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Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

Editor, covers craft beverage industry.
Twitter: @jboomgaard
Email: [email protected]

Sunday, 27 August 2017 06:00

Owner of Kingma’s Market invests in Fish Lads/Carvers

GRAND RAPIDS — When it came time to buyout a business partner, Fish Lads of Grand Rapids Inc. founder and part owner Jeff Butzow turned to another local grocery executive with extensive experience.

Thursday, 24 August 2017 16:11

Pigeon Hill Brewing eyes underused Muskegon parking lot for new production facility

Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. wants to change up its operations and presence in downtown Muskegon.

Sunday, 13 August 2017 10:12

Gravel Bottom Brewery plans two-part expansion in Ada, Grand Rapids

Matt Michiels has known for the last two years that he needed to expand his growing West Michigan craft brewery.


Friday, 11 August 2017 12:19

Backed by strong balance sheet, Wolverine to pursue M&A opportunities ‘aggressively’

With strong cash flow in the first half of the year and backed by a positive outlook for the rest of 2017, executives at Wolverine World Wide Inc. are getting aggressive in pursuing new growth opportunities.

Sunday, 25 June 2017 20:00

Muskegon startup targets craft brewers with can-sealing machine

MUSKEGON — A startup business on the lakeshore is helping craft brewers globally to diversify the mix of packaged products they can sell via their taprooms.

Friday, 16 June 2017 11:27

Southwest Michigan farming/trucking firm files for Chapter 12 bankruptcy

A family farming and trucking operation in Southwest Michigan is restructuring its finances through Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection, according to a filing Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan.


Tuesday, 06 June 2017 13:00

Dutton craft brewer to expand in move to new location

Railtown Brewing Co. will be moving next year, but thirsty patrons won’t have to travel far to get to the company’s new location.

Sunday, 28 May 2017 19:00

With Hackett, Ford hopes for another visionary CEO

When Jim Hackett retired from the corner office at Steelcase Inc. in 2014, he told MiBiz the “narrative is still being written” about what he planned to do in the next phase of his professional life.

Monday, 22 May 2017 05:42

Former Steelcase CEO Hackett named CEO of Ford Motor Co.

Jim Hackett, the former top executive at Grand Rapids-based office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc., has been tapped to lead Ford Motor Co.


Wednesday, 03 May 2017 08:44

Whirlpool acquires Silicon Valley tech platform

International appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. plans to acquire a technology company specializing in online food recipes.

Tuesday, 02 May 2017 16:32

Spring Lake brewery files for bankruptcy after March closure

Dutch Girl Brewery Inc. has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan about a month and a half after closing its doors.

Sunday, 30 April 2017 16:27

Michigan’s craft beverage industry: A comprehensive MiBiz report

“It’s definitely not easy anymore.”
— Jason Spaulding, Brewery Vivant

As Michigan’s craft beverage industry matures and gets more competitive, it’s causing more than a few growing pains to emerge. Additionally, the pace of growth has slowed, forcing producers
to rely on solid business practices to succeed. In this comprehensive special report, MiBiz examines how these companies are adapting their strategies to survive in the ever-changing market.


Saturday, 29 April 2017 06:00

3 advisers offer their takes on the state of the craft beer industry

As the craft brewing industry grows in Michigan and beyond, it has been met with a continual skepticism about whether the market can support even more producers. Every industry hiccup stirs talk of a craft beer bubble that’s on the verge of bursting. In separate interviews, MiBiz brought that discussion to three professional advisers to get their take on the state of the industry.

Saturday, 29 April 2017 06:00

As competition heats up, Michigan craft brewers focus on business practices, taproom sales

Thirsty Michigan craft beer consumers bought the equivalent of around 59,000 more pints of Brewery Vivant’s beer in 2016 than they did the year before.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 14:52

Milacron’s DME to invest $5 million in Greenville manufacturing facility

Milacron Holdings Corp. today detailed its plans to invest in a West Michigan manufacturing facility.


Wednesday, 26 April 2017 10:19

Private prison in Lake County to close, again

An operator of private prisons plans to close its facility in Northern Michigan’s Lake County.

Friday, 31 March 2017 13:03

Growth for craft brewing industry shifts to smaller producers

As the four partners developed the business plan for Creston Brewery, they faced a key decision that would define the future direction of their company.

Sunday, 26 March 2017 08:00

Milacron/DME to consolidate mold base manufacturing to ‘new world class’ Greenville plant

A Pennsylvania plant closure could translate into growth in West Michigan for a global plastic injection molding supplier.


Saturday, 18 March 2017 05:30

EXPLORING THE TRIBAL ADVANTAGE: How non-tribal companies can benefit from working with West Michigan tribes

Because Native American tribes are sovereign nations, they’re tax-exempt and have their own statutes and regulations, although they must follow federal law. Tribally owned firms also are exempt from state and federal income taxes.

Saturday, 18 March 2017 05:30

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Tribes invest in economic diversification via M&A, real estate deals

Across West Michigan, Native American tribes have started to hang out their own shingle in enterprises that move them away from the familiar tribal-owned casino.

Sunday, 05 March 2017 20:20

New Bell’s Brewery CEO talks family dynamics, national expansion

Last month, Laura Bell took on the role of CEO at Comstock-based Bell’s Brewery Inc., the company her father started in 1985 when she was 2 months old. The second-generation leader spoke with MiBiz about what it’s like to run a family-owned business, her vision for the company and why independence still matters in craft beer.


Sunday, 26 February 2017 19:30

SpartanNash to pilot e-commerce service, unveil ‘click-and-collect’ at 25 stores by year end

Grocery retailer and distributor SpartanNash Co. plans to unveil a new e-commerce service that will allow customers to order products online and pick them up at a store.

Sunday, 12 February 2017 20:00

Bill would ease process for companies in Michigan border towns to receive incentives

Legislation that passed the state Senate last Thursday seeks to level the playing field for economic development organizations trying to attract companies to Michigan’s border communities.

Sunday, 22 January 2017 12:26

Craft beer pioneer and Boston Beer founder Jim Koch discusses the state of the industry

As the story goes, Jim Koch found his great-great grandfather’s lager recipe and decided to get into the beer industry. More than three decades later, the craft brewing pioneer and founder of The Boston Beer Company Inc. became perhaps the first craft beer billionaire based on the success of Samuel Adams Boston Lager. In the Harvard graduate’s 2016 book, “Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two,” Koch discusses the management techniques he used to help grow Boston Beer (Nasdaq: SAM) into the fifth-largest U.S. brewery by sales volume. After addressing the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Winter Conference in Kalamazoo this month, Koch joined MiBiz over a beer to discuss the state of the ever-changing industry. 


Friday, 13 January 2017 16:11

West Michigan CPA firms to merge

Grand Haven CPA firm Walburg+Associates PC merged into Brickley DeLong PC in Grand Rapids.

Monday, 02 January 2017 20:00

MiBiz.com’s most-read stories for 2016: Development and craft beverages

Readers of MiBiz.com continue to gobble up news about downtown Grand Rapids developments and all manner of craft beverage-related stories in 2016.

Sunday, 25 December 2016 17:36

Ringler of Cedar Springs Brewing: Brewery closures possible as crowded industry becomes ‘less forgiving’

With the first year under his belt, Cedar Springs Brewing Co. founder and Director of Happiness David Ringler says he’s pleased the company has surpassed its initial projections. The brewery should end the year having produced about 800 barrels of mostly traditional German-style beer, including Küsterer Original Weißbier, which won a bronze medal in the Great American Beer Fest earlier this year. Ringler hopes to add some new equipment to boost production and distribution in the coming year, “but we have no ambitions of growth at all cost.” 


Sunday, 25 December 2016 17:34

2017 Outlook: Andy Sietsema, Sietsema Cider LLC

The expansion in the hard cider market cooled last year, with the industry growing just 10.8 percent — a far cry from the 71 percent reported in the prior period, according to market research firm Nielsen. But Andy Sietsema takes those national market trends with a grain of salt, largely because they don’t count craft cideries like Sietsema Cider LLC in their research. “Sales out of our place were up 23.5 percent through this fall,” he said, noting that he also hopes to add two new distribution markets in 2017. According to Sietsema, “constant education” remains a key factor in the industry’s continued growth, even if it’s at a more sustainable rate.

Sunday, 25 December 2016 17:31

Pilot Malt seeks growth in craft beverage supply chain, as signs of strain emerge in industry

Byron Center-based Pilot Malt House LLC, a supplier of malted grains to the beer and distillery industry, has experienced only growth since its founding in 2012. In that time, the company has expanded from 10 acres to 3,000 acres of barley and could break the 4,000-acre mark in 2017. Earlier this year, Pilot Malt signed a deal with ingredient supplier Country Malt Group to have its products distributed nationwide, which could open new possibilities for continued growth, according to founder and President Erik May. He told MiBiz he’s bullish on the craft beer and distilling industries, even as some signs of weakness emerge. 

Sunday, 25 December 2016 16:22

JSJ Corp. eyes ‘very significant growth’ despite political uncertainty, rhetoric on global trade

Given that JSJ Corp.’s diversified manufacturing operations span North America, Mexico and China, Nelson Jacobson and the company’s board of directors are bracing for a period of acute political uncertainty. However, the chairman, president and CEO of the Grand Haven-based company fully expects to see “very significant growth — 20 percent plus” in 2017. That growth is coming off a record year this year in which JSJ’s sales were “well over” $500 million across its portfolio that includes GHSP Inc., Izzy+ and Dake Corp. Jacobson spoke with MiBiz about his outlook for the new year and how the political volatility influences the company’s plans. 


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