Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

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

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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

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. 

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

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. 

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

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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

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. 

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

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Mitch Ermatinger’s outlook has improved in the weeks since the mid-March closure of all Michigan bars and restaurants, but the economic effects of the pandemic are still weighing heavily on the co-founder of Speciation Artisan Ales LLC. 

The recent shutdown forced many small craft beverage companies to shift their business models on the fly. 

Oktober Design LLC proves the aphorism of being in the right place at the right time when it comes to finding success in business. 

Michigan’s craft beverage industry is facing a challenge with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic that is unlike any other in its history. 

Craft beverage companies have been rocked by an unprecedented crisis, one caused not by bad business decisions or fundamental industry shifts, but by widespread closures related to a sweeping public health concern.