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Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

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

Sunday, 19 July 2020 17:20

Michigan tribes face ‘circular exclusion’ from key minority business certification

As a citizen of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians and CEO of its non-gaming enterprise, Kurtis Trevan wants to leverage other corporations’ diversity and inclusion goals to the economic benefit of his fellow tribe members, as well as further the tribe’s own inclusionary spending. 

Sunday, 19 July 2020 17:28

Casino closures make case for Michigan tribes’ further economic diversification

In mid March of this year, all 24 of Michigan’s tribally operated casinos fell silent, their more than 22,280 slot machines spitting out their final paydays for lucky patrons or taking one last injection of cash for the house.

Friday, 17 July 2020 12:47

N.Y. group acquires 21 Goodrich Quality Theaters locations out of bankruptcy

GRAND RAPIDS — A partnership of Mason Asset Management and Namdar Realty Group has acquired the majority of the assets of Goodrich Quality Theaters Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. 


Wednesday, 08 July 2020 16:29

State fines liquor distribution agent $3 million over violations that led to booze shortages

Republic National Distributing Co. has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a dispute with the state over dozens of violations that led to widespread liquor shortages in November and December of 2019. 

Wednesday, 08 July 2020 04:46

Michigan’s tribes add $288.8 million to state economy via non-gaming businesses

As they’ve taken steps to diversify their revenues away from casinos in recent years, Michigan’s Native American tribes have built growing business ventures that in 2019 contributed nearly $288.8 million to the state economy. 

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 12:28

Ohio developer buys Knoll manufacturing plant, plans renovations

KENTWOOD — A Cleveland-based developer with properties elsewhere in Michigan has made its first entry into the greater Grand Rapids market with the purchase of an industrial complex from office furniture maker Knoll Inc. 


Friday, 19 June 2020 06:00

Short’s to revive Arcadia Brewing brand

After a brief hiatus from the market, one of the pioneering brands in the Michigan craft beer industry will once again be back on store shelves. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2020 03:59

General Mills/Yoplait taps three Michigan dairies for regenerative ag pilot program

REED CITY — A pilot project spearheaded by global food processor General Mills Inc. aims to help improve the stability of dairy farms, starting with a trio of West Michigan operations and a focus on regenerative agricultural practices. 

Sunday, 07 June 2020 19:10

Tribally owned firm secures $161M federal contract, expands GR headquarters

GRAND RAPIDS — A federal contracting firm owned by Waséyabek Development Co. LLC has begun work on a five-year, $161 million contract with the Department of Energy to provide site operations and support services at three National Energy Technology Laboratory locations. 


Thursday, 04 June 2020 16:36

Bar/restaurant reopening not a return to normal

West Michigan restaurant and bar owners who are preparing to reopen June 8 under the state’s new rules and capacity restrictions can look to their up north colleagues for clues as to how the new process will go. 

Friday, 29 May 2020 10:45

Shift to eating at home during pandemic drives sales significantly higher for SpartanNash

BYRON CENTER — People eating at home during the pandemic has been a boon for sales at grocery retailer and distributor SpartanNash Co.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020 14:47

Steelcase calls back most of workforce, partially reinstates executive pay

GRAND RAPIDS — Office furniture maker Steelcase Inc. has called back most of its manufacturing workforce from temporary layoffs as it gets back to work to fulfill around $700 million in customer order backlogs. 


Monday, 25 May 2020 14:38

Continental Linen Services right-sizes business, adapts to new environment

KALAMAZOO — The 121-year-old Continental Linen Services Inc. helps customers keep their workplaces sanitary and clean. 

Monday, 25 May 2020 14:35

Seven Generations A+E transitions to remote work to deliver ongoing federal projects

KALAMAZOO — Even as construction and development projects came to a halt for several weeks as states and the nation reacted to the spread of COVID-19, Seven Generations Architecture & Engineering LLC has remained busy. 

Monday, 25 May 2020 14:24

Midwest Realty stays nimble to react to coming commercial real estate evolution

PORTAGE — The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a series of changes that could fundamentally shift the commercial real estate market in the months ahead. 


Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:05

MLCC streamlines process for bars, restaurants to add outdoor service, offer to-go beer and wine

Bars and restaurants that want to open outdoor service areas can now take advantage of a streamlined permitting process through the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. 

Sunday, 17 May 2020 17:22

‘Cumbersome’ state liquor buyback program comes with many questions for bars, restaurants

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission has returned nearly $3.4 million to licensees as part of a liquor buyback program to support bars and restaurants during the state-mandated closure to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2020 16:35

Meritage declines $29.1 million in PPP loans, citing ‘shifting rules, unclear guidance’

GRAND RAPIDS — Restaurant operator Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. said today that it declined millions in loans under a federal coronavirus relief program intended for small businesses. 


Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:17

Journeyman Distillery focuses on survival

THREE OAKS — Other than the early days of launching Journeyman Distillery LLC, founder Bill Welter cannot recall a more difficult business environment than the present.

Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:14

For tech firm Carnevale ID, reacting to unpredictable change is business as usual

GRAND RAPIDS — Technology firms like Carnevale ID Inc. are designed to react quickly to changes and create new innovations for clients. 

Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:10

‘Chopped at the knees,’ Coldbreak makes pivot to direct to consumer sales

GRAND RAPIDS — Equipment maker Coldbreak knew it would face a major challenge when the outbreak of COVID-19 led to the shutdown of bars and restaurants and events across the country. 


Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:23

Cornerstone Architects brushes up marketing as projects hit pause

GRAND RAPIDS — Over the last few years, Cornerstone Architects Inc. PC has been riding the wave of business in the design and construction industry. 

Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:21

Honor Construction CEO says worksite guidelines would spur confidence, economic recovery

GRAND RAPIDS — The construction industry operates within a system of safety guidelines and rules intended to ensure that workers remain safe and that projects get built to the appropriate standards. 

Sunday, 10 May 2020 18:00

Virus throws curveball just as Peat’s Cider opens Southwest Michigan taproom

STEVENSVILLE — Peat’s Cider Social had been open for less than two weeks when co-founder Dan Peat began hearing about a highly infectious virus that was starting to affect various parts of the country. 


Sunday, 10 May 2020 17:00

Grand Rapids’ Waters Building ‘fortunate’ to avoid major disruptions

GRAND RAPIDS — The owners of the iconic Waters Building admit they’ve been “fortunate” in avoiding most adverse effects stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sunday, 10 May 2020 17:54

YETi CGI’s experience offers lessons on productivity for virtual collaboration

GRAND RAPIDS — Josh Freeney has a decade-long head start on all the professionals who are just now being thrust into a situation where they’re working remotely. 

Sunday, 03 May 2020 18:03

Craft distilleries face ‘dire’ consequences as pandemic obliterates on-premise sales

Michigan distilleries that switched to hand sanitizer production are keeping the lights on, but they face a tough road ahead with on-premise sales at bars and restaurants at a standstill for the foreseeable future. 


Thursday, 30 April 2020 10:07

Kellogg sales spike as consumers buy up packaged foods during pandemic

BATTLE CREEK — Consumers stocking up on cereals, snacks and other foods during the global COVID-19 pandemic have led to “significantly” higher sales for Kellogg Co. 

Saturday, 25 April 2020 10:15

EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Sanity in sanitizer

On Thursday, Josh Cook got the call every licensed beverage alcohol producer dreads. 

Friday, 24 April 2020 18:42

COPING WITH COVID-19: Kalamazoo Stillhouse pivots to sanitizer production

When Nic and Joanna Merrill heard about shortages of hand sanitizer in Southwest Michigan, they began wondering how their company, craft distillery Kalamazoo Stillhouse, could help fill the void. 


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