| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Downtown : Development News

280 Downtown Articles | Page: | Show All

Mert's Meats expands to Eastside with second location

Grocers and markets are making their way back to Michigan Avenue, including a specialty meat store that began serving Eastsiders and the downtown community right before the summer solstice.
Mert's Specialty Meats on the Avenue opened in mid-June, offering a full line of fresh cut meat, seafood, dairy and cheeses, and a variety of Michigan-made products. The family-owned market run by Shirley Decker Prescott, her husband Mert Prescott and son Brandon Decker, is within a 10-minute drive of the original Okemos location that also opened in June three years ago.
"We know the neighborhood and the community," says Prescott who lives three blocks from the new store at 1629 E. Michigan Ave. "We think there's a need here for the fresh products and service we can give."
Mert's Meats on the Avenue will source beef and pork from the Midwest, including top choice products from the Iowa distributor Chairman's Reserve. Selections include grass-fed ground beef and steaks, free-range chicken and duck. The Eastside store will also carry salmon, crab and shrimp. Specialty and Michigan-made products include salsas and tortilla chips; barbecue sauces; spices, rubs and marinades; side dishes like pasta and rice; and some fresh produce.
"We also have unique selections like venison and elk and alligator and snake," says Prescott. "And we make our own sausages, including chicken, that are preservative and MSG free."
Both stores also offer recipe cards and can advise customers on how to best prepare what they are buying. Prescott says she can carry more frozen and specialty items in her new 1,800-square foot market since the space in the mixed-used development is slightly bigger than her Okemos location.
"We listen to our customers," says Prescott. "If they tell us they want something, we do what we can to bring it in."
Mert's employs 15 people between the two stores, including manager Jordan Eustace of the Lansing store, and a new-hire from Goodrich's Shop-Rite, Jessica Wilson.
"We know that Goodrich closing is a great loss to the community," says Prescott. "I shop there, and we are encouraging customers to bring us ideas from Goodrich's. They carried a lot of unique items that we would like to add to our inventory."
Source: Shirley Decker Prescott, Owner, Mert's Meats on the Avenue
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Beer garden brands Midtown Brewing as Euro-destination

Although he grew up and lives in the city, Marc Wolbert has always integrated nature into everyday life.
Today, the Lansing business owner is bringing more green space to downtown by building a European style beer garden outside the Midtown Brewing Company.
"Nature is important to us as people," says Wolbert who manages the nano-brewery along with brewer Brandon Cook. "And while beer gardens are prevalent in Europe, it's not something you usually get in an urban area.
The Flint native drew on his collegiate education in landscape architecture to create a 400-square foot space ringed by planters and shaded by umbrellas. Since the early June ribbon cutting, Wolbert has worked with Old Town's Plant Professionals to nurture a colorful blend of pansies, sweet potato vines, herbs, ornamental cabbages and hops for leafy and fragrant patio where up to 40 patrons to enjoy a craft beer or meal.
"It's a full-service beer garden," says Wolbert. "You'll have your complimentary peanuts, and in line with my love of nature, we feature a casual and natural-style menu."
Wolbert says he sources ingredients from farmer's markets and the restaurant's off-site vegetable garden whenever possible. He says he just added a new kitchen staff member to help carry forward the farm-to-table style food, bringing the total new staff hired for the summer to six.
Midtown Brewing employs 25 people and spun off two years ago from the shuttered Michigan Brewing Company. The 4,000-square foot restaurant has been in the space at 402 S. Washington for five years. The new beer garden, Wolbert says, helps brand downtown as a beer destination, and creates a unique urban beer drinking vibe characteristic of European cities.  
"One of my next projects is a rooftop garden," says Wolbert. "We have lots of beautiful flat roofs here in Lansing. Covering them in green helps our environment. And it helps make things prettier."
Source: Marc Wolbert, General Manager, Midtown Brewing Company
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Family-owned auto parts company converts to NAPA brand

They say it's all in a name, but for Dick Seehase, it's also all in the family.
For 51 years, Seehase has been among the family members owning and operating The Parts Place. And while the Holt-based car parts company has spanned three generations and grown to nine mid-Michigan locations, the company prides itself on providing the highest level of customer service.
That quality of service, Seehase says, will be further ensured as the distributor of automotive parts and equipment switches affiliation from CARQUEST to NAPA, and adds an 18,000-square foot warehouse as the hub.
"It made perfect sense to go with a more traditional auto parts company," says Seehase of the changeover. "With our 50-year-old history and NAPA's 90, we'll be well-recognized and even more prepared to service our customers."
All eight stores will carry NAPA inventory and retain the nearly 60 professional staff who work in locations in East Lansing, West Lansing, Holt, Charlotte, Mason, Eaton Rapids, Williamston and Stockbridge.
The newly purchased warehouse on the corner of Waverly and St. Joseph will result in about three new staff joining the company. The space will also allow The Parts Place to carry about $2 million more in additional inventory to service all locations.
Seehase says the commercial market makes up about 70 percent of The Parts Place customers, with the remaining 30 percent coming from do-it-yourselfers.
"Years ago, lots of people could work on their own vehicles, but as the complexity has increased, we began servicing more commercial clients," says Seehase. "Our employees come from all different facets of the market, too, and know the business."
Seehase says The Parts Place changed affiliation in late April. He says he's anticipating the NAPA partnership will spur annual sales growth from about $9 to $15 million in the upcoming year.
"The NAPA brand name is one of the most recognized brands in the United States," says Seehase. "We're hoping to add more stores once we get our feet on the ground."
 Source: Dick Seehase, Company President, The Parts Place NAPA
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Go Greener plows the way toward expanded business

Grass grows. Spaces get dirty. Snow falls. Surfaces need repair. And that's where Go Greener comes in.
As long-time friends and experienced property managers, Russ Chambers and Mike Demmer launched the multi-tiered facilities management company in 2009. Starting with just three employees, Go Greener has grown to employ 30 staff, with plans to hire a half dozen more in 2014.
"It feels like we started a family here with our business," says Chambers. "We're involved in our community, too, and try to give back by sponsoring events at places like the YMCA and Peckham as much as we can."
Chambers and Demmer blended 20 years of combined experience to form a one-stop facilities management company that provides lawn care, janitorial and snow removal services, as well as asphalt repair and maintenance. The company's more than 100 clients includes schools, government offices, public buildings, manufacturing plants, financial institutions and retail centers, as well as a handful of residential customers.  
"If you're a business owner and you use several companies for all these services, we can consult and provide you with competitive pricing for all three," says Chambers. "We also have that small business feel, and our customers say our response time is great."
Go Greener's base of operations consists of a 5,000 square foot office building and nearly 70,000 square feet of warehouse space on Lansing's north side. The company's fleet is branded with the company's logo and dispatch with professionally clad staff for all services.
Chambers says that Go Greener's lawn services grew 45 percent over last year. The company's janitorial services also climbed by 40 percent, while snow removal piled up a whopping 60 percent from the previous season. Chambers admits part of the growth was due to the exceptionally rough winter, and added that the company went through 1,000 tons of bulk road salt that they shared with other businesses.
"I truly think our growth is from the service we provide our customers," says Chambers. "Word of mouth has helped, we have good name recognition. But when people say 'these guys do a good job,' that's the best."
Source: Russ Chambers, Owner, Go Greener
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Sparrow unveils expanded surgical center, creates six jobs

A $15 million expansion more than doubled the size of the surgical center at Sparrow Hospital and further positioned Sparrow as a national leader in healthcare.
The hospital dedicated the new surgical center in mid-May by showcasing the 10 high-tech operating rooms that comprise the 16,000-square foot center.
The new state-of-the art operating room suites brings the total number of high-tech suites at Sparrow to 18. The expansion is part of the more than $250 million in construction that Sparrow has undertaken in the last three years to transform and deliver nationally-recognized quality care.
"Over the last few years our surgical volume has continued to grow," says Barbara McQuillan, director of surgical services at Sparrow. "It's an exciting time and this new expansion is the result of a lot of long-term planning to meet the healthcare needs of our region."
Features of the new center include space-saving equipment, touch-screen monitors, precision lighting, and floors designed to provide support and reduce fatigue. The space also includes Sparrow's first frozen specimen lab which can enable real-time diagnosis and intervention while a patient is still in surgery.
Additional renovations slated for a later date include pre- and post-surgical areas, central sterile supply and the post-anesthesia care unit.
McQuillan says that the new surgical arena centralizes the majority of the hospital's OR suites, improves workflow and ultimately the patient experience. The new center will result in about six new positions, as well as changes in surgical services related to clinical engineering, radiology and ancillary support.
"By optimizing the day-to-day operations, it ensures we are able to provide the best care to every patient, every time," says McQuillan, "which is good for our community and good for the thousands of caregivers who make it all happen."
Sources: Barbara McQuillan, Director of Surgical Services, Sparrow
Sacha Crowley, Communications Specialist, Sparrow 
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Vendors show up for court at Lansing's new mobile food venue

They have vendors. They have customers. And now they have a name.
Beginning this month, the name Capital City Food Court began scrolling on the electronic sign that borders a 2.4-acre lot on Oakland Avenue between N. Cedar and Larch Streets, proclaiming the momentum of Lansing's first-of-its-kind outdoor food court.
"We've had at least 40 calls," says Anne Ganakas who co-owns the former site of Nationwide Gold and Silver Exchange where a growing number of mobile food carts are setting down daily roots. "We've had calls from all food genres, and from people wanting to sell produce, too."
On June 9, Nick Sinicropi rolled his food truck into the lot to begin cooking up a fusion of homemade tacos, craft burgers, wings, house-smoked pork and chicken, French fries and deep-fried Oreos. The professional chef joined pioneering members Frank Tignanelli of Detroit Frankie's Wood Fired Pizza and smoked meats and sandwich artist Donald O'Polski of Michael O's Food Truck. Together, the three create a mobile smorgasbord where patrons can pull in, grab a quality alternative to fast food, and sit and enjoy their mobile eats at picnic tables and outdoor seating.
"It's been a long time coming," says Sinicropi of the open-air food court. "Bigger cities have food truck courts. It's convenient. It's different. And it's also a lot better than fast food."
As a veteran of restaurant industry, Sinicropi says he loves preparing authentic cuisine in his newly purchased 24-foot Freightliner that includes a fryer, griddle and stove. He's also excited about being part of the street food movement in Lansing.
Ganakas supports the sentiments she hears on both sides of the food court issue. She says mobile operations give food entrepreneurs a way to realize their dreams without the investment of a brick and mortar storefront.
And her dream? Ganakas says she would like to have about six to eight vendors onsite during the warmer months and a vendor or two inside the building during the cold and snowy season.
"If this works, it will bring some additional life to the city," says Ganakas. "We also see some potential for car shows and other events. We're going to give it a year or so and see if we can get the right mix."
Source: Anne Ganakas, Owner, Capital City Food Court
Nick Sinicropi, Owner, Good Truckin' Food
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

New patio duals as gathering space and fundraising venue for Fenner Conservancy

A gift by two Lansing philanthropists has paved the way for community members to support programs of Fenner Nature Center and Conservancy brick-by-brick.
Dedicated April 19, the Davis Patio enables visitors to contribute to Fenner by purchasing paver bricks that can be engraved with personal messages and re-laid in the structure.
"One hundred percent of the proceeds go right to Fenner to deliver high quality education and park stewardship programs," says Katie Woodhams, program manager of Fenner Nature Center. "We have the potential to raise half a million dollars if we sell every brick."
Fenner supporters Susan and Jack Davis donated funds to build the patio that overlooks the center's pond and butterfly garden. The patio features a campfire ring as the centerpiece, and provides a gathering spot for school-aged children, day-campers, community members or families or friends to enjoy educational, recreational or other organized social activities. 
"It's a great place to sit back and relax and see all the wildlife," says Woodhams. "We are forever grateful to Susan and Jack for making this possible."
The Fenner Nature Center and Conservancy at 2020 E. Mount Hope Ave. consists of 134 acres with four miles of trails. Located in the heart of the city, Fenner's mission is to connect people to nature through conservation, education and stewardship.
"Every one who comes out here experiences a calming feeling," says Woodhams. "It's all about reconnecting with the natural world. It's hard to find time to do that, but when we do, it makes a difference in our day."
Among the projects supported by the Davis Patio and associated fundraising is the restoration of 19 acres of land as native Michigan prairie. Admission to the park is free, with summer camp registration underway for school-age children.
Source: Katie Woodhams, Program Manager, Fenner Nature Center
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Kayak shop makes splash on the Grand River

Trey Rouss describes himself as being "pretty miserable" when he first moved to Lansing from Arizona 14 years ago.
"I missed the mountains and the ocean," says Rouss. "But once I discovered the Great Lakes, rivers and inland lakes and how water works here, I embraced it."
Rouss took to the water as an avid kayaker and became an immediate ambassador for paddle sports. Today, he's making a splash as Lansing's newest purveyor of paddle sports gear and instruction as the owner of the Power of Water Kayak store.
Rouss opened in early spring, and invited the public to fours days of paddle sports activities and demonstrations during a grand opening from April 24 to 27. His goal, he says, is broader than simply equipping people with gear and accessories; it's to equip people with the knowledge and skills they need to enjoy being on the water.
"We're focused on outreach and getting as many people as we can out on the water," says Rouss. "We want people in Lansing to see what the Grand River has to offer and to take an interest in exploring it more."
Located in a repurposed strip mall at 420 E. Saginaw, the Power of Water has access to Lansing's riverfront right out the backdoor. Rouss and his three staff decked-out the 1,300-square foot space with reclaimed barn wood for an earthy look that complements displays of nearly 20 stand-up paddle boards, 40 kayaks and gear.
Working with his director of programming Scott Fairty, Rouss offers classes for all ages and skill levels, including kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, advanced whitewater and river self-rescue.
"Our classes are focused, experiential and fun," says Rouss. "There's not a lot of talking and lectures. It's very on the water learning."
Rouss and his five to 10 instructors are certified through the American Canoe Association or the British Canoe Union. Courses run from May through October, with dry land or pool instruction offered during the off-season.
"The Grand River is an amazing resource going right through the middle of our town," says Rouss. "Our goal is to share our passion, to show people how to play on the water, and hope that will inspire people to protect it."
Source: Trey Rouss, Owner, Power of Water Kayak Store
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Buscemis franchise expands to Lansing, creates 10 jobs

Greater Lansing residents will find it's "hip to be square" as a popular Detroit-based party store and pizzeria opens its first Greater Lansing area franchise in Delta Township this June.
Known for its square pizza by the slice since 1956, Buscemis Party Shoppe is building a 5,000-square foot store from the ground up on the former site of Udder Creamery and Fannie Mae Candy. The brand new building at 4037 W. Saginaw will include three additional suites at 1,200-feet each.
"We're putting our heart and soul into this operation," says Steven Kesto, Buscemis manager of operations and Lansing franchise owner. "Lansing is an up and coming place turning Michigan around and we want to be part of it."
Kesto says the building's exterior of brick, stucco and expansive glass windows will make customers stop and say 'wow'—just like the great service and prices they'll find inside.
Buscemis will carry beer, wine and liquor as well as a full line of snack foods. About 25 percent of the floor and shelf space will be dedicated to craft beer, with customers being able to mix and match their selections. Made-to-order food is also available, including Buscemis fabled pizza, calzones, subs and salads.
"We also deliver," says Kesto. "We've heard that lots of hotels are excited about that."
Lansing's Buscemis franchise joins about 40 other Buscemis party shoppes in Michigan. Kesto says the Lansing store will employ 10 people for starters, with more staff added as business takes off.
"As they say, you build it and people will come," says Kesto. "We're hoping that to be the case."
Source: Steven Kesto, Manager of Operations, Buscemis Party Shoppe
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Strange Matter Coffee to open espresso bar, create gathering space

There's some strange brew coming to the East Side. And according to Lansing's latest artisan barista, she's serving up brew that begins with the essence of the bean.
Beginning in July, Cara Nader will open the doors to Strange Matter Coffee at 2001 E. Michigan Ave. The coffee bar, she says, has been in the works for about three years, and is a friendly collision of her two passions: science and java.
"Strange matter is a particular form of quark matter," says Nader of her business moniker. "It's a theoretical form of quark, often thought of as a liquid. It's a nerdy kind-of science thing."
Nader's confessed geekiness for science shapes her approach to brewing. Each cup served in Strange Matter, she says, will be made to order using one of several brewing devices. One device—the Chemex—extracts a clean cup of coffee through a drip filtering process. The Chemex, Nader says, resembles a science beaker, and is among contemporary devices featured in the Museum of Modern Art. Another system Nader uses—the V-60—involves a cone-shaped pour-over device that produces a quicker cup.
"We'll use a particular device to bring out different characteristics of the bean," says Nadar, who compares her coffee to micro-brewed beer. "Each device has its benefits and I'll be using one or another to highlight flavors."
Nader sources her beans from distributors like Populace Coffee who specialize in single- origin, seasonal coffee. She'll also feature a rotating menu of roasters from around the country, and a few varieties of chai tea.
"I like to focus on in-season coffee that's freshly harvested," she says. "We'll feature coffees from individuals farms and particular regions since not every region harvests at the same time of year."
Nader is currently replacing flooring, painting and putting in a espresso bar in the 1,500-square foot place that will seat from 25 to 30 people. And as business gets up and running, she hopes to bring two to three staff on board.
"I want people to sit and enjoy their beverage," says Nader. "Every coffee has it's place, and I want people to have that moment when they say 'wow, I didn't know coffee could be this good.'"
Source: Cara Nader, Chief Coffee Engineer, Strange Matter Coffee Co.
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Detroit Frankie's fires up outdoor kitchen for fresh, made-to-order pizza

Frank Tignanelli has gone from restaurants to backyards to city streets to make and bake the freshest pizza on earth.
"From the time you order to the time it's in the box it takes about seven minutes," says Tignanelli, a long-time Michigan restaurateur also known as Detroit Frankie. "And you're there watching me make it, watching it go into the oven. I even have people take pictures while it's baking."
In mid-March, Tignanelli started cooking his famous wood-fired pizzas for Greater Lansing in an outdoor kitchen on the corner of Cedar and Oakland, Monday through Friday. Passers-by can pull in, order pizzas to go from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and watch as Tignanelli hand-tosses the dough, sauces with fresh-packed tomatoes, and cheeses with whole milk mozzarella. Customers then choose up to four toppings from a list of 20 fresh ingredients, including meats, vegetables and fruits. Tignanelli completes the "old world charm" by cooking the 16-inch pizza in a deluxe wood-fired brick oven.
"I feed wood into the oven to keep it hot all day—about 750 degrees," says Tignanelli. "The crust gets little charred marks on the outside and stays chewy on the inside. You get a nice clean taste with all the fresh ingredients."
Tignanelli says he learned all about pizza from his dad "Papa Joe" while growing up in Detroit. In the mid-70s, he started in the pizza biz by working in family restaurants in central and Northern Michigan. In between restaurant gigs, he became an expert food distributor, then came back to his his true calling: creating and serving pizza. He bought the wood-fired brick oven, started catering, and began making and baking pizzas at festivals and events. When a friend suggested he find a weekday location, he staked out his current corner.
"I've owned and managed restaurants all over Michigan," says Tignanelli. "But what I always loved best was standing in front of my oven making pizza and talking to customers. And that's what I do now. It's like having a food show every day."
Source: Frank Tignanelli, Owner, Detroit Frankie's
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Homeless Angels sets up home base for coordinating outreach

Jessep Magoon doesn't believe that everyone who holds up a cardboard sign and asks for help is doing so to support a drug or alcohol addiction.
That's why Magoon asked a friend to create a sign for his grassroots cause that helps redefine perceptions of the homeless.
In mid-April, Magoon's sign for the Homeless Angels found a permanent home in the window of their first brick and mortar office.
"It fit perfectly," says Magoon of the portable sign he has used for outreach events. "It was one of those fate things—that this place was meant to be."
Magoon co-founded the Homeless Angels with Mike Karl in November 2013. The idea, he says, is to provide a resource that bridges the gap between the homeless and local agencies.
Until April, the Homeless Angels was run from the streets. Volunteers met in parks, parking lots, churches or other supportive organizations to coordinate outreach and "street teams" to help Greater Lansing's homeless.
"Since the beginning, our big focus has been street outreach and building relationships with people who might otherwise fall through the cracks," says Magoon who is also a student at Lansing Community College. "But since we didn't have a home base it was hard to do client intake. We did everything by laptop and cell phone, and knew as we got more innovative we would need an office."
Directly across from the State capitol, the 900-square foot office at 328 W. Ottawa Street is easy-to-access, wired for Internet, has ample storage space for a food pantry and supplies, and is staffed by a core group of about 10 volunteers. There's even a washer and dryer on site to clean cloths or blankets for homeless clients. Rent, Magoon says, is funded by donations made through GoFundMe, with other services supported through community fundraisers and donations.
Magoon says his drive to build the volunteer non-profit is fueled by his past struggles with addiction. He finds inspiration, too, in the depth of understanding held by Karl, who previously lived on the streets.
"We know there are underlying factors and a story behind why people are homeless," says Magoon. "Our hope is to shed a positive light on a negative situation, and to show the community that the homeless are not just stereotypes, but people needing help to get them back into society."
Source: Jessep Magoon, Co-founder, Homeless Angels
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Go Green Trikes rolls out on Earth Day

Yvonne LeFave got rolling on her business while waiting for the bus in East Lansing.
"Traffic was backing up because of a delivery truck that had stopped to take in four loads of big boxes," says LeFave. "All of us at the bus stop were saying there had to be a better way."
LeFave set out to find it. Beginning Earth Day, LeFave will roll out Go Green Trikes—a local courier service for businesses that involves electric-assisted trikes. The trikes, LeFave says, are more nimble in traffic than many motorized vehicles and carry up to 600 pounds. Plus, they're quirky, eye-catching and fun.
"There's nothing else like them on the road," LeFave says.
LeFave's fleet of two can go up to 100 miles each at speeds of 15 miles per hour. The ELF—short for Electric, Lightweight and Fun—operates through pedaling and a solar-powered battery, and looks like a cross between a recumbent bike and a Smart car. Go Green's larger vehicle, the Truck Trike, resembles a small pickup truck on a bike frame and can carry up to 12 18-gallon totes.
Go Green's initial cargos will be made up of print items, food, and business-to-business supplies or products. And because it's Michigan, trikes will be on the road from April to November.
"I like green technology and the idea of living without a motorized vehicle," says LeFave, whose Quaker faith puts simplicity and stewardship top-of-mind. "I've wanted to show people what can be done without a car. And this does that."
Go Green Trikes will pedal between businesses in the East Lansing-Lansing downtown districts, Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. LeFave hopes to set up an office on Lansing's Eastside in the coming year, and to employ two or more part-time staff as trike couriers. For now, Go Green Trikes is reachable through her web site.
Interested in learning more about Go Green Trikes? LeFave invites the public to attend an open house on her first day of business: April 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Michigan Energy Options, 405 Grove Street, East Lansing. Both trikes and city officials from East Lansing and Lansing will be onsite. 
Source: Yvonne LeFave, President, Go Green Trikes
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Center for Business Innovation enters strategic partnership, strengthens cloud services

When you hear the word 'cloud' associated with Lansing, you can start thinking of something aside from the city's reputation as one of the nation's most overcast cities.
In mid-March, a Michigan managed technology service provider headquartered in Lansing announced a new partnership to offer Microsoft Office 365 services to businesses and organizations. By pairing with AppRiver—a software-as-service organization—the Center for Business Innovation will build on 14 years of cloud computing experience by becoming an authorized reseller for Office 365.
"We're excited to partner with AppRiver for our Office 365 service offerings," says Douglas Horne, CBI technology services director. "Our partners will not only receive anywhere access to the latest version of Microsoft applications, but will also have access to the CBI Partner Care Center for personable, technical support."
The CBI provides business-to-business cloud, networking, imaging and professional services to thousands of customers across Michigan and the Midwest. The new partnership with AppRiver is an extension of CBI's cloud services in the mobility market.
"People are wanting to work on phones and tablets and from coffee shops and homes," says Katie Saglimbene, CBI marketing and communications director. "The new service and software will serve the workforce more from the mobility aspect."
Saglimbene says that CBI provides technical support for nearly 2,000 customers. The same will hold true for the new partnership with AppRiver when customers need to resolve issues related to the use of Office 365.
"It's easier for our partners to call us than to try and call Microsoft directly," she says. "We can provide that personal relationship and level of support that you might not get from a big conglomerate."
CBI has regional offices in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Southfield, Flint and Saginaw. About 45 people work in the Lansing office, with potential to add more trained specialists to service Office 365.
Source: Katie Saglimbene, Marketing and Communications Director, Center for Business Innovation
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Red Haven expands kitchen, adds staff to serve growing menu and food truck

Mid-Michigan farm-to-table dining experience is getting bigger.
The once fledging Red Haven is adding nearly 1,000 square feet to the existing 2,200-square food restaurant at 4880 S. Hagadorn Road in East Lansing. Co-owner Nina Santucci says Meridian Township approved the expansion the week of March 3. Renovations, she says, will be completed by mid- to late-April and primarily involve adding square footage to the kitchen, and reconfiguring space to create a private dining area.
"The additional kitchen space will allow us to prep and store food for our new lunch menu and for our food truck and catering services," says Santucci of the Red Haven and the popular Purple Carrot food truck. "Our goal is to get our food truck up and running five days a week rather than the current two we've been doing since the restaurant opened."
Santucci and her business partner and husband Anthony Maiale celebrated the grand opening of Red Haven in October 2012. A sit-down complement to the Purple Carrot, the restaurant serves upscale food made from seasonal, local ingredients in a casual environment.
Red Haven's tapas style of dining encourages restaurant guests to experiment and share menu items at their table. An ever-changing seasonal menu includes dinner favorites like white bean and kale soup, patty melt, pork steak, chicken confit panini, and shrimp fettuccini. The new lunch menu, which started in January, features similar items with a focus on sandwiches, soups and lunch-size plates of pasta.
"We try to put a creative spin on classic dishes," says Santucci. "We want to have that sense of whimsy and bring you something that you wouldn't expect."
Santucci says that the expanded kitchen will include a couple convection ovens plus lots of storage.
"It will be helpful to have more space for our dry storage items," she says. "Plus we'll actually have a real office here."
The Red Haven employs 25 cooks, wait staff and managers. Santucci says the expansion and new lunch service may enable the restaurant to add up to five staff in the summer season.

Source: Nina Santucci, co-owner, Red Haven
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor
280 Downtown Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts