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When the founders of Long Road Distillers LLC decided to bring in an experienced professional to manage the launch of its spirits production later this year, they realized they needed to look beyond the local talent pool for help.

Earlier this month, the first six-packs of Lucky Girl Brewing Co.’s signature products started rolling out to Meijer stores and other retailers across Michigan.

Breweries and taphouses are far from the only businesses benefiting from the boom in craft beer production these days.

The proximity to market demand and a track record for producing quality produce has served as a catalyst for Michigan’s potato industry.

Michigan farmers targeting the state’s expanding craft beer business could benefit if a newly proposed “Farm to Glass” bill gains traction in the state Legislature.

As the West Michigan craft beverage industry begins to shift beyond beer, one West Michigan company has set its sights on producing the so-called “nectar of the gods.”

Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.’s acquisition of another staple in the West Michigan coffee industry has the potential to position the combined company for national growth.

Despite being decades ahead of the state’s craft breweries in coming to market, Michigan’s wine industry has yet to experience the same explosion in popularity.

Global food manufacturer ConAgra Foods Inc. plans to scale back its West Michigan footprint. Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra (NYSE: CAG) plans to shutter its operation at 4490 44th Street SE in Kentwood and layoff 260 people, according to a statement the company provided to MiBiz.

One Kalamazoo-based construction management firm sees opportunity by pursuing a key industry sector into the American Heartland.

A newly-formed joint venture between the Grand Valley State University Center For Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Saginaw Valley State University wants to encourage agricultural technology startups to drive innovation in Michigan.

The proposal for a business incubator in Ottawa County focused on agricultural technology could one day have a physical home, but the county first wants to see results from a virtual operation before it makes that investment.

Q&A: Nick Nicolay, Kar's Nuts

Written by | Wednesday, 09 October 2013 21:00 |

Kar’s Nuts, an 80-year-old Detroit snack food company, has been slowly growing to national success. What began as one woman roasting peanuts to sell outside the old Tiger Stadium has now turned into a national operation. Kar’s has about 175 employees and expects to do more than $90 million in sales this year.

Ottawa County plans virtual ag incubator

Written by | Sunday, 29 September 2013 22:00 |

Based on the strength of the agricultural sector, the innovative spirit of farmers and the stated need for entrepreneurial resources in the farming sector, Ottawa County proposes creating a virtual incubator to help farmers turn ideas into viable products.

BATTLE CREEK — Reggie Mahoney’s work life gets a bit crazy every year from July through August.

Advances in growing techniques and higher yields have put a strain on apple processing and packaging plants in West Michigan, particularly in northwestern Kent County.

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Birgit Klohs - Lifetime Achievement Video

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