

Plans for the new store include offering site-baked goods and baked goods from other small local bakers. The store will be open year-round, says Franko, who plans to supplement slower ice cream sales in the winter with coffees, hot chocolate, and fresh pies.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Photos courtesy of Furniture City Creamery

New owners for Grand Rapids' historic Pike House plan few changes before moving law offices

Todd Almassian cannot say enough good things about the historic renovation Design Plus completed a few years ago on the circa 1844 Pike House, 230 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids. In fact, Almassian and his law firm, Keller and Almassian, PLC were so impressed with the renovation, they bought the property complete with furniture and art.

The firm, which purchased the property for $1.25 million, will move its six attorneys and 10 staff to the 17,800-square-foot building by summer 2014, but plans very few changes to the structure.

"The architects at Design Plus (now part of ProgressiveAE) saved that property; it was in disrepair and they returned it to its original beauty and were wonderful stewards of that property," Almassian says. "We hope to be equally good stewards. It was a city treasure to them. I spoke with a few of the architects on the renovation and one of them handed over the history file they had acquired. They treated it like it's a community asset, not just theirs or ours."

The building, once the home of wealthy fur trader Abram W. Pike, has an auditorium in the back of the home that has 20-ft. ceilings. That space will become private offices for the attorneys and is the only major change planned. The front of the house contains five conference room areas that will be used for client meetings.

Almassian says the 60-space parking lot needs a major overhaul. Work will begin on that in the spring.

Keller and Almassian originally had offices in the Trust Building and moved to 2810 East Beltline Lane NE in 2000.

"Candidly, we miss downtown and we've been wanting to get back downtown," Almassian says. "Closer to the courts, closer to our colleagues. I want to spend the rest of my career downtown. We look forward to going out to lunch with colleagues, going to the coffee shops -- out here we're really not part of a community like we can be downtown."

Engineers: Nederveld
Construction: Orion Construction

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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1930s-era Spring Lake hardware building reinvented as creative workspaces, residential condo

The abandoned 1930s-era building in the heart of the Spring Lake business district had seen better days -- until last year when Andrew Dull and Jason Wenk bought it.

Dull, owner of Concept A Creative Studio, and Wenk, owner of Retirement Wealth Advisors, joined forces to create inviting new spaces at 114 W. Savidge St. for their businesses, along with a residential condo upstairs and a rooftop deck that all the building's occupants could share.

The duo worked with interior designer Rick Edwards to marry today's work needs and modern Herman Miller furniture with the brick walls and wood floors of yesterday. The result is custom work places for both businesses and a contemporary dwelling in the second-level condo.

"The purpose of our space is to inspire our employees to do their best work, and I don't feel people are inspired just by sitting at their desk," Dull says. Concept A's five employees specialize in brand development, website strategy and design, and more. "Now they can move to a stand-up desk island, they have the capability to collaborate in a collaboration zone where they can pin up their ideas and review them. We built a rooftop deck where they can come out and work in the fresh air."

Renovation efforts include a green roof from LiveRoof, soda blasting the interior brick walls, repurposing the main level's wood floors as flooring for the condo, and putting a garage inside the building for the condo tenant's use.

The renovation landed a $70,535 Michigan Community Revitalization Program grant, plus Spring Lake Village grants for façade work and fire suppression.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Breathtaking bridal fashions from top European designers soon to debut at new Bianka Bridal

Despite a soft layer of sawdust and the sight of carpenters putting the finishing touches on decorative molding, Rosy Lopiparo paints a detailed verbal vision of the ivory walls, chandeliers, and lux furnishings that will act as backdrop for some of the most gorgeous European-designed dresses a bride has ever dreamed about.

Lopiparo, her daughter Katia Agius, and their friend Maria Cannizzo are the fashion minds behind a new downtown Grand Rapids bridal boutique, Bianka Bridal. The boutique opens January 13, 2014 at 125 Ottawa Ave. NW in the former Minty Keen space.

As Lopiparo walks through the space, she describes the ivory and gold color palette, the comfortable lounge area that will be part of the showroom, and motions upward to where the chandeliers will sparkle overhead. She leads the way out the boutique's "back door," across a hallway in the Ledyard Building adjacent to Preusser Jewelers, and into a daylight-filled room that will become two private bridal suites with lounges, fitting rooms, more chandeliers, and, of course, mirrors.

Lopiparo worked for Mon Cheri Bridal. Her connections in the bridal industry set the stage for the shop to procure designs from Spain, Italy, Istanbul, and London, including Lazaro, St. Pucchi, Tarik Ediz, Mon Cheri Collections, and others.

Agius' passion for fashion led her to graduate from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and then bring her knowledge and talents to the Grand Rapids market as an entrepreneur, Lopiparo says.

"We will carry bridal gowns, mother of the bride apparel, evening wear, flower girl dresses, and First Communion dresses," Lopiparo says. "We are calling it 'affordable luxury' because our dresses range from $1,200 to $6,000. For private bridal fittings, we will give them the whole bridal experience by sending a limousine to pick up the bridal party, we'll have a photographer on hand or they can use their own, and we'll offer wine, champagne, and hors d'oeuvres."

The women are from a long line of Italian-American entrepreneurs who emigrated to West Michigan in the 1960s and started Fratelli's Pizza (Lopiparo) and Mineo's Pizza (Cannizzo), which those two women now own.

Visit the Bianka Bridal website here.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Downtown Market's incubator kitchen a space to cook up a food entrepreneur's dream

The incubator kitchen at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market is quiet and immaculately clean. The west-facing window wall, two stories above the ground, is nearly level with the south extremity of Grand Rapids' famous "S" curve on US-131 and floods the space with daylight. This is where the kitchen's first five food entrepreneurs cook up their dreams of owning a food business.

The purpose of the incubator kitchen, 435 Ionia Ave. SW, is more than just providing a licensed commercial kitchen for lease to start-up food businesses. It's also about creating a network of food entrepreneurs, a means for entrepreneurs to become ServSafe certified, a resource for developing a business plan, and a place to learn about sustainability and how to get your food product out to a larger market.

"I'd like to see the entrepreneurs and our food vendors in the Market Hall downstairs share ideas and utilize each other as resources," says Crystal LeCoy, director of the incubator kitchen. "We're hoping that some of them will be able to work together to do wholesale buying (of supplies) from the farmers at our outdoor market, and to collaborate on how to get their product outside the region."

Among the five food producers using the incubator kitchen is Kelly Battjes, owner of Sweet Batches, which makes shortbread cookies. Battjes says in a recent Rapid Growth article that, "The perk for me of the Downtown Market was that it was new and a really cool place. The equipment is state-of-the-art and the Market is helping me market the shortbread."

The kitchen has five distinct areas: pastry, packaging, catering, production, and prep. Each has a selection of equipment for use by that specialty, whether it be ovens, a meat slicer, a veggie slicer, a commercial mixer, stainless steel tables, and more. The hourly rate varies, depending on the type of space needed, whether the entrepreneur is a member of the incubator kitchen programs, a non-member, or qualifies for a scholarship.

The kitchen also offers secure dry and cold storage rental space. Free lockers are available for daily use.

The food entrepreneurs will sell their products at the market's Winter Wonderland event, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Dec. 11.

For more information, click here, or drop in any Weds. between 10 a.m. and noon to talk with Crystal LeCoy.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Minty Keen boutique moves to high-visibility location, still has delightful surprises in store

Minty Keen, a shop specializing in nifty and creative handcrafted gift items, jewelry, and art, decided to celebrate its third year in a big way: by getting smaller. The colorful shop with its vintage-inspired displays and minimalist atmosphere moved from over 1,000 square feet near Ottawa Avenue and Pearl St. NW to just 400 square feet in MoDiv, 40 Monroe Center Ave. NW.

"At Ottawa and Pearl, I was off the beaten path. My lease was up, and I wanted a place on the main street," says owner Angie Seabert.

Seabert, who has a penchant for cat-eye glasses and 1950s anything, smiles and laughs as she talks about the freedom of dressing a smaller boutique space and having ready-made neighbors of other shop owners at MoDiv, a multi-shop retail incubator.  

"The shop is more streamlined, and I can focus on handmade by local artisans," she says. "I'm hoping that, because I've been in business three years and have established customers, I can bring some business to MoDiv."

Minty Keen's niche is quirky greeting cards, local postcards, vintage books-become-journals, handmade jewelry that includes items made from vintage watch gears, and a selection of handcrafted ceramic buttons that would make any DIY crafter giddy.

Clothing offerings include unusual screen-printed Tees for kids and adults, hand-knit arm warmers and leg warmers, and bright and cheerful winter scarves and ear warmers sewn from upcycled sweaters. (The ear warmers have ultra-soft cashmere linings.)

Seabert still offers a selection of her vintage items at two online shops, MintyKeen.com and Etsy.com/shop/MintyKeen.

Since Minty Keen is a family affair, with Seabert "manning" the shop, husband Brad doing deliveries and heavy lifting, and their two sons, ages 8 and 5, playing Legos in the back room, one shouldn't be surprised to get a little gift selection help from a wee one.

"A customer was here and my five-year-old said, 'I know where there are some earrings!' and the lady bought them," Seabert says with a laugh.

I mean, how could you not?

Hours: Tues., Weds. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Thurs. 11 - 7; Fri. 11 - 6; Sat. 11 - 5; Sundays in December, noon - 4.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Mosaic Properties bringing new mixed-use development to East Grand Rapids

Mosaic Properties, with a portfolio that includes the rapidly growing "new urbanist" Celadon neighborhood near Knapp Street and Leffingwell Avenue in Grand Rapids, received preliminary approval from the East Grand Rapids Planning Commission on December 2nd to build a new mixed-use development in East Grand Rapids near Gaslight Village.

The project, the first of its kind in East Grand Rapids, will include twelve residential units, 2000 square feet of office space, and 1200 square feet of ground floor retail. Ten of the residential units will be three-story townhouse units surrounding a courtyard with enclosed parking facing the rear of the buildings. The project will also feature a 2000-square-foot penthouse with an elevator and a three-story live-work unit.

Mosaic currently owns the four homes on Croswell Avenue just South of Gaslight Village, which will be removed to make way for the development. The property backs up to a townhouse project that was completed last year on Bagley Avenue.

As property becomes more and more scarce in this highly sought after community, builders and developers are getting more creative and pushing for more dense, urban-style projects. Several of the Planning Commisioners raised concerns about parking and the density of the project, but eventually gave approval to move forward to the site plan review process in early 2014.

Writer: Jeff Hill, Publisher
Images courtesy of Mosaic Properties

Hairdresser-turned-baker produces buttery shortbread cookies with a sweet twist

When former hairdresser Kelly Battjes decided to create a salted espresso chocolate shortbread cookie last Christmas using the coffee beans her husband Dave roasted at Madcap Coffee, she had no idea it would be the start of a new business.

Battjes (pronounced "batches") is the owner of Sweet Batches, a small Grand Rapids-based baking company that specializes in shortbread cookies. Although Battjes also developed a traditional, butter shortbread cookie, it's the salted espresso chocolate version that caught the attention of Dave Battjes' coworkers at Madcap when he brought the cookies in as gifts.

Madcap's owners asked Kelly to sell the delectable bites at the coffee shop, which meant she needed to make them in a commercially licensed kitchen. She turned to the incubator kitchen at the Downtown Market for help, and bakes small batches there twice a week to make sure her products are the freshest they can be.

Battjes began baking after moving to Seattle a few years ago. She was a hairdresser, but took a job at Cinnamon Works, a vegan bakery in the Pike Place Market. She loved it. She, Dave, and their young son returned to West Michigan a year ago and the Christmas gift idea was born.

"The perk for me of the Downtown Market was that it was new and a really cool place," Battjes says. "The equipment is state-of-the-art and the market is helping me market the shortbread."

She's also enthused about the Mooville butter she uses in the cookies, which has a higher fat content than other butters and makes the cookies rich and flavorful.

Besides the traditional shortbread and the salted espresso chocolate flavors, Battjes produces a specialty flavor each month: November is Pumpkin Spice and December is Candy Cane. The cookies are available at Madcap Coffee and on Battjes' Sweet Batches Etsy shop here.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Photos courtesy of Sweet Batches

From years of shared workspaces to a place of its very own -- Clark Communications makes the leap

For most of its nine years, Clark Communications has shared workspaces with other creatives in order to minimize financial strain and maximize collaboration with like-minded individuals. And now, banking on the growth of the communications firm and the addition of a second employee, owner Craig Clark is ready to move the company out on its own to the ultra-modern 38 Commerce.

Clark began the company in his Rockford home, then relocated to a downtown Rockford space. After about a year, he saw the need to be in Grand Rapids, so he set up shop at 25 Ottawa Ave. SW with Mark Bird of Bird Design and David Maxam of Maxam Architecture. Two years later he moved to the MoBevy co-working space with some half-dozen other companies, and has been at 131 S. Division for the past two years with Media Place Partners.

"My firm handled PR for Locus Development when they were constructing 38," Clark says. "I joked with John (Green) and Andy (Winkel) that I'd love to have an office there, but I never thought it would happen. This is sort of a dream for me."

Some 1,100 square feet of raw concrete and unfinished walls on the fourth floor overlooks Weston St. and Grand Rapids' north skyline. It will soon be a welcoming environment of two enclosed offices, open workstations, casual lounge areas, and a kitchenette.

"For the first time ever, I'll have my own office," Clark says with a laugh after recalling that his first office was next to his family's living room. Then he jokes, "I'm going to bring in my drum set and dartboard -- it will be the dorm room I've never had."

While the new space will have a fresh, clean aesthetic, Clark says he'll reference the historic buildings he's worked in to try to harness their warmth and appeal.

Mark Schaafsma Design Build has construction underway. Clark hopes to move in by the end of the year.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Clark Communications

Aquinas College answers demand for more upperclassmen housing with new $5M residential hall

At a time in life when many college students want to be on their own and can't wait to move into an apartment off campus, Aquinas College says they've been dealing with waiting lists of upperclassmen who want living spaces on campus.

To help meet some of the demand, the college broke ground yesterday on a $5 million student residence that will bring 14 four-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments to what has been a surface parking lot outside the Donnelly Center. The 29,176-square-foot building will accommodate 64 students in furnished apartments. Each apartment will have a kitchen and living room, and a shared bathroom for every two bedrooms.

The building will also offer two large communal lounges, laundry facilities, and will be LEED certified.

"We have 880 students on campus, and that generates a really good feel and energy," says Associate VP for Student Affairs Brian Matzke. "Students want to be here. About 92 percent of the students that live on campus want to stay at Aquinas. They don't transfer to other schools and they don't drop out. That's a 10 percent higher rate than the students who live off campus."

Matzke says Aquinas has worked hard to develop a seven-day campus, meaning there are activities every day of the week on campus to engage students and keep them interested in being there. The campus has converted several buildings to residential spaces in recent years, including the old president's house and The Brown Center, but still had a residential waiting list of 65 upperclassmen over the summer.

Construction: Rockford Construction
Architect: ProgressiveAE

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Renderings courtesy of Aquinas College

Electric Cadillac delivers handmade sandwiches, deli delights in Grand Haven

It's located about as far from Grand Haven's bustling tourist district as you can go and still be in Grand Haven, but Electric Cadillac says the line of customers out the door at lunchtime prove its industrial neighborhood is the place to be.

The diminutive deli -- just 500 square feet -- opened in September at 314 S. Beechtree St. without fanfare, just an invitation to friends on Facebook to stop by. But owner Nick Mika says within a week the place was serving walk-in customers and gearing up its sandwich deliveries and catering services.

The menu offers 15 to 18 sandwiches, at least two homemade soups daily, and salads. Mika says the key to everything is that the sauces, dressings, coleslaw, hummus, and guacamole are all made in-house. Sandwiches are made on hoagie buns, sourdough, wheat, 12-grain, or pumpernickel bread, or spinach wraps -- all from Spring Lake's The Village Baker.

"People can go to Jimmy John's, Culver's, Panera, all pretty much generic food, and once people found out about us, they started coming in," Mika says. The deli sits in an area of manufacturing, close to a busy residential neighborhood -- the nucleus of most of the deli's customer base.

The eatery's most popular sandwich is The Sweet Sweet Baby Ray's, a hoagie bun chock full of bacon, shaved chicken breast, apple preserves, lettuce and Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce. The second place winner is Not Your Grandma's Reuben, packed with homemade slaw, guacamole, turkey, provolone, and bacon on sourdough bread.

Electric Cadillac warms the cheese on every sandwich with a culinary torch to melt it before popping the sandwich in the panini press.

Besides carnivore options, the deli also offers a selection of vegetarian and vegan items. "If you're a vegan out here, you can't eat hardly anyplace but in your own house," Mika says of the lack of culinary options in the area. Luckily for Grand Haven residents, Electric Cadillac aims to fill that gap.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mon. - Sat.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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