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Saugatuck Brewing expands brew house, bottling operations as distribution market grows

For the past two years, Saugatuck Brewing (2948 Blue Star Hwy., Douglas, Mich.) has brought home Best In Show from Frankenmuth's World Expo of Beer where some 700 beers compete. But that grand accomplishment is just the tip of the iceberg for this growing company.

With the company's 2012 expansion into the Greater Chicago market, and a future expansion into Indiana, Saugatuck Brewing needs more brewing equipment and more office space. Construction begins in October to expand the brewing operations and offices into two-thirds of the space now occupied by the brewery's banquet area, The Singapore Room.

The expansion will enable the brewery to quadruple its brewing capacity from the 10-barrel system it has now to a 40-barrel system (1,200 gallons). While VP of Marketing Kerry O'Donohue expects a gradual increase in production over time, the point is that by the time the new equipment is in place in mid-spring 2014, the brewery will be ready to increase its output substantially.

"We produced 500 barrels in 2009," O'Donohue says. "In 2010, we doubled that and produced around 1,000 barrels and in January 2011, we expanded the equipment and increased capacity to 2,000 barrels. In 2012, we produced 4,000 barrels, and at this point will produce around 6,500 barrels in 2013."

Additional new equipment will allow Saugatuck Brewing to bottle, label, and package its beers in one process, something its existing equipment can't do.

O'Donohue says the brewery's most popular brews are Singapore IPA, Oval Beach Blonde Ale, Pathfinder Pale Ale, and ESB (extra special beer) Amber. Seasonal releases and the brewery's proprietary Brewers Reserve Series include a Serrano Pepper Ale, Double Black Ale, Hop Scotch Ale, Continuum IPA, and a Neapolitan Milk Stout that has vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors.

Source: Kerry O'Donohue, Saugatuck Brewing; Dianna Stampfler, Promote Michigan
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Images courtesy of Saugatuck Brewing

Ele's Place opens Grand Rapids location to provide peer support to grieving West Michigan kids

When a child experiences a major life loss such as the death of a parent, sibling, friend, or grandparent, they and their families often don't know where to turn to get support through the grieving process.

Ele's Place, a peer support organization with offices in Lansing and Ann Arbor, hopes that by opening a Grand Rapids office the organization can bring the peer support to the West Michigan kids who need it.

Ele's (pronounced Ellie's) Place opens Thurs., June 27, at Third Reformed Church, 2060 Michigan St. NE. The offices operate out of the former parsonage next door at 2000 Michigan St. NE and the peer groups meet in seven classrooms in the church building.

To start, the support sessions are every Thursday evening beginning at 5:45 p.m. Families arrive and sit down to a free supper. Children ages three to 18 then attend facilitated peer group sessions based on their ages and needs. The groups are designed for fun, to help the children make new friends with other kids going through similar losses. The activities vary from structured or unstructured playtime, music, art, or physical activities. All sessions are free.

Managing Director Gerilyn May says one in 20 children will lose a parent to death by the time the child is 18. That means that, at this moment, some 11,000 children in Kent County may be dealing with the death of a parent. Many children also experience the death of a sibling, friend, or grandparent.

"Ele's Place is a place to talk about their losses with other kids who understand where they're at," says May. "Our peer support allows the kids to bond with each other and create their own safe zone where they can trust the kids that are in their group."

While the children are in their support sessions, the adults who came with them are required to remain onsite. They receive support from social workers, clinicians, and other adults grieving losses.

To find out more about the services offered, click here.

Source: Gerilyn May, Ele's Place
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Images courtesy of Ele's Place

Making Thyme Kitchen makes a move to the Downtown Market

After eight years of making and selling ready-to-cook meals for busy households from a storefront in East Hills and a downtown church kitchen, Making Thyme Kitchen is moving to new digs: the Grand Rapids Downtown Market (435 Ionia Ave. SW). The Market is scheduled to open in August 2013.

"We're very excited about the move," says Karen Bryan, who owns Making Thyme along with her husband, Ken Bryan. "We'll have a big, brand-new kitchen built to our specifications, and we'll get more exposure to people shopping for food. It also puts us closer to our producers and fresh food ingredients. And the larger space will enable us to offer a bigger variety of menu items."

Making Thyme Kitchen plans to continue to offer its popular meals, including Beef Peanut Satay, Sicilian Chicken with Pine Nuts and Raisins, and Mushroom Nut Loaf with Marinara. In addition, they will introduce new, ready-to-eat, fully cooked meals, as well as products by the pound, such as Green Beans with Butter and Lemon, Gingered Snap Peas, and Cuban Black Bean Salad.

The Bryans eat what they cook, so customers know it's good. Not only does a meal from Making Thyme Kitchen save time in the home kitchen, it cuts down on waste, too.

"Making Thyme Kitchen redefines what 'fast food' can be," says Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Downtown Market. "In five minutes, a customer can stop at the Market and pick up the kind of dinner you would make for yourself if you had all the time in the world."

The Downtown Market follows a long tradition of urban markets that were once central to the food systems in American cities. Today, these up-and-coming markets cultivate positive relationships among people from all walks of life, provide a forum for artisan food entrepreneurs and their crafts, promote sustainable food production, and encourage healthy living.

Sources: Karen Bryan, Making Thyme Kitchen; Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Downtown Market
Writer: Victoria Mullen, Do Good Editor

Images: Courtesy of Making Thyme Kitchen

Humanity Boutique: MoDiv helps make a dream come true

The five female members of the six-person Hunt family have long dreamed of owning a boutique together in the Grand Rapids area. All have a passion for fashion, and each excels in different areas of the retail realm. After 10 years of dreaming and planning, the Hunt women took the final step toward realizing their dream.

It was MoDiv's (Shops @ Monroe Center & Division, 40 Monroe Center NW) smaller, interchangeable spaces and short-term leases that enabled Deborah Hunt and her four daughters to open their shop, Humanity Boutique, in late March 2013.

Humanity Boutique's goal is to provide clients with distinctive, modern apparel and accessories at affordable prices. Styles are not re-ordered, so get 'em while you can -- once it's sold out, it's gone for good. That way, the store's stock stays fresh with new styles arriving weekly -- the better to keep up with the fast-paced and ever-changing world of fashion.  

Look closely at the shop's logo: letters H-U-N-T are highlighted to bring attention to the last name of the mother-daughters team. Inside the store is an array of clothing, accessories, and jewelry that bring a singular edge to women’s fashion.
Daughter Courtney purchases products with one of her sisters and often tends to the store with her mom. Her sisters take care of the behind-the-scenes work, including accounting, purchasing, social media, and website updates.

The Hunt women will strive to build their clientele, learn what delights their customers, and offer unique and edgy pieces.

Source: Humanity Boutique website
Writer: Victoria Mullen, Do Good Editor

Images: Courtesy of Humanity Boutique

New business entity Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. combines talent, resources of 4 economic dev. groups

After a thorough search for the perfect place to set up shop, new business entity Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. (DGRI) plans to move into the ground floor of the Federal Square Building, 29 Pearl St. NW, in July 2013. The 4,300-square-foot space last housed Three Crowns Bistro, an eatery that closed eight years ago.

Key to the choice of space were accessibility, visibility, cost, and a community meeting space. As a bonus, the move will breathe new life into an underutilized building in the city's core.

The goal of the DGRI is to combine the staffs, resources, and energies of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Downtown Alliance (DA), Office of Special Events (OSE), and Downtown Improvement Authority (DID) into one cohesive and effective organization. These agencies are currently in different locations and operate under different state and local authorities. Under the umbrella of DGRI, each agency will retain its board and authority, and the new agency's board will include representatives from each. DDA Director Kris Larson will serve as DGRI's CEO.

The new business structure hopes to create a more entrepreneurial culture and approach to downtown development, marketing, and management. The central city setting is ideal, and the new space offers enough room for a meeting space for up to 50 people. The location offers employees and visitors parking in an Ellis Parking surface lot just west of the building and in a city-owned parking ramp across Pearl Street.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.'s mission is to create a welcoming environment by providing a safe, friendly, clean, and attractive downtown. The organization is in the business of improving and sustaining a sense of place, fostering a prosperous Downtown through direct and support investments, and developing tools to encourage economic vitality and improve urban life.

Source: DDA Website
Writer: Victoria Mullen, Do Good Editor

Images: Courtesy of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.

Former Walgreens on Michigan St. gets new life as Goodwill resale store

Since Walgreens moved out of the vast retail space at Michigan St. NE and Diamond Ave. NE about a year ago, the building and parking lot have remained sadly vacant except for the occasional construction contractor working on the interior.
 
But by September, the store next to Logan's Alley will reopen as a Goodwill resale shop, sporting a new roofline and new landscaping. The revamp of the 12,850-square-foot building includes the addition of a drive-through donation drop-off on the west side.
 
Goodwill Communications Officer Jill Wallace says Goodwill has eyed the Michigan Street/Medical Mile corridor for some time. Increased traffic and activity, especially by people traveling to and from work in the Medical Mile, is a good fit for Goodwill, combined with changes in recent years concerning the type of customer Goodwill attracts.
 
"There are still lower income people who shop at Goodwill, certainly, but the majority of people who shop at Goodwill now are looking to upcycle," Wallace says. "Upcycling and recycling have becoming a way of life; it's not a trend anymore, which has changed Goodwill significantly. People aren't coming to Goodwill because they are low income, but because they want to save the environment."
 
Wallace says the new store will create 20 jobs where Goodwill can place people from its job training programs. The store is just around the corner from the Goodwill job training and placement services center at 455 Grand Ave. NE.
 
Wallace says the new store will look and feel more like a department store than the Goodwill stores of the past, based on a new retail model the company is adopting for all its stores.
 
Store hours: Mon. - Sat., 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 
Source: Jill Wallace, Goodwill Industries
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Reality in Grand Rapids' Eastown inspires fun times with music festival/circus-style novelty product

It's billed as a "festival shop," a collection of novelty products, clothing, and accessories where people who frequent music festivals can find any type of garb, headgear, and glow-in-the-dark accessories for concerts or music festivals. But to pin it down to just one genre of fun-inspired products? Impossible.
 
Reality, a festival/circus/hula hoop/bonsai/camping store, will open in Eastown's Kingsley Building (1423 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids) on June 22, the same day as that business district's popular Bizarre Bazaar.
 
Owners Kaylyn Gole, 23, and Casey Connolly, 22, solidified their plans to open a one-of-a-kind shop after several months traveling the U.S. in their van in 2012. The impromptu trip was how the couple cleared their heads and got a grip on their future after being attacked by three men at their former Wyoming, Mich. home.
 
"I've always been optimistic and expect the best out of life," Gole says. "We've helped each other evolve into the idea of 'let's do something that we really enjoy and are passionate about.' We were discussing these dreams with Dr. Robert Chatfield and he tossed it out on the table that he'd like to help."
 
Gole says Chatfield offered to invest in the business, and she and Connolly got to work creating the opportunity to open the shop. 
 
The shop offers a plethora of products for clientele interested in the entertaining and lively kinesthetic arts -- products like metallic and LED hula-hoops, diabolos, and fire-eating props. The store will also offer camping gear, water bottles, all manner of light-up accessories, clothing, incense, oils, 3-D tapestries, candles, jewelry making accessories – the list goes on.
 
Gole says the store is working on partnerships with local businesses and entertainers. Connolly's interest in bonsai connected him with GrowCo and an opportunity to offer bonsai plants and kits at Reality. A proposed partnership with the entertainers of Bangarang Circus is underway.
 
The couple has plans to engage so many people in hula-hooping for health that Grand Rapids will become the first Hoop City USA.
 
Source: Kaylyn Gole, Reality
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

LINC looks to new art gallery to attract patrons, enliven economy in Grand Rapids' Madison Square

A new art gallery in a once-vacant and dilapidated storefront could be a catalyst for generating new interest and economic growth in a Grand Rapids neighborhood that's experiencing an economic rebirth.
 
LINC Community Revitalization, a nonprofit responsible for the investment of tens of millions of redevelopment dollars in the Madison Square Neighborhood, will have a ribbon cutting event Thurs., June 13 at 341 Hall St. SE, the site of the new LINC Gallery at 341 Hall. The new gallery is a $400,000 rehabilitation of a foreclosed building that was once an auto detail shop.
 
"In many metropolitan areas, they're using art as an economic engine," says Jorge Gonzalez, LINC economic development director. "Heartside is a perfect example with Avenue for the Arts and ArtPrize. LINC Gallery at 341 Hall will bring people to Madison Square Neighborhood that wouldn't normally come here. They'll be checking out the restaurants and the neighborhood, and will help generate some income for the artists. Because people will start coming to this art gallery, we might be able to open up another restaurant or even another art gallery, which in turn creates more jobs."
 
The one-story building was gutted and rebuilt with new HVAC, lighting, earth tone-colored floors, a black ceiling, and curved walls to add visual interest for art displays. Glass garage doors open the front of the building to the street and the storefront windows overlook the busy neighborhood.
 
Gonzalez says the gallery will not have art displayed for the ribbon cutting so guests can see the renovation up close and artists can envision how they might use the space. He adds that LINC is working with several area artists to establish a rotating schedule of artists over the coming months.
 
The gallery will also be available as a community gathering space for meetings and events, and will host LINC's Community Spirit Awards immediately following the 11:30 a.m. ribbon cutting.
 
Source: Jorge Gonzalez, LINC Community Revitalization; Tyler Lecceadone, SeyferthPR
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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New $25M hotel planned for Grand Rapids' Medical Mile clears another hurdle on way to reality

A new $25 million hotel proposed for Grand Rapids' Medical Mile has received approval from the City of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, clearing another hurdle for the project.

Third Coast Development Partners owners Dave Levitt and Brad Rosely plan to erect the 140-plus-room hotel in what is now a surface parking lot adjacent to the Women's Health Center of West Michigan, part of the 16-acre Mid Towne Village (500 block, Michigan St.) developed by Third Coast Development Partners. The five-story hotel will sit atop a two-story parking structure that will be available for public use.

The hotel brand has not been determined yet, Rosely says.

The entire project includes a separate three-story, $6 million office building on the property. The proposed hotel and office building will bring the investment on the entire land parcel to some $70 million since development began in 2004.

"Our (hotel) clientele is not downtown convention traffic, but hospital users, like patients getting outpatient procedures or relatives coming into town to see new babies," Rosely says. "There will be a shuttle service to the hospitals, and will have a real nice feel to it like at Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic."

El Barrio Mexican Grill and The Omelette Shoppe, are both part of the mixed-use complex, while Urban Mill Café and Mr. Pizza are each just a short walk. Both Levitt and Rosely say the restaurants will benefit from the increased density created by the office building and the hotel.

Next steps are for the state to approve the brownfield tax credits, which should happen about August 1, with the hotel groundbreaking a few weeks after that. The hotel construction will take about a year. The office building construction will wrap up in early 2015.

Source: Dave Levitt and Brad Rosely, Third Coast Development Partners
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Pets get top dog treatment at new cat and dog grooming salon in Grand Rapids' Uptown

A new pet grooming salon in Grand Rapids gives its clients top dog treatment, even if they're not dogs.

Cats Vs Dogs Pet Grooming Salon and Boutique
opened in April at 929 E. Fulton St., a century-old building that's been beautifully preserved and updated. Original hardwood floors and period chandeliers create just the right setting for the care and grooming of dogs and cats, says owner and certified groomer Jennifer Lotterman.

Lotterman opened the storefront after 20 years of providing feline and canine grooming services at retail stores and in her home. During that time, she was also a grooming instructor for seven years.

Lotterman says she's the only Michigan groomer certified through the National Cat Groomers Institute of America. She's also certified through the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists and has special training as a dermatox specialist to detect and identify skin and coat diseases.

"Opening the store is something I've always wanted to do," Lotterman says. "I taught pet grooming at Paragon School of Pet Grooming, and my students would talk about opening a salon. So I went to GROW (Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women) and took one of their business classes to get some information for my students. The more I got into it, the more I realized I want to do this for myself."

Cats Vs Dogs offers a number of services, including pet bathing – Lotterman says cats aren't as hard to bathe as people think – with shampoos suited for the pet's particular skin condition, a skin conditioning treatment, nail trim, ear cleaning, expression of anal glands, and haircuts that might include hand scissoring and/or hand stripping.

Lotterman also offers color enhancing for pets' coats. Her own pooch, Stiles, a standard-bred white poodle, is often an eye-catching shade of blue. Color-enhanced pets could be part of a human fashion show Lotterman hopes to have this summer in the East Fulton business district.

Hours: Tues. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Source: Jennifer Lotterman, Cats Vs Dogs Pet Grooming Salon and Boutique
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Grand Rapids hair, makeup artists take wedding day services to brides, bridesmaids on location

Two Grand Rapids hair and makeup artists have hit the road with their specialty bridal and wedding party services, taking their hair styling and makeup expertise directly to the bride on her special day.

Davina Bryan and Sarah Mattone, owners of Pomp & Artistry (1451 Front St. NW), operate a small and cozy salon offering traditional in-salon services. But the two recognized a gap in services for brides and wedding parties who would prefer not to add travel time to an already-busy wedding day.

"There's a huge gap between the everyday artists and the artists of the event industry," Bryan says. "We do things knowing that you'll be looking at these memories 10 years down the road. We create looks that are meant to reflect well for the camera; we prepare you for the camera.

"We've been specializing in bridal hair and makeup for five years, and have a combined 20 to 25 years in the salon industry, but we really decided to refine our skills as bridal artists and add a specialty on-location service."

On-location services include hair styling, traditional and airbrush makeup application, and express manicures and pedicures. In-salon options run the gamut of services, including full manis and pedis, haircuts, and color.

Bryan says both the salon services and the on-location services are available for bridal showers or bachelorette parties. Brides and bridesmaids can rent the salon for a private party with catering, hair services, nail services, and makeup before heading out for a night on the town to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. Or Bryan and Mattone will take the on-location services to them at the event location.

For more information, visit the website here.

Source: Davina Bryan, Pomp & Artistry; Susie Gordon, Marketing Matters
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Grand Rapids' historic Harris Building makeover makes room for The Local Epicurean

The 110-year-old Harris Building in the historic Heartside Business District is built atop an underground river that has made its presence known at times throughout the building's history. The challenges presented by groundwater rising up from below and years of rainwater pouring in through a dilapidated roof above didn't deter the renovation efforts.

The ground floor of the Harris Building (111 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids) will soon be the new home of The Local Epicurean, a local organic pasta company that will have a retail shop, restaurant space, and a teaching kitchen. The renovation will be completed by late spring, and the building will be a 2013 ArtPrize venue.

Wolverine Building Group's Project Manager Dulane Coval says the underground river has not eroded the foundation of the building due to the foresight of the builders a century ago.

"When they built this building, they knew about the river, so the footings are really deep," Coval says. "We haven't even found how deep they are. We had groundwater two feet below the lower-level floor and we had to put the elevator shaft in at six feet below, but we never found the bottom of the foundations. I suspect they're great big old limestone, but I don't know."

Building owner Bob Dykstra of Harris Lofts has floated a number of ideas about what to do with the building, including development of a co-working office space. To-date, no additional plans for the upper floors have been announced.
In addition to conquering the water issues, the building, which has been empty for three to five years, now has an open stairway to the lower level, new HVAC, new roof, and it's first-ever fire protection system.

"The whole area is in a state of transition right now...The building next door (101 South Division) was renovated about three years ago, and there's new housing going in down the street on the corner of Cherry Street," Coval says. 

Wolverine Building Group has headed up construction of both of those projects, plus the development of housing at Division Park Avenue (209 S. Division Ave.) and Serrano Lofts (17 Williams St.).

Source: Dulane Coval, Wolverine Building Group
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Ballroom at McKay opens as majestic event space, more changes for historic Grand Rapids' McKay Tower

Soaring ceilings, original granite walls, crystal chandeliers, and nearly a dozen original marble columns adorn the Ballroom at McKay, a former bank lobby of the old Grand Rapids National Bank, now a majestic celebration space in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.

The Ballroom at McKay, 10,500-square-feet of event space and commercial kitchen, is on the second floor of the 15-story McKay Tower (146 Monroe Center Ave. NW). The ballroom opened last week with an invitation-only reception showcasing the cuisine of each of the ballroom's preferred caterers: The Catering Company, Applause Catering, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, and The Gilmore Collection.

The ballroom accommodates 200 seated guests or 250 non-seated guests. Amenities include full catering services from any of the five caterers, bar services, tables, chairs, and linens. Windows overlook Rosa Parks Circle to the south, and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel to the northwest. The former vault is a wine cooler; the original deposit slip table sits in the entryway.

The space has four wedding receptions booked, to-date.

"When we purchased the building and saw the space, it was so magnificent and so grand we felt strongly that we wanted to open it and reuse it," says Chaundra Derks, director of operations for Steadfast Property Holdings, which owns the building. "We hope that people will fall in love with it as much as we did. It's such a huge part of Grand Rapids from when it was built back in 1915."

Owen-Ames-Kimball handled the renovation, a fitting project for the company that constructed the original two-story structure in 1915, plus 12 more stories in 1925. The building is significant in that it was constructed in the heart of the city for Grand Rapids' first national financial institution.

Other renovations taking place at McKay Tower include the construction of four luxury apartments on the 15th floor that will be available for short- or long-term lease, the installation of four state-of-the-art Destination Dispatch elevators, and repair of the building's historic façade.

For more information or to book an appointment to see the ballroom facilities, click here.

Source: Chaundra Derks, Steadfast Property Holdings; Craig Clark, Clark Communications
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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More food, more books, more student gathering space in the works for GVSU's Allendale campus

Grand Valley State University's Kirkhof Center is crazy busy any time of day, especially at lunchtime when the cafeteria, coffee shop kiosk, gathering spaces, and bookstore are jam-packed with high-energy students all trying to get a bite or a beverage, sit down with friends, and get online.

GVSU plans to free up a bunch of space for more food services and enough additional seating in the gathering spaces to accommodate150 more students. To accomplish this, the bookstore will relocate in the summer of 2015 to Laker Marketplace, a new 43,000-square-foot building that will be constructed nearby.

"The Kirkhof Center is too small and has resulted in the university operating an offsite staging facility with a shuttle to replenish bookstore merchandise," says James Moyer, associate VP for facilities planning. "The (new) larger bookstore will also address the crowding issues associated with book purchasing and other merchandise."

The $9 million project begins this fall.

Another project, the 22,000-square-foot, $6.7 million addition to Au Sable Hall, will wrap up in summer 2014 after adding several office spaces and nine state-of-the-art classrooms with seating for 190 students. The new classrooms replace some existing small classrooms in the building. Other existing classrooms will receive significant upgrades to technology and the learning environment.

An article posted on Feb. 8, 2013 in GVnow states that the international program ELS Language Center, currently off campus on 48th St., will occupy part of the new addition. The center enables foreign-born students to learn English while attending college. The on-campus relocation supports GVSU's strategic plan for inclusion and internationalization by enhancing the cultural diversity of the student body.

Source: James Moyer and GVnow, Grand Valley State University
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Longtime Holland meat market embraces change -- a new home in Grand Rapids' Downtown Market

Montello Meat Market has been a Holland staple since the '50s, first as Montello Park IGA in one location, a move to another part of town in the '80s (746 Michigan Ave.), and a name change. And, holding true to its history of change amid the constancy of supplying top-notch meats to customers, the market is ready for a new pasture: the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

The Downtown Market (435 Ionia Ave. SW) hopes to be the region's go-to center for everything food, from fresh veggies at the outdoor farmers market to baked goods, coffee, site-made ice creams, and now, a local butchery. But Montello Meat Market owners Tony and Tina Larson are not pulling out of their beloved Holland community entirely.

"We're creating Montello Meat Locker, a meat market on wheels, instead of having the (Holland) store," says Tina Larson. "People still call in their orders; they want a tenderloin roast for Friday night, or lamb chops for a family dinner. We'll continue to offer freezer bundles for people who don't have big deep freezers."

The Larsons haven't ironed out all the details on deliveries or pickup locations, but will have those figured out soon, Larson says.

Tony and Tina have owned the meat market for 10 years and each of their four children -- Alex, Sam, Hayley, and Grace -- now young adults, have worked, or still work, at the store. Sam, 25, will be the market's executive butcher; Dad Tony will still make the market's 24 types of brats and sausages from scratch, including Tony's Original Brats, Cherry Pecan, Belgian Country Sausages from a recipe from Belgium, English Breakfast Sausage from a recipe of a butcher shop in England, two chicken sausage recipes, and lamb sausage.

The Downtown Market will become Montello's primary butchery, with 1,900-square-feet of cutting, aging, mixing, and packaging space and a 24-foot-long meat counter. The beef, all from Michigan farms and hormone-free, will be dry-aged on site in coolers with large windows. The store will also sell frozen meats, plus homemade meat loaf, ham loaf, and pea soup.

The Market Hall in the Downtown Market opens in August.

Source: Tina Larson, Montello Meat Market
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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