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Food/Agribusiness

SPONSORED BY DAN VOS CONSTRUCTION

As food prices surge to record highs, a pair of West Michigan food banks — Comstock Park-based Feeding America West Michigan and Ottawa Food in Holland Charter Township — have secured public funding to expand their services and meet growing demands. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Alpine Township-based Perrin Brewing Co. plans to open a new beer garden at Van Andel Arena under the terms of a sponsorship deal with the Grand Rapids Gold G-League basketball team. 

BYRON CENTER — A new partnership with Uber Technologies Inc. will allow customers of SpartanNash Co. stores to have their groceries delivered on demand.


SHELBY — Perdue Farms, a Salisbury, Md.-based food and agricultural firm, will invest more than $27 million to renovate a former food processing facility in Oceana County. 

As Michigan Agritourism Month draws to a close, a group of Northern Michigan wineries are left to wonder why the statewide recognition of the industry’s economic and social benefits continues to escape local policymakers. 

Astate board late last month advanced a key step in financing a proposed Osceola County potash mining facility that could lower fertilizer costs for farmers while delivering significant local economic benefits, according to agriculture experts. 



A wastewater pipeline expansion project that local leaders and company executives say is crucial for agribusiness expansion in Ottawa and Muskegon counties has received $60 million in state funding.

The Michigan Strategic Fund has taken an initial step in approving a $225 million bond for a company pursuing a large-scale potash mining operation in Osceola County.

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council has opened applications for a new qualified distillers program, as well as for its annual research grant funding. 


GRAND RAPIDS — Sip Shine LLC, a marketer of moonshine and canned cocktails, plans to open its first tasting room and restaurant in the Harmony Hall building on Grand Rapids’ west side.

The substantial craft brewing industry in Grand Rapids seemingly has something to offer for every beer drinker. Yet despite ranking 13th in the nation for breweries per capita, the local industry has one glaring omission: gender representation. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Harmony Hall will be closing its doors on Grand Rapids’ west side as the owners of Harmony Brewing Co. LLC plan to move brewing production to another location to “maximize” distribution.



KENTWOOD — A European manufacturer of natural snack food products will invest nearly $42 million to establish a U.S. headquarters in Kentwood and create up to 185 jobs in the process, state officials announced today.

A group of mostly West Michigan investors, led by former Founders Brewing Co. Chairman John Green, has acquired Natterjack Irish Whiskey maker Gortinore Distillers & Co. after partnering with the company’s founder to avoid liquidation, MiBiz has learned. 

KALAMAZOO — Private equity-backed FlavorSum LLC, formerly known as National Flavors, has bolstered its platform with the addition of a fifth flavor manufacturer. 


KALAMAZOO — Bell’s Brewery Inc. has launched a new charitable initiative that expects to distribute $480,000 in donations in its first year and support social and environmental causes in communities where its products are distributed.

A Mead Johnson & Co. LLC production facility in Zeeland is set to receive more than 300,000 pounds of infant base formula to blend, package and redistribute in the coming weeks as federal officials seek to ease an ongoing supply shortage.

As a sober resident in a city widely recognized for its craft beer scene, Paul Clark struggled to find non-alcoholic options outside of soda, coffee or sparkling water. 


ZEELAND — A West Michigan formula producer will import roughly 331,000 pounds of infant formula base powder this month from a facility in Mexico to be blended, packaged and redistributed.

CADILLAC — Long Road Distillers LLC is shutting down its Cadillac tasting room after a year in business because of staffing challenges.

While restaurant owners have warned of impending industry collapse — or at least uncertain operating conditions — of swiftly strengthening the state’s minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements, their workers have welcomed recent developments that they say ensure economic stability.


Michigan employers will have at least six months to prepare for an increase to the state’s minimum wage and stronger paid sick leave requirements following a Friday court ruling that brought swift applause from restaurant owners.

GRAND RAPIDS — Roskam Baking Co., the quietly massive operation that helped put West Michigan on the map as a center for food manufacturing, has sold to new private equity owners after nearly a century as a family owned business. 

86 Repairs Inc., a restaurant equipment repair and maintenance company founded in Grand Rapids, has raised $15.2 million from investors to support the company’s ongoing growth.


State officials are preparing to distribute federal block grant funding for Michigan seafood processors that significantly shifted from a wholesale to a retail focus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WYOMING — Food service distributor Gordon Food Service Inc. is among the returning investors in a Chicago-based venture capital fund that invests in the food and retail industries. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Restaurant operator Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. is expanding its holdings in Florida with a deal to acquire six Wendy’s locations in Jacksonville. 


Already pinched by an ongoing dearth of available workers, restaurants are also facing significant increases in their expenses tied to equipment maintenance and repairs.

Small distilleries and grain farmers in Michigan are poised to benefit from a new state law that incentivizes the use of Michigan-grown grains when producing liquor.

BATTLE CREEK — Kellogg Co. has unveiled plans to split into three independent companies and base the corporate headquarters for the largest of the three in Chicago.


WYOMING — As a food distributor serving a large swath of the country, Gordon Food Service Inc. is closely involved with the pain points facing restaurants and food service operations.

BYRON CENTER — Food retailer and distributor SpartanNash Co. has closed on a deal to purchase the Shop-N-Save Food Center chain of grocery stores.

Following months of contention with an activist investor group, SpartanNash Co. shareholders late last week rejected an attempt to seat three new directors to the company’s board.


BYRON CENTER — Food retailer and distributor SpartanNash Co. has fended off efforts by an activist investor group to seat three directors on the company’s nine-person board.

PENINSULA TWP. — A group of Northern Michigan wineries have found relief from a collection of township ordinances that business owners said restricted their operations and limited significant revenue streams.

Metropolitan Grand Rapids will be home to a new federal urban agriculture committee designed to help the nation’s Farm Service Agency administer its programs at a local level.


Local entrepreneur Terra Osman leveraged her self-taught development skills to create a mobile app that connects buyers and sellers of local produce and garden supplies.

Local investors joined an $82 million capital round for a company that began in Kalamazoo and developed an ecologically friendly pesticide.

When Tony Sarsam took the helm of SpartanNash Inc., he noticed parallels between the West Michigan food solutions company and the previous company he led.


State agriculture officials have announced $200,000 in grant funding to support a Norton Shores coffee producer’s expansion that would create the largest cold brew production facility in the United States.

ZEELAND TWP. — Walters Gardens Inc. is investing $9.15 million to expand its operations in Zeeland Charter Township with a new 40,000-square-foot greenhouse.

A recent survey of nearly 150 Michigan restaurant and hotel owners shows that most are still struggling with inadequate staffing and supply chain disruptions, and almost all employers are raising wages for their workers to address staffing shortages. 


BYRON CENTER — Grocery retailer and food distributor SpartanNash Co. has partnered with global tech company DoorDash Inc. to provide on-demand grocery delivery for a large swath of the nation.

The Howmet Aerospace Foundation has awarded $200,000 in grant funding to provide Muskegon-area students with increased access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through the lens of food processing and food science.

YPSILANTI — Unity Vibration Kombucha LLC, a Michigan-based brewer and the first to develop a kombucha beer, has inked a deal with a national beverage consultant firm to expand sales throughout the United States.


KALAMAZOO — Green Door Distilling Co. now has a National Basketball Association Hall of Fame player within its ownership group.

Newly introduced state legislation aims to bring clarity to a legal gray area that has prevented some Michigan bars and breweries from using their businesses to fuel charitable giving.

With farmland disappearing at a steady clip in Ottawa County, Julie Lamer and her colleagues are working to develop a toolbox of resources to preserve area farms.