Thursday, December 26, 2013

2014 Michigan Milestone Celebrations

5 Years

Allegan County Specialty Shops, Allegan
Bygone Basics, Montague
Crystal Spa at Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville
Grand Traverse Distillery, Traverse City (Leland, Frankenmuth)
Hyatt Place, Wyoming (Grand Rapids)
Michigan By the Bottle, Shelby Township
Motor City Brew Tours, Detroit
Salt of the Earth, Fennville

10 Years

750 Grill, Muskegon
Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Dearborn
Keweenaw Brewing Company, Houghton
Left Foot Charley Winery, Traverse City
Promote Michigan, Statewide
Schmohz Brewing, Grand Rapids
Short's Brewing Company, Bellaire

15 Years

Bay Harbor Arts Festival, Bay Harbor
Black Star Farms (Inn and Tasting Room), Suttons Bay
Cedar River Golf Club at Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire
Comfort Suites, Grandville

20 Years

A Tourist in Your Own Town, Lansing
Bay Harbor Marina District, Bay Harbor
Crystal River Outfitters, Glen Arbor
Food Dance, Kalamazoo
Glenwood Restaurant, Onekama
Greats Lakes Pilot, Grand Marais
Keweenaw Adventure Company, Copper Harbor
Northside Pub, North Muskegon
Uncommon Coffee Roasters (Uncommon Grounds), Saugatuck

25 Years

Blue Coasts Artists Studio Tours, South Haven/Saugatuck
Cherry Republic, Glen Arbor (Ann Arbor, Charlevoix, Traverse City)
Classic Auto Show, Grand Ledge
Coopersville & Marne Railway, Coopersville
Iceman Cometh Challenge, Traverse City
Laurium Manor, Laurium

30 Years

Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree, Norton Shores
Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, Muskegon
Silver Bells in the City, Lansing

35 Years

St. Joseph Today, St. Joseph

40 Years

Boyne Falls Polish Festival, Boyne Falls
Chateau Grand Traverse Winery, Traverse City
Clinton Fall Festival, Clinton
Holiday Traditions Tour, Grand Ledge
Mr. Bs Pancake House, Muskegon
White River RV Park & Campground, Montague

50 Years

Blockhouse at Muskegon State Park, Muskegon
Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs
Capri Drive-In, Coldwater
Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve, Niles
Happy Mohawk Canoe Livery, Montague
Rau's Country Store, Frankenmuth
Potawatomi Trail @ Pinkney State Recreation Area, Pinkney

55 Years

Art Van Furniture, Statewide

70 Years

Celebration Cinema, Muskegon

75 Years

Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, Lansing

80 Years

Art’s Tavern, Glen Arbor
Good Hart General Store, Good Hart
Meijer, Statewide
Russ' Restaurants, Muskegon

85 Years

The Henry Ford, Dearborn
The Inn at The Homestead, Glen Arbor

90 Years

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo

95 Years

Chippewa County Historical Society, Sault Ste. Marie
KitchenAid by Whirlpool, Benton Harbor

110 Years

The Inn at Stonecliff, Mackinac Island

115 Years

Perry Hotel, Petoskey

120 Years

Frankenmuth Woolen Mill Comforter Shop, Frankenmuth
The Whitney, Detroit

150 Years

Grist Mill at Historic Bowens Mills, Middleville

250 Years

Fort Sinclair, St. Clair

Updated December 26, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

“null” Café & Taphouse to Showcase Northern United Brewing Company Brands

Construction is set to begin in January, 2014 on the null Café & Taphouse – honoring the various brands of Northern United Brewing Company (null stands for “Northern United Liquid Libations”). It will showcase the company’s award-winning beer, wine, cider and spirits and will be located at the new brewing facility at 2319 Bishop Circle East in Dexter.

“This tasting room has been in the back of Ron’s mind since he brewed his first Jolly Pumpkin beer and it is finally coming to fruition,” says Tony Grant, Northern United CFO/COO. “It is such an exciting time for Jolly Pumpkin, North Peak and the entire company to have this showplace for all our brands. We are so excited for everyone to come out and see our new home, taste all the products, take tours of the plant and see all the new gear that we've been working on.”

So…yes…it’s true, Jolly Pumpkin is finally going to build a taproom in Dexter. Loyal fans have helped the company grow over the years; they’ve spread the word on the brand’s award-winning wares and now they have an opportunity to help build the null Café & Taphouse.

Anyone can be part of this exciting taphouse by joining one of four club levels – from the “I Believe They WILL Build It Club” which includes a permanent name plaque on a bar stool at the taphouse; the “Just Another Booth Club,” which places a similar name plaque on a booth tabletop; the “I Drink from a Kick Ass Glass Club” which includes a personalized goblet; the “Old & Busted Club” which includes limited edition growlers; the “Writing’s on the Wall Club,” where members names are scrawled along a wall at the taphouse; and the “All I Get is a T-Shirt Club” – which includes a logoed t-shirt. Membership in these various clubs range from $50 to $1500.* For more information on each club, or to purchase a membership, visit

Drawing from the nearly 60 years of combined beverage crafting experience of master brewers Ron Jeffries, John Walsh and Mike Hall the libations of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales and North Peak Brewing Company, as well as the Civilized Spirits, Old Mission Spirits, Nomad Ciders and Bonafide Wines resonate with casual drinkers and die-hard aficionados alike. null café and taphouse will be a unique and exciting environment in which they can all be enjoyed!

Keep up on the progress of null Café & Taphouse or to become a founding club member, at

Monday, November 25, 2013

Winter Exploration Awaits at Sleeping Bear Resort

No matter the season or the reason, Sleeping Bear Resort in Lake Ann welcomes visitors to explore the natural wonders that exist around Herendeene Lake. The Resort consists of six cabins a five bedroom log home and a six bedroom remodeled farm home. Sleeping Bear Resort can accommodate as many as 60 guests for a weekend, or longer. The resort is located 15 miles from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and 15 miles from Traverse City.


The Lodge (five bedrooms and two bathrooms, accommodating 12 individuals) and The Bear’s Den (six bedrooms and three bathrooms, accommodating 18 individuals) each offer entertainment rooms with a ping pong table, foosball table, pool table and large flat screen TV for hours of family fun. The six individual one- and two-bedroom cabins each sleep five.

Every unit at Sleeping Bear Resort includes a fully-equipped kitchen, with stove, refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, as well as cooking utensils. Linens and towels are also provided. The entire resort offers wireless internet access, grills and a central fire pit, for warming up after a day of playing.


With its 450 feet of lake frontage on the 40-acre Herendeene Lake, Sleeping Bear Resort is more than a summer vacation destination. In the winter months, the iced-over lake welcomes fisherman to drop a line in search of panfish and largemouth bass.

Countless opportunities exist for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing just miles from the resort. Guided snowshoe hikes with a National Park ranger are offered on Saturdays and during winter holidays, starting at 1pm at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire. Self-guided snowshoeing is also permitted on all snow-covered dunes, fields and forests in the Lakeshore. A popular trek is the Empire Bluffs trail, which offers exceptional views of Lake Michigan, the towering snow-covered dunes and the Manitou Islands in the distance.

The resort is located within 20 miles of six different cross country ski trail networks with miles and miles of trail offerings. The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is groomed for cross country skiing, with access at the Dune Climb, Glen Haven village and on Forest Haven Road in Glen Arbor. The famed Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive also welcomes Nordic skiers. Countless other non groomed trails can be found throughout Benzie and Leelanau counties.

Downhill skiers and snowboarders can head 21 miles south to Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville for access to 45 slopes. Hiking, mountain biking and snowshoeing in the Michigan Legacy Park or cross country skiing along 40km of groomed trails is also available. A full-service spa is also available, allowing for a bit of pampering after a day out in the snow.

To the north, skiers will find The Homestead – America’s Freshwater Resort, located in Glen Arbor. Two surface lifts, three chair lifts, 15 unique runs and a terrain park are set overlooking the Sleeping Bear Dunes and the deep blue waters of Lake Michigan. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and an intimate spa facility are also offered.

Discounted skiing vouchers to both Crystal Mountain and The Homestead are available to Sleeping Bear Resort guests.

Those seeking speed can access more than 135 miles of Benzie County’s groomed snowmobile trails, accessible from Sleeping Bear Resort. Staging areas can be found at the Platte River Association Hall, east of Honor; in the village of Thompsonville; and at the downtown Beulah Trailhead & Visitors Center. A trail map for the area – including Leelanau County – can be found here. Please note, snowmobiling is not permitted on the lands or waters of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Additional activities, such as wine tastings, local restaurants, cultural venues and shopping, can be found on the Sleeping Bear Resort website.

7670 Reynolds Road — Lake Ann, Michigan
(231) 642-7000

The Homestead Celebrates 30 Years of Great Northern Michigan Skiing with Special Events, Concerts & Nordic-Inspired Festivals

Hard to imagine there’s another Michigan winter right around the corner. Yet, The Homestead is already preparing for a season-long celebration marking three decades of ski and snowboarding fun.

“Our thirtieth ski season is a special milestone,” says The Resort’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Jamie Jewell. “There have been many changes to the ski area at The Homestead since it opened in 1983. It’s really amazing when you look back at how modestly it all started.”

1983 — The Homestead’s ski area opened with two three-person chair lifts, one two-person chairlift and a rope (pony) tow and state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment. Lifts were carefully installed below the tree line and closer to the ground than lifts at other ski areas for the purpose of providing a secure, safe feeling for new skiers and children learning to ski.

1985 — The Homestead became the first resort in the Midwest to limit ticket sales to prevent overcrowding.

1989 — The Homestead launched its $5 ski club program, a unique season pass for locals who paid just $5 for a pass and an additional $5 every time they came to ski.

1993 — The Homestead added three downhill race courses and broke ground on development of chalet style homes and rental properties for vacationing families and couples.

1996 — A Par 3, 9-hole golf courses was added, built in part on the downhill ski slopes.

2000 — The Magic Carpet© and was installed, along with a new “Lifetime Skills Learning Center: Ski School” and Gnomes lift-ticket and rental building.

2002 — Glade Run and terrain park were added.

2008 — Expanded multi-seasonal use of the ski area by adding wedding ceremony and reception patios overlooking Glen Lake valley and Sleeping Bear Bay.

2012 — The Homestead’s Snowsports School was remodeled

The Homestead has always been a favorite winter retreat for young couples and families with children, according to Jewell. Striving to improve service for this core group of winter guests has inspired every change to the ski area over the last 30 years.

“Children who learned to ski at The Homestead thirty years ago are now parents themselves,” she says. “There are hundreds of families that grew up skiing here. And in a way, The Resort has grown up with them. Yet some things have never changed. Namely our dedication to providing a top-notch experience, which includes limited lift ticket sales so the slopes are never crowded and the best lift ticket, rental, lesson and ski packages in Northern Michigan.”

The schedule of events celebrating 30 years of skiing at The Homestead’s is already shaping up to include many events, parties and special deals, says Jewell. Already on the docket are:

* A New Year’s Eve dinner and dance party — including a cocktail reception, three-course “surf and turf” dinner, champagne toast at midnight and dancing with special musical act The Corvairs — at Mountain Flowers Lodge.

* The Homestead’s 30th Anniversary sweepstakes offering $10,000 in prizes throughout the winter season.

* Ski demo days where representatives from major ski manufacturers will be at The Homestead allowing guests to try out new, state-of-the-art equipment.

* Special food events at the newly designed open-air at Beppi’s, which features outdoor seating, two outdoor gas fireplaces and outdoor heaters.

* Family magic show & dinner in early January featuring Magic Stu (aka Stuart MacDonald) World Class Magician who is in the Hall of Fame of Magic

* Live entertainment throughout the season at Beppi’s with regularly scheduled musicians including Chris Skellenger, New Third Coast, Accidentals, Blake Elliott, Drive South and E-Minor.

As part of its 30th Anniversary sweepstakes, The Homestead is currently running a photo contest on Facebook. Past guests who share their old ski vacation photos from The Resort get a chance to win some great prizes every month throughout the winter season. For more information on this and more 30th Anniversary events and festivals currently in the works, check out The Homestead’s website, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. Announces New Distribution Agreements

Eastown Distributors, O&W Distributing, Dan Henry Distributing Added as New Partners
In preparation for the opening of Kuhnhenn Brewing Company's 20,000-BBL capacity production facility in nearby Clinton Township, the Warren-based craft brewer is building its distribution network with some of the most qualified wholesalers in the business.

Eastown Distributors of Highland Park, MI has been assigned the rights to the Kuhnhenn brand for its territory in Wayne County. This area includes the City of Detroit, the Grosse Pointes, and the Downriver communities; Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, has been pouring The Fluffer Session IPA from Kuhnhenn for two seasons now, and will get continued support from the Eastown team.

“Eastown is excited to add Kuhnhenn to our portfolio of Award Winning Michigan Beers,” Paul Quasarano of Eastown Distributors says. “We will invest heavily in local marketing and expanded distribution. Look for Kuhnhenn at all major venues in Detroit, including Comerica Park and The Joe Louis Arena.”

Ypsilanti-based O&W Distributing will distribute Kuhnhenn throughout seven counties, including the cities of Ann Arbor, Jackson, Monroe and Plymouth. The greater-Ann Arbor area, in particular, has been a trend-setting market for craft beer in the state of Michigan, while Ypsilanti is home to the Michigan Brewers Guild's Summer Beer Festival.

"We are excited and honored to be distributing Kuhnhenn Brewing Company within our market area,” says Kit Morgeson, VP Marketing, O&W, Inc. “They have built a solid reputation creating dynamic, quality beers, it will be gratifying to help them grow the brewery and bring our customers delicious beers created right here in Southeast Michigan."

In the state capitol, Lansing's Dan Henry Distributing will hold the rights to the Kuhnhenn brand in a four county region also including the cities of East Lansing and Howell. The political center of the state has seen unprecedented growth of craft beer over the last few years in terms of increased market share, largely due to the presence of Dan Henry's team beer consultants and the company's investment in the community.

While completion of the expansion of brewing operations is still several months out, the brewery sees it important to establish a dedicated and competent network or wholesale partners early on, in order to guarantee a presence in the market upon launch.

“We're in the unique position of having strong brand awareness, despite extremely limited distribution and production over the last 12 years,” stated Jon Piepenbrok, Director of Marketing and Sales for Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. “Despite all the calls, emails and personal visits from distributors in other states, our main focus is Michigan. We have chosen wholesale partners that mirror our core values and can adapt to the changing market conditions in the field of craft beer. We will go out of state, but not until Michigan is at least close to satisfied.”

The new markets will not get a huge influx of product, initially. Current production constraints do not allow a proper launch at this point; accounts will be high-spotted until supply meets demand in early 2014.
Kuhnhenn Brewing Co plans to open its Clinton Township-based Production Brewery and Public House in March of 2014. Beer is expected to flow to market by late April statewide and beyond.

About Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Bret and Eric Kuhnhenn began brewing their own beer in college. Kuhnhenn Brewing Company was founded in 1998, selling homebrew supplies out of the family hardware store and eventually becoming licensed as a Microbrewery four years later. The brewery is consistently ranked in the top breweries in the world on beer rating websites Beer Advocate and RateBeer. They are known both for high-gravity experimental beers, and their accurate interpretations of traditional styles.

The brewery has won countless awards at competitions across the world. In 2012 they were awarded a Gold Medal in the IPA category at the World Beer Cup for DRIPA (Double Rice IPA), the largest category entered and one typically dominated by large West Coast breweries. Kuhnhenn Braggot (a mead/beer hybrid) also took home a Bronze Medal in the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company operates facilities in Warren and Clinton Township, MI, as well as a homebrewing supply store, Brewing World, also in Warren. They currently employ over 30 employees, with plans to hire up to 30 more in the next six months, as expansion plans continue to allow production of nearly 20,000-barrels of craft beer and mead.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Food Dance Introduces New Market this Weekend

The Food Dance Market has been re-imagined and is being redesigned – open now to offer our guests sustainable, humanely raised meats such as house made sausages, cured meats, fresh ground beef, beef cuts, pork cuts and more (their very own little butcher shop)... and even more breads and savory baked goods, along with the same great pastries from their talented bakers.

“Our goal is to share with you the amazing ingredients we source from our family of purveyors,” says Food Dance owner, Julie Stanley. “We are VERY excited to offer our guests sustainable, humanely-raised meats such as house made sausages, cured meats, fresh ground beef, beef cuts, pork cuts and more (our very own little butcher shop)... and even more of our breads and savory baked goods, along with the same great pastries from our talented bakers.”

In addition, Food Dance will offer more of prized-ingredients: olive oil, Anson Mill’s polenta, vinegars, condiments, fresh ground spices and pastas, as well as a selection of wines and local beers.

The Food Dance friendly market staff is also available to handle carry-out orders, help customers put together American cheese and meat boards, or help gusts find the perfect gift for all the foodie friends, no matter the occasion.

Food Dance creates opportunities for people to come together and connect through the experience of food. We passionately cook with the freshest locally produced ingredients and believe in giving great, caring service, and providing great experiences for everyone we come in contact with.

401 E. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49007

Friday, October 4, 2013

Food Dance Celebrates American Cheese Month with Oct 8 Cheese Tasting & Oct 17 Dairy Dinner

There’s plenty to “smile and say cheese” about this month at Food Dance in Kalamazoo! October is American Cheese Month – a celebration of the delicious and diverse cheeses and the farmers, cheesemakers, cheesemongers, chefs and retailers who bring them to the table (and the market) for guests to enjoy.

“American artisan cheese has experienced an 'American Revolution' of sorts in the last decade,” says Food Dance owner Julie Stanley. “Our cheese makers are producing small batch cheeses that rival, and even surpass, their European inspiration. We love that so many artisan cheese makers have absorbed the tradition of European cheese makers and are now able to express their farms unique terroir in their small batch cheeses.”

With one of the area’s largest selections of American artisan cheeses, Food Dance delivers up a craft your own cheese board menu in the restaurant, as well as more than 20 varieties of cheese – goat, cow and even sheep (from soft and creamy to sharp and bitey to crumbly and stinky) – in its onsite market (which will be undergoing a major facelift in the coming weeks, an unveiling will take place in early November).

In the market, you’ll find styles from bloomy rinds to semi-soft, tangy blues to fresh cheeses and amazing cheddars – coming from across the country such as the west coast’s Cypress Grove Chevre in Arcata, CA and as close as Evergreen Lane Creamery in Fennville and Mattawan Artisan Creamery in Mattawan – which also supplies Food Dance with organic yogurt for its menu and market.

The Food Dance market also features an assortment of cheese tools – boards, knives, cutting utensils, paper and even books dedicated to cheese – that help in preserving, storing and serving cheese, while maintaining its quality.

While these mouth-watering cheeses are offered year round, although American Cheese Month provides the ideal opportunity for exploring new cheeses and pairings with local beer and wine found on the Food Dance menu. Those looking for a more in-depth, hands-on experience should make reservations for one of the two upcoming events focused on all things cheese!

Tuesday October 8 (6-8pm) — Cheese Tasting Class: Cheddar vs. Blue, it's up to you
This American Artisan Cheese Tasting event focuses on 3 cheddars and 3 blues that are paired with beer or wine. These, like all cheeses at Food Dance, are hand selected from creameries around the country. Cost is $35 per person.

Thursday October 17 (6-8pm) — Farm to Fork - 3 Dairy Dinner
This special Farm to Fork dinner features three American artisan dairies and cheese makers. Join us at Food Dance where Chef Robb creates 4 courses featuring cheese from each dairy: Evergreen Lane Creamery, Fennville, MI., Zingerman's Creamery, Ann Arbor, MI. and Sweet Grass Dairy, Thomasville, Georgia. Taste the amazing flavors of hand crafted cheeses and hear about their animals, love of cheese and the amazing cheese making process from 2 of the cheesemakers. $55 per person (includes tax & gratuity)


Fresh Chevre goat’s milk
Evergreen Lane Creamery - Fennville, MI
soft • creamy • lemony • slightly salty

Thomasville Tomme raw cow’s milk
Sweet Grass Dairy -Thomasville, GA
Smooth & buttery • subtly complex • aged 60-days

Mattone cow’s milk
Evergreen Lane Creamery - Fennville, MI
washed rind • smear ripened, taleggio style • very creamy
• hint of hay • subtly salty • fruity • yeasty

Gorgonzola Dulce cow’s milk
Bel Gioioso Cheese - WI
• aged 3-months • extremely creamy • full, earthy Flavor

Dunbarton Blue cow’s milk
Roelli Cheese Hausl - Shullsburg, WI
aged 4 months • earthy, sharp • firm • English cheddar meets French bleu

Bleu Mont Cheddar raw cow’s milk
Bleu Mont Dairy - Blue Mounds, WI
Caved-aged on spruce boards • firm • sharp • fruity

Hooks Cheddar cow’s milk
Hook’s Cheese Company, Inc. - Mineral Point, WI
aged 7 years • extra sharp • crystals that add a little crunch
To make reservations for any of the Food Dance dinners, classes or events, call 269-382-1888.

Food Dance creates opportunities for people to come together and connect through the experience of food. We passionately cook with the freshest locally produced ingredients and believe in giving great, caring service, and providing great experiences for everyone we come in contact with.

401 E. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49007

Lansing Hosts Fall Fest – Featuring Michigan Craft Beer, Cider & Mead

The first annual Lansing Fall Fest will take place Saturday, November 9, 2013. This fall celebration will feature Michigan craft beer, cider and mead. The goal of Lansing Fall Fest is to raise awareness of the Michigan craft beer, cider and mead industry while raising money for our selected charity Child and Family Charities.

Lansing Fall Fest was established by “I’m a Beer Hound” founder, Paul Starr and “REO Town Pub” owner, Roxanne Landes. Lansing Fall Fest is an indoor beer, cider and mead festival with live acoustic music performed by Joe Wright (Country/Classic Rock) hosted just west of Lansing above the Red Salamander brewing supply shop at 902 E Saginaw Hwy. Grand Ledge, MI 48837. Lansing Fall Fest will have 16 Michigan breweries, cideries and meaderies, showcasing 30+ craft products. The proceeds from this event will benefit Child and Family Charities.

Featuring Michigan producers:

• Arcadia Ales
• Atwater Brewery
• B. Nektar Meadery
• Bad Brewing
• Brewery Vivant
• Crankers Brewery
• Eagle Monk Brewery
• Griffin Claw
• Jolly Pumpkin
• North Peak Beer
• Perrin Brewing
• Saugatuck Brewery
• Schmohz
• Uncle John's Cider
• Vander Mill Cider
• Virtue Cider

Learn more about all of the Lansing Beer Fall Fest at:

About “I’m A Beer Hound”
I'm a Beer Hound is a Michigan Beer News Website, App, Event Promotion Group & Membership Card featuring discounts at over 85 Beer Bars, Breweries, and Restaurants statewide. or

About “REO Town Pub”
The REO Town Pub is located at 1145 S. Washington, Lansing in the heart of REO Town.The pub features a great atmosphere, friendly staff and affordable prices on craft beer, liquor and your favorite domestics. Don’t forget every Wed. night is Steak Night! or

About “Child and Family Charities”
Child and Family Charities Was Established In 1911 As The Ingham County Branch Of Michigan Children’s Aid Society. The Founding Purpose Was “To Secure For Every Child The Same Love And The Same Opportunity That We Would Have Our Children Receive Should They Be Left Orphaned Or Friendless.” Over The Years, The Agency Has Evolved Into A Multi-Service Organization Serving The Mid Michigan Region. or

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

After the Harvest: Preserving The Bounty of the Season - with Salt of the Earth's Chef Matt Pietsch

More and more families are getting back to their roots – by planting garden patches to supply fresh fruits and vegetables for savoring throughout the summer and into the fall and winter. Yet, what happens when there’s just too much to consume or you want to preserve some of those delicious and flavorful foods for the upcoming season?

For Salt of the Earth Executive Chef Matthew Pietsch, his passion for food goes beyond his own professional or kitchens. He hopes to inspire others to find their own place in the garden, orchard and/or field and to develop a personal connection with where their food comes from and how it is best prepared.

In addition to his kitchen duties, Chef Pietsch manages a 40x80 garden adjacent to the restaurant which is chock full of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, herbs and countless other vegetables. Chef Pietsch also works with a handful of area farmers and growers to provide additional produce, like carrots, beans, squash, radishes and more. Many of these fresh-harvested treasures find their way onto the weekly “Fresh Board” menu, but some are also preserved into various forms to be used days, weeks and even months down the line. This year alone, Chef Pietsch says they’ve preserved roughly 1450 pounds of product for the winter season.

So…where to get started? Chef Pietsch offers the following tips:

Celebrate the season: Go to the market! A CSA (community supported agriculture) or farmers’ market trip should help you get all the ingredients you’ll need to preserve. Don’t pick up product at a grocery store, go for local first!

Mise en place! Put in place! Make sure you have EVERYTHING you need to get started with your preserving tasks. If you’re new to this, play with a friend this year, or do some research a week before you plan to start your work. Get educated so the process goes smoothly. Be sure you have enough containers, jars, etc., before you begin work.

Preserving is so easy to do. A very basic cook with a few small special tools (some of which you may already have) can easily preserve a whole winters worth of veggies in less than a day.

Plan a party!!! This is my FAVORITE way to preserve for the cold months ahead. Invite your friends, put together some cocktails, craft beer or the perfect Michigan wine and a small menu and HAVE SOME FUN! It makes quick work of the processing, and you get to share at the end of the party. This is also a perfect way to introduce newcomers to preserving, or invite an expert if you’re just beginning! Plan a tomato smash party, and conclude with a heaping bowl of fresh pasta with your newly made sauce, and a fresh crisp salad. Don’t forget the spicy pickled peppers!

Plan ahead for gifts – Pickled veggies from the garden, or fresh jams and jellies make superb gifts around the holiday season. You’ll be surprised how excited folks will be to receive something homemade and delicious! Likely, by the holiday, they will have forgotten how wonderful summer corn, peaches, tomatoes, and peppers taste. If you’re going for gift giving, take it to another level. Spend a little time with your computer work processor to create special labels for your jars. It takes next to no time, likely with your home printer and special labels from the office store.

Be sure to store your newly preserved ingredients appropriately so that they do not spoil. Be aware of any warning signs that your product has spoiled before you indulge.

Missed the season? Ready to make blueberry jam and you realize that fresh berries are no more? Contact a local producer. They likely have frozen fruit ready for you to make into jam, even if you’re a few weeks late.

Located in downtown Fennville MI, Salt of the Earth is open year-round, currently seven days a week: 5-10pm, Sunday through Thursday and 5-11pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is just 10 miles from Saugatuck, 50 miles from Grand Rapids and 140 miles from Chicago.

Salt of the Earth
114 East Main Street
Fennville MI 49408
269-561-SALT (7258)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Valentine Distilling Expands Distribution Along East Coast - Former Detroit Red Wing Eddie Mio Joins Team as Brand Manager

Michigan-made Valentine Distilling Company has been introduced to the marketplace in New York State – with placements at award winning restaurants like Rye House and City Winery. Distribution will extend to Maryland, Connecticut and Washington DC this fall, all via Opici Family Distributing. According to distiller/owner Rifino Valentine, this will make six (7) total states for distribution – with the others being Michigan, Tennessee and Illinois.

The Opici family celebrated their 75th anniversary in the wine business in 2009. Hubert Opici is recognized as an icon in the industry, and the fourth generation of the Opici family is in place to continue this tradition for generations to come.

Increased distribution means the addition of a Brand Manager position, with Eddie Mio taking over the responsibilities. Mio, who played goalie for the Red Wings for three seasons, from 1983 to 1986, was also assistant GM for the Phoenix Coyotes and a part of hockey great Wayne Gretzky's Gretzky Estates Winery.

“I am extremely pleased to be joining Valentine Distilling Company,” says Eddie. “I was drawn to Valentine because of the care and quality of what they are distilling in Michigan is remarkable. Rifino is handcrafting products that not only compete at the local level, but at the international level as well. To be able to maintain the consistency and quality of all their products is why ‘Made in Michigan’ on the bottle is exciting and I am glad to be promoting Valentine Distilling. We’ve only just begun!”

Valentine Distilling currently has four products in its Michigan-made portfolio:

• Valentine Vodka (Released March 2009). In 2012, Anthony Dias Blue, editor-in-chief of The Tasting Panel magazine recognized this as one of the top vodkas in the world with a 94-point ranking – placing higher than noted international brands like Belvedere, Ketel One, Grey Goose and Absolut. It was also awarded a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012. In 2011, it received a Double Gold Medal in the “Best Domestic Vodka” category by The Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) also awarded Valentine Vodka with a Gold Medal “Exceptional” in both 2010 and 2011.

• White Blossom (Released March 2012). Infused with the flowers of Elderflower, this product won a Gold Medal – rated Exceptional – receiving a 92 point rating from the BTI.

• Liberator Gin (Released March 2013). Winner of the “Best of Category – Gold Medal” and “Best of Class” for the Contemporary Rectified Gin at the American Distilling Institute’s 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits competition as well as a Gold Medal (90 point rating) from the BTI’s International Review of Spirits Competition.

• Liberator Old Tom Gin (Limited Release July 2013) A barrel aged version of Liberator Gin that is aged in new American oak barrels for up to a year. Gold Medal Winner, Craft Spirits Competition in 2013.

• Woodward Whiskey (Released June 2013). Started as a top-secret project five years ago, Woodward Ltd. is a four-year bourbon handdistilled from corn, rye and barley. It most recently received a Silver Medal from the Craft Spirits Competition in 2013.

“Our goal from the beginning, has been to bring manufacturing back not only to this country, but to Detroit,” says Rifino. “We’ve always set our sights on crafting spirits that compete on the international level. To win these competitions, topping some of the biggest and best companies in the world, is not only personally satisfying, but also serves the economic purpose of bringing manufacturing back. Our philosophy has always been ‘don’t drink Valentine spirits just because they are local – drink them because they are better.’”

Valentine Distilling launched into the Michigan market in early 2009 and has since been ranked one of the top-rated craft distilleries in the country. Operating out of a 5000-square-foot facility in Ferndale, Valentine Distilling proudly produces its original spirits in two world-class Christian Carl Stills.

161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Expanded Rochester Mills Beer Co’s Annual Oktoberfest Returns September 26-29

It’s time again to grab your lederhosen and head for the Mills. Following the time-honored Alps tradition that started 200 years ago in Munich, Germany, the Rochester Mills Beer Company invites you to partake in its annual Oktoberfest festivities, September 26-29 – and you needn’t be German or travel halfway around the world to do so. This family-friendly celebration features German-style cuisine and plenty of beer under a huge outdoor tent. Come join thousands of your closest friends, family and neighbors who annually turnout to enjoy the live music, dancing and children’s activities taking place behind the brewery during the four-day extravaganza.

The weekend kicks off Thursday, Sept. 26 with a ceremonial tapping of Rochester Mills Oktoberfest Seasonal Celebration Lager in the big tent at 7pm.

Friday, Saturday and now Sunday join the thousands of visitors who annually attend to enjoy the live Oompah and polka music, Bavarian dancing and children’s activities taking place behind the brewery’s Downtown Rochester location. The four-day extravaganza also includes carnival games, moonwalks, pony rides, petting zoo, clowns, as well as balloon and tattoo artists for the kids. Those young at heart can participate in the ever-popular harvest challenges including sauerkraut-eating, brat-eating or stein hoisting competitions. The festival tent is open from 5-11pm on Thursday, 4-11pm on Friday, Noon-11pm on Saturday and 1-6pm on Sunday. Admission is only $5 for adults and is good for all four days; children 16 and under get in free (with a paid adult). A portion of the proceeds from the event benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan, Gilda's Club Metro Detroit and the YMCA North Oakland County Waves swim club who volutneer during the event.

“We celebrated our fifteenth anniversary this year so we knew we had to make our Oktoberfest one of the biggest in Michigan. We’ve added days, extended hours and partnered with the local Lions clubs to bring a full carnival that will be co-located at our site,” said Rochester Mills Beer Co. marketing director David Youngman. “And with this year’s batch of Oktoberfest Celebration Lager already available on tap at bars and restaurants across the state we are expecting our biggest turnout ever.”

Head Brewer Forrest Knapp has prepared fresh batches of Rochester Mills Water Street Wheat (German-style Hefe-Weizen), Lazy Daze Lite (Michigan-style light beer) and this year’s Oktoberfest Lager (German-style lager).

Enjoy live performances nightly under the tent from the Vagabonds and Enzian. The Carpathia dancers will perform Friday and Saturday Night.

The brewpub will operate under regular hours and offer a full menu and selection of beers on tap during the event. Free entertainment inside the brewery features live performances by Under the Covers on Friday and The Remedy on Saturday, both starting at 10pm.

For more information, call 248-650-5080 or log onto

September 26th, 27th, 28th & 29th 2013

Thursday (September 26)
Ceremonial Tapping (7pm) of the first keg with Mayor(s) 5-11pm

Friday (September 27)
Festival 4-11pm
Live Band Performance 10pm-2am

Saturday (September 28)
Festival Noon-11pm,
Live Band Performance 10pm-2am

Sunday (September 29)
Festival 1-6pm

Rochester Mills Beer Co.
400 Water Street
Rochester, Michigan 48307

$5 adults at the tent; children 16 and under get in free (with a paid adult). Must be 21 years old or older and have a valid ID to obtain a hand stamp to purchase alcohol.

The Rochester Mills Beer Co. opened in 1998 in Downtown Rochester and has been brewing handcrafted lagers and ales ever since. Located in the historic Western Knitting Mill, the brewery is located on Water Street, just two blocks east of Main Street. The menu features a broad selection of eclectic American cuisine, all prepared with the freshest and often local Michigan ingredients. From delectable appetizers, fresh salads, pizzas and pastas to delicious entrees and unique sandwiches, the menu has something for everyone, including the kids. Special amenities include an outdoor patio, pool tables, and live entertainment every Friday, and Saturday nights. The Lazy Daze Lounge is available for private parties. The restaurant has expanded its ability to cater off premises events and parties bringing the Mills to you.

Rochester Mills’ brands, Cornerstone IPA, Rochester Red Ale, Milkshake Stout and Lazy Daze Amber Lager are available on draft to other Michigan bars and restaurants. and packaged product in 16 oz. (Full Pint) cans. Rochester Mills Beer Co. is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild (

Since its inception in 1984, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan -- a chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America -- has brought joy into the lives of thousands of people in our Michigan community through its important wish-granting mission. The Foundation has granted more than 6,000 wishes in its 26-year history. More than 80% of the Foundation’s expenditures are directly related to program services (wish granting). The Foundation has offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids. For more information, call 734.994.8620 or visit

Gilda's Club Metro DetroiT:
Gilda's Club Metro Detroit is a free, non-residential cancer support community for men, women and children affected by cancer. The organization offers emotional and social support through programs such as support groups, educational programs, yoga, music and many other activities. Gilda's Club currently includes 89 young adult cancer survivors and 146 young adult family members in its 6,000-plus membership. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2008, Gilda's Club was named in honor of the late comedian and former Detroiter, Gilda Radner. Visit or call (248) 577-0800 for more information.

A family-friendly swim team based out of the North Oakland Family YMCA in Auburn Hills offering competitive swimming for all age groups. Instruction, technique, yardage, a positive work ethic, team building, and loads of fun is the NOW experience. NOW is a dual affiliated team, swimming both YMCA and USA meets. NOW offers a year round swim program. For more information visit

Thursday, September 12, 2013

3rd Annual Arts & Eats Tour Offers Pure Michigan Autumn Experiences - October 19-20

Check out the magnificent fall colors during the 3rd Annual Arts & Eats – a Southwest Michigan back roads art, food and farm tour, October 19-20. This free, self-guided driving tour collectively features more than 55 artist studios, eateries serving locally-grown food and farms that feature the best in Michigan specialty farm products. These venues, some of which are not normally open to the public, welcome visitors from 10am to 5pm each day.

As a kick-off to the tour weekend, New Holland Brewing Company co-owner and Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann will share insights about the culture of beer, food and entertaining from his new book, Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy. The free program will take place on Thursday, October 18 from 7-8pm at the Old Mill Place, 717 E. Bridge Street in Plainwell (above the Old Mill Brewpub on the east end of town).

“Arts and Eats is becoming the go-to getaway mid-October weekend event for travelers and locals alike,” says event co-founder Ginger Hentz and District 13 Coordinator - Michigan State University (MSU) Extension. “People travel with their friends, families take their kids to the farms to pet the animals and everyone has a good time learning about the area’s rich agricultural and arts communities, which are economic drivers to our local economy. Plus it is hard to beat a drive down a quiet, rural road when the trees are decked out in their full autumn regalia.”

Participants on the tour are encouraged to request an “Arts and Eats Passport” from any of the sites they visit. By collecting just six stamps, tour-goers can be entered to win one of dozens of great prizes donated by the artists, farmers and eateries. The more passports filled, the more chances to win.

ARTS: Visit galleries, studios and central venues to watch local painters, potters, photographers, sculptors and other artisans in action. Some farms – those that raise fiber-producing animals like alpacas and sheep – provide additional touring opportunities. Works are available for sale as well.

EATS: Explore farms where produce is grown, livestock is raised and artisanal foods are made. Then, stop by area farm/field-to-table restaurants to savor the bounty of the season. Participating restaurants feature special menu items using local products, with chefs using their creative culinary talents to pull together some fabulous menu items for the event.

In addition to the individual tour stops, four “Central Venues” are set up to house additional artist and serve as information stations for visitors. These locations include Gilmore Car Museum, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Hasting Fourth Annual Downtown Sculpture Exhibit and Bay Pointe Inn (Arts and Eats Headquarters).

The Interactive Public Art is a returning special event during the tour weekend. Aspiring artists and tour travelers can leave their mark on this year’s event by helping fill up two large canvases through a joint artistic expression. Stop by to paint in Plainwell at the Fannie Pell Park on Saturday, October 19 or the Gilmore car Museum on Sunday, October 20 (10am to 3pm each day). Both completed works of art will be given to the tour, so everyone may enjoy them for years to come.

New this year is “A Taste of Arts and Eats Wine & Cheese Bus Tour” presented by the Thornapple Arts Council. Here, visitors can board a bus and tour select stops along the tour route, while enjoying wine from Glass Creek Winery and cheese from local producers. The bus leaves downtown Hastings on Saturday at noon, returning at 6pm. The cost is $25 per person; space is limited and reservations are required. For more information on this tour option, or to reserve a seat, call 269-945-2002.

Planning partners: Allegan County Tourist Council, Barry County Tourism Council, Gilmore Car Museum, Hastings Public Library, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Promote Michigan, Thornapple Arts Council and Wayland Downtown.

2013 Sponsors: Barry Community Foundation, Downtown Hastings, Gun Lake Casino, Hastings Mutual Insurance Company, J-Ad Graphics, Michigan Rural Council, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, Potawatomi Resource Conservation & Development Council, West Michigan Tourist Association and Wind Walker Ranch.

2013 Kent Harvest Trails Map Available Now

Twenty farms in the Greater Grand Rapids area are participating in this year’s Kent Harvest Trails, providing families the opportunity to enjoy loads of country fun. Activities and tours begin mid September and run through the end of October (although farms may actually open sooner and extend their season into early November, weather permitting).

Families can take tractor- or horse-drawn wagon rides through the orchards or to the pumpkin patch, visit with animals in the petting zoo, wander the corn maze and make a scarecrow to take home. Enjoy a fresh baked donut and watch as apples are pressed into sweet cider. Visit the farm markets for local produce or head out to pick your own fruit. Then, shop for baked goods, fall plants, home decorations and seasonal gifts. Admission for many farms is free, although there may be charges for certain activities.

Participating farms this year include At the Barn, Blok Orchards, Bos Greenhouse and Farm, Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm, Frozen Creek Floral & Farm, Fruit Ridge Hayrides, H & W Farms, Harder & Warner Nursery, Heffron Farms, Heidi’s Farm Stand, Honey Creek Farm, Klackle Orchards, Koetsier’s Greenhouse, Orchard Hill Farm, Paulson’s Pumpkin Patch, Post Family Farm, Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery, Schwallier’s Country Basket, Sietsema Orchards & Cider Mill and Steffens Orchards & Market.

An updated map of participating farms, including directions and dates/hours of operation, are online at Printed brochures are now available for free at more than 30 area Family Fare Supermarkets and D&W Fresh Markets.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pure Michigan Nature & History Lovers Will Fall for Camp Tosebo’s Autumn Allure

Nestled amidst more than 50 colorful acres of protected forests along the southern shore of Portage Lake, between Manistee and Onekama, sets a picturesque camp that has been welcoming visitors for generations. Founded in 1912 as a private camp for boys, Camp Tosebo is one of the most historic and treasured vacation retreats in Northern Michigan. Located just off the famed M22 scenic highway, this four-season destination provides the ideal setting to soak up the explosion of fall colors.

Within just a short drive of Camp Tosebo, visitors will find dozens of natural and historic sites waiting to be explored, camera in hand. A nearly 100-mile route, originally created by the West Michigan Tourist Association (, takes travelers along the winding backroads of M22, M115 and M55 through the nearby towns of Onekama, Pierport, Arcadia, Thompsonville, Kaleva, Brethren and Manistee.

Among the sites one can expect to find nearby are the Lake Bluff Audubon Center & Bird Sanctuary, the North Country Scenic Trail, Arcadia Overlook, Gwen Frostic Studios, the Bottle House Museum and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – recently named “The Most Beautiful Place in America” by viewers of Good Morning America.

Listed with both the Michigan and National Register of Historic Places, Camp Tosebo boasts three lodging buildings which can collectively accommodate 38 guests.

Originally built as a dance pavilion, the 1893 Victorian-era Clubhouse with its covered porch easily accommodates 17 guests, with nine bedrooms and 7½ bathrooms (five with antique claw-foot tubs). There’s plenty of space to spread out through the fully-equipped chef’s kitchen, dining hall, game room, library and large living room with a stone fireplace.

The rustic Trunk House – which once was a storage facility for the campers’ luggage – is a large, one-room studio with vaulted ceilings, living and dining areas, kitchenette, queen bed and twin bed, and a bathroom with a claw foot tub and shower.

Built in 1910, the Welcome House is a two-story cottage that comfortably sleeps 10-12 people with a main floor master bedroom and bath, two bedrooms with a bath upstairs and a couch that converts to a bed in the living room. Ideal as a vacation rental for a family, this charming cottage is equipped with a fully-stocked kitchen, living room with a brick fireplace, dining room and more.

Situated in the heart of the Manistee National Forest, Camp Tosebo is the ideal setting for a quiet autumn escape, where time is spent walking the trails, paddling the lake, catching up on a good book and relaxing in front of the fireplace. Whether planning a romantic weekend, a family reunion or group gathering, the outdoor splendor and indoor relaxation of Camp Tosebo cannot be compared. Find out for yourself!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kuhnhenn Brewing Announces Expansion Plans

New Production Facility to Increase Capacity by Nearly 1500%

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is expanding into a full-scale production and packaging facility, located at 36000 Groesbeck Hwy in Clinton Township, MI. The property formerly held a Home and Garden Center retailer, but has been vacant for several years.

The 35,000 square foot building will be divided into production, cellaring, packaging and cold storage, in addition to a tasting room and administrative offices. The brewery will feature a four-vessel, 38-barrel Huppmann brewhouse and enough fermentation tanks to allow for a projected capacity of nearly 20,000 bbls (1 bbl = 31 US Gallons).

Kuhnhenn has acquired a high-speed Krones bottling line for packaging beer for the sale to retail stores, while canning is also being considered. Production and distribution of Kuhnhenn Mead will also increase, thanks to the purchase of a 24-head Gea bottling line, specifically designed for packaging wine.

Distribution of keg and case product will initially focus on Southeast Michigan, with further penetration into the rest of the state within the first year. The focus will be on four year-round brands, three seasonals, and several limited release offerings.

“This is something we've been wanting to do for a number of years,” stated Eric Kuhnhenn, Partner and Brewmaster of Kuhnhenn Brewing Company. “It's exciting to think that we'll finally begin to make at least a short-term dent in the demand that has grown for our beer.”

“Furthermore, we are extremely excited to keep the production of our beers in Macomb County, which we all call home,” stated Bret Kuhnhenn. “We hope this will draw more attention to the growing beer scene in Metro-Detroit, and contribute to the economic rebirth in Macomb County.”

With the opening of the new facility, Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is expected to hire an additional 20-30 staff members, in both production and the tasting room. The facility is projected to be operational in the first quarter of 2014. The current Warren location will remain open, with a full line of beers, and focus on the production of small-batch experimental brews, as well as an increased barrel-aging program. A Small Distillers License is also being added at the Warren location, with more information to come.

While the beer market as a whole remains relatively stagnant in Michigan and throughout the US, sales of craft beer continue to grow at exponential rates. With this growth, wholesalers and retailers are taking notice.

“We find ourselves in a unique position,” stated Jon Piepenbrok, Director of Marketing and Sales for Kuhnhenn Brewing Company. “We have built the brand and created demand for the beer; now we get to expand at a time and degree we feel comfortable. We've watched the industry expand with us and around us, all the while developing a plan for growth. Now we can make that jump.”

About Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Bret and Eric Kuhnhenn began brewing their own beer in college. Kuhnhenn Brewing Company was founded in 1998, selling homebrew supplies out of the family hardware store. A Microbrewery License was granted in 2001, and the brothers began selling their beer by the pint and growler out of the Warren brewery. Their flagship, Loonie Kuhnie Pale Ale, continues to be the brewery's best seller.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is consistently ranked in the top breweries in the world on beer rating websites Beer Advocate and RateBeer. They are known both for their high-gravity experimental beers, as well as their accurate interpretations of traditional styles.

The brewery has won countless awards at competitions across the world. In 2012 they were awarded a Gold Medal in the IPA category at the World Beer Cup for DRIPA (Double Rice IPA), the largest category entered and one typically dominated by large West Coast breweries. Kuhnhenn Braggot (a mead/beer hybrid) also took home a Bronze Medal in the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

St. Julian Head Winemaker Nancie Corum-Oxley Honored with Purdue University's "Outstanding Food Science Award"

Nancie Corum-Oxley, the award-winning* head winemaker at St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, will be recognized by her Alma Mater on October 10 when Purdue University presents her with an “Outstanding Food Science Award.” The award recognizes individuals who have brought significant honor to Purdue University and the Department of Food Science, and have contributed to the field of food science.

To be considered and ultimately chosen for this award, “recipients must have earned a Purdue degree or have had an extraordinary impact on the department of Food Science and have demonstrated excellence in the industry, academia, government or other endeavors related to food science as exemplified by leadership and accomplishment,” according to Dr. Suzanne Nielsen, Head of the Department of Food Science. “Your significant achievements exemplify all of the stated criteria.”

As the first professional commercial female winemaker in Michigan, Oxley has been with St. Julian for 12 years. Starting as a lab manager and enologist, she quickly moved up the ranks to Assistant Winemaker in 2003 and Associate Winemaker in 2008. She was promoted to head winemaker in 2010.

Oxley earned a Master of Science degree in Food and Agribusiness Management from Purdue University-Indiana University in West Lafayette, IN, in 2010 with the MBA portion of her degree completed at the Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Purdue’s long-standing strengths in agribusiness and food science, coupled with Indiana University’s expertise in management education, delivers the best of both worlds – an industry-specific focus on current issues and food and agriculture, paired with a general MBA. Both schools have international reputations and are highly regarded for their quality programs.

In 2002, she received Bachelor of Science in Food Manufacturing Operations and double minors in Agribusiness Management and Organizational Leadership & Supervision. While at Purdue, Nancie was a member of several organizations, including Kappa Alpha Theta, Institute of Food Technologists and the American Wine Society.

During the course of her undergraduate studies, Oxley assisted enologist Dr. Richard Vine in making wine as a part of Purdue’s grape and wine research program, as well as assisting in the coordination of the esteemed Indy International Wine Competition. She completed an internship at Geyser Peak Winery in California, under the tutelage of winemaker Daryl Groom, before heading back to the Midwest in 2002 to join the team at St. Julian.

The family-owned St. Julian winery, Michigan’s oldest and longest-operating winery, was founded in 1921.

*Recent Awards for St. Julian Winery

Vineyard & Winery Management 2013 International Women’s Wine Competition (Sonoma County, CA)

Best of Class - St. Julian Sweet Nancie Sparking Traminette
Double Gold - St. Julian Sweet Nancie Sparking Traminette
Gold - 2012 Braganini Traminette Lake Michigan Shore Reserve
Gold - St. Julian White Heron Semi Sweet White
Gold - St. Julian Pinot Grigio Lake Michigan Shore Reserve
Silver - Braganini Riesling Michigan Reserve
Silver - Braganini Syrah Michigan Reserve
Silver - St. Julian Red Heron Semi Sweet Red Wine Lake Michigan Shore
Silver - St. Julian Blue Heron Lake Michigan Shore
Bronze - St. Julian Riesling Lake Michigan Shore Reserve

Michigan Wine & Spirits 2013 Competition (East Lansing, MI)

Gold - Braganini Reserve 2012 Albariño
Gold - St. Julian Solera Cream Sherry
Silver - St. Julian 2012 Reserve Late Harvest Riesling
Silver - All That Razz
Silver - St. Julian Blue Heron
Silver - St. Julian Cock of the Walk
Silver - St. Julian Sweet Nancie Sparking Traminette
Silver - St. Julian Red Heron
Bronze - Braganini Reserve 2012 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir
Bronze - Braganini Reserve 2011 Syrah
Bronze - Braganini Reserve Whole Cluster Riesling
Bronze - St. Julian 2012 Reserve Riesling White Heron
Bronze - St. Julian Founder’s White

NOTE: The Sweet Nancie Sparkling Traminette – with its flavors of peach, pineapple, and lemon zest – is named for winemaker Nancie Corum-Oxley, who also designed the label for this award-winning wine.

Saugatuck Brewing Company to release Oval Beach Blonde Ale in 16 Oz. Cans

SBC has partnered with Michigan Mobile Canning and will begin offering their flagship Oval Beach Blonde Ale in 16 oz. cans (4-packs) beginning Aug. 23. (Blonde will continue to be available in 12 oz. bottles also.) To celebrate the occasion, SBC will host a Launch Party at the brewery on Friday, Aug. 23 beginning at 5:30. The evening will feature live music, free promotional items, a live radio feed on 101.3 “The Brew”, special pricing on the new cans and the announcement of the raffle winner of a custom Oval Beach Blonde paddleboard.

Saugatuck Brewing Co. is a microbrewery with a traditional family style pub featuring a full menu, outdoor seating and live entertainment year round. Fifteen unique beer styles, all brewed in house, plus wine and hard cider are served daily in the Pub. “SBC” also distributes twelve styles in 6 and 4-packs. These plus many others are also available on tap throughout Michigan and metro Chicago. The brewery also features the only active brew-on-premise facility in Michigan, utilizing five copper kettles and an array of natural ingredients and recipes, for the public to become “Brewmaster for a Day.”

Saugatuck Brewing Company
2948 Blue Star Hwy.
Douglas, MI 49406

Monday, August 12, 2013

Five Top Chefs Team Up for Harvest Dinner - Benefitting Fair Food Matters, Kalamazoo

Five of the region’s top chefs will team up on Sunday, August 25 (6-8pm) for a Harvest Dinner at Carlson’s Farm in Lawton – a culinary experience benefitting Kalamazoo’s Fair Food Matters. The unique farm-side dinner is being coordinated by Food Dance, West Michigan’s premier locally-focused eatery.

Exectutive Chef Robb Hammond – who has been with Food Dance for five years – has invited four of his colleagues to join him in this one-of-a-kind, on-the-farm five-course dinner, celebrating the best of the season’s offerings. These chefs include the James Beard nominated Chef Matthew Millar from Fennville; Chef Matthew Pietsch of Salt of the Earth in Fennville, Chef Matt Green of Reserve Wine & Food in Grand Rapids; and Chef Chad Miller of Soe Café in Sawyer.

Food Dance has been a long time supporter and promoter of Fair Food Matters and its various initiatives. Dinners such as this support programs that protect the stewardship of our land and strengthen our local economy by educating the next generation about food and where it comes from.

Fair Food Matters exists to improve access to healthy, local food by educating, connecting and empowering the Kalamazoo community. It’s programs include the Can-Do Kitchen (a licensed incubator kitchen facility), Common Ground (a collaborative program supporting community gardens throughout Kalamazoo County), Growing Matters Garden (a children’s educational gardening project), Douglass Farmers’ Market (featuring local producers on the north side of town) and Southwest Michigan Community Harvest Fest (celebrating local food, local farming and sustainable living with speakers, music and more).

The cost for the Harvest Dinner, including entertainment by local musicians Paul Hoffman and Joshua Davis, is $75 per person (plus tax/gratuity). Space is limited to 100 and reservations are required by calling 269-382-1888.

Other upcoming dinners in the 2013 Farm to Fork series include:

Thurs., Sept. 5 • 6-8pm
Celebrate tomato season with a five-course tomato dinner featuring Kirklin Farms. Seem a bit over the top? Not when you consider the flavors and versatility of thousands of varieties of tomatoes. You’ll never think of them as just plain ol’ sliced fruit again. $55 per person

Wed., Sept. 18 • 6-8pm
Useful Kitchen Skills, not just recipes! Come learn how to preserve the flavors of the harvest for months to come. In this class you will learn techniques of preserving food with modern flavors. $65 per person

Thurs., Oct. 17 • 6-8pm
October is National Cheese Month. Celebrate with us at this special dinner featuring three local artisan cheese makers. Chef Robb will create four courses with Evergreen Lane Creamery, Zingerman’s Creamery and another creamery, TBA. $55 per person

To make reservations for any of the Food Dance dinners, classes or events, call 269-382-1888.

Food Dance creates opportunities for people to come together and connect through the experience of food. We passionately cook with the freshest locally produced ingredients and believe in giving great, caring service, and providing great experiences for everyone we come in contact with.

401 E. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49007

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pink Heals National Tour Comes To Allegan - Sunday, August 18

As we prepare Allegan JayCee Park to welcome our esteemed visitors, we ask our community to join us in celebration.

Calling all motorcyclist to help Escort the Pink Heals Tour to Allegan – on Sunday, August 18. We will meet at JayCee Park at 11:15 and leave at 11:30 sharp to ride to the New Buffalo Welcome Center at the State Line. We will meet up with the Pink Heals National Tour here at 1:00 and lead them along 94 to 40 with a stop at Family Fare in Paw Paw to refuel. Gathering there at about 2:30 for those who want to join in at Paw Paw and check in with the Pink Fire Truck! We will then lead the Pink Heals Tour the rest of the way into Allegan alone M40 North. Bikers are welcome to join in anywhere along the route. Community members along the route are invited to get your pink on to show support. Welcome Party for the Pink Heals Nation Tour is at Allegan JayCee Park 5-8 pm. Sloppy Joe with sides and dessert donation drive will be available. The Red Cross will be on hand and Gas stations also close by.

Pink, being embraced as the color of Women is the perfect choice for this fast growing movement. It is our belief that women give and love us with selfless commitment. We need to take care of her and she will take care of us. Likened to the Statue of Liberty, a woman who has given us the symbol of everything worth fighting for. Anyone who is battling Cancer, survivors and those who have lost a loved one to Cancer are invited to sign the truck. Pink Heals believes that funds raised locally should stay locally. The Chapters deliver 100 percent of the money generated by fundraising to the people who need it most - Women and their families who are battling any illness, starting with cancer.

To sign up for the motorcycle escort go to

For more information on Pink Heals go to

Pink Heals Allegan Chapter Contact:
Leonard Ruthruff 269-355-9083 |

Pink Heals Tour Motorcycle Escort Contact:
Rick Smith 269-929-1665, Ride Captain (please leave message)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

“Summertime on Old Mission” means Fresh Water, Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Jolly Pumpkin

There’s something about getting out on the waters of Northern Michigan – a ritual, a tradition, a culture, a passion, a lifestyle! “Summertime on Old Mission” – the third in a 3-video collaborative series* from Northern United Brewing Company (NUBC) – focuses on the popular activity of stand up paddleboarding (SUP), on the clear waters of Grand Traverse Bay.

Filmmaker Evan Joling has teamed up once again with Michigan artist/singer/songwriter Jetty Rae for this soothing 1:44-minute video highlighting a group of paddleboarders enjoying a leisurely afternoon on the water. You can view the video online here.

“Ron and Laurie Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales have been avid paddleboarders before the sport even made it to the mainland,” says Jon Carlson, who along with Ron Jeffries, Greg Lobdell and Mike Hall is a managing partner of NUBC. “From their trips to Hawaii for beer festivals and amazing collaborative beer initiatives, they fell in love with this graceful sport. Paddleboarding is now extremely popular on the Great Lakes and nothing is more relaxing than heading out on the waters at Bowers Harbor, either before or after visiting Jolly Pumpkin.”

When he’s not actively brewing his award-winning Belgian-style beers, Ron Jeffries has been known to craft custom paddleboards – which he and Laurie use on those rare occasions when they’re able to escape the brewery for some well-deserved quiet time.

Several local outfitters in the Traverse City area offer SUP rentals, for those who don’t have their own equipment. Many often deliver for free. Other companies offer group excursions as well. For a list of such companies, visit

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales is part of Northern United Brewing Co., which also encompasses the North Peak and Grizzly Peak craft beer brands, as well as the Civilized line of spirits and the Mission Table restaurant on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants, and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, all in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor.

2319 Bishop Circle East
Dexter, MI 48130
(734) 426-4962

311 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 913-2730

13512 Peninsula Drive (Old Mission Peninsula)
Traverse City, MI 49696
(231) 223-4333


1. “Summer in Northern Michigan” from filmmaker Evan Joling and featuring singer/songwriter Jetty Rae, M22 and the Broneah Brothers, and North Peak Beer, available for online viewing here.

2. “Farm-to-Table” from filmmaker Evan Joling and featuring music by Michigan singer/songwriter Danny Kline, available for online viewing here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

6th Annual Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival Planned for September 7 at Uncle John’s Cider Mill

Craft cider is more popular now than ever before and to celebrate this growing Midwest passion, the 6th Annual Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival returns to Uncle John’s Cider Mill at 8614 N US 127, St. Johns – just north of Lansing.

More than one hundred different ciders and perries from dozens of producers from throughout the region will be available for sampling on Saturday, September 7 at this annual gathering, presented by the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association.

General festival admission runs from 2-7pm. At $15 per person, regular admission includes a commemorative glass and 10 sample pours. Group tickets are also available for general admission ($25 for 2 tickets | $40 for 4 tickets | $75 for 10 tickets). Tickets for the may be purchased online here. All profit proceeds from the festival benefit the Great Lake Cider & Perry Association (est. 2008).

Entertainment this year includes the Jagwire Country Band (1-5pm) on the Cider Mill Porch followed by 16-year-old Taylor Taylor from 5-7pm at the Tasting event.

Jagwire Country was formed by Dan Hullihen and features several talented, local musicians and singers including Randy Wooley on drums; Jaxie Hartman on bass guitar and vocals; Del Shorts on lead guitar and vocals; Martin “Luther” Hutchinson on rhythm guitar, lead guitar and vocals; and Hullihen on steel guitar and vocals. The band has developed a small following in the mid Michigan area, playing music for dancing – everything from waltz to line dancing, with some up tempo two-step numbers as well as some old rock and roll.

Taylor Taylor is a 16-year-old native of Lansing, MI with African American and Colombian roots. She has been cultivating her jazzy-pop style with classical guitar skills, warm and charismatic vocals and songwriting lyrics, which reveal her intelligence beyond her years. This singer-songwriter enjoys performing at venues around the state and has won several singing and talent competitions. Highlights of her career so far have been performing in Nashville, TN for various songwriting showcases, including the Bluebird Cafe, opening for Radio Disney's, Shane Harper and releasing her first EP in 2012. While Taylor stays busy with school, sports, music lessons and volunteering, her passion is to perform. Taylor is a genuine, humorous and all around great young lady. She believes a philanthropic mind and love for music can change the hearts for those who listen.

Individuals interested in volunteering at the event should contact Mike Beck at 989-640-2763 /

The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association (GLCPA) is a nonprofit organization formed to showcase and promote fermented apple and pear beverages and to help educate consumers and producers about them. Our members include both commercial and non-commercial producers, as well as affiliate members located outside the region. Come join us at one of our events and discover some of the finest North American ciders and perries!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kent Harvest Trails Offers Fresh Local Foods & Family Farm Fun Throughout Greater GR Area

Twenty farms in the Greater Grand Rapids area are participating in this year’s Kent Harvest Trails, providing families the opportunity to enjoy loads of country fun. Activities and tours begin mid September and run through the end of October (although farms may actually open sooner and extend their season into early November, weather permitting).

Families can take tractor- or horse-drawn wagon rides through the orchards or to the pumpkin patch, visit with animals in the petting zoo, wander the corn maze and make a scarecrow to take home. Enjoy a fresh baked donut and watch as apples are pressed into sweet cider. Visit the farm markets for local produce or head out to pick your own fruit. Then, shop for baked goods, fall plants, home decorations and seasonal gifts. Admission for many farms is free, although there may be charges for certain activities.

Participating farms this year include At the Barn, Blok Orchards, Bos Greenhouse and Farm, Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm, Frozen Creek Floral & Farm, Fruit Ridge Hayrides, H & W Farms, Harder & Warner Nursery, Heffron Farms, Heidi’s Farm Stand, Honey Creek Farm, Klackle Orchards, Koetsier’s Greenhouse, Orchard Hill Farm, Paulson’s Pumpkin Patch, Post Family Farm, Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery, Schwallier’s Country Basket, Sietsema Orchards & Cider Mill and Steffens Orchards & Market.

An updated map of participating farms, including directions and dates/hours of operation, will be posted online in mid August at Printed brochures will also be available for free at area Family Fare Supermarket or D&W Fresh Market locations starting the second week of September.

Grand Rapids' Harmony Brewing Company Launches Hyper-Local Lunch Menu August 1

Harmony Brewing Company is set to expand their already very successful wood fired pizza focused menu with new lunch options. The new lunch menu will feature sandwiches toasted in the wood fired oven and generously portioned creative salad options. Lunch will be available starting on August 1. Harmony will be opening an hour earlier, at 11am to accommodate the new lunch crowd. These will be the new hours going forward.

Harmony’s new lunch menu relies heavily on locally sourced products. Every menu item contains multiple local ingredients. Sandwiches begin with a baguette from Nantucket baking company which is toasted in a wood fired oven. It is then loaded with ingredients ranging from pulled pork from S&S farms on the Wilcox Pork Sandwich, white cannellini beans from Winter Calico Field Farm on the (vegan) Sid Delicious Sandwich or basil from Vertical Paradise farms on the Southeast Side Sausage Sandwich. Michigan’s summer produce is also the star in all of the new lunch salads.

Harmony has also created a new lower ABV beer for enjoying with lunch. The Grand Daddy Rapids is cream ale with 4% alcohol. This straw colored beer has a malty nose, a light crisp body and a touch of sweetness. It’s a light beer that will satisfy the tastes of microbrew connoisseurs.

Harmony Brewing Company opened in 2012 in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood. Harmony is owned by siblings Heather Van Dyke-Titus, Barry Van Dyke and Jackson Van Dyke (Barry and Jackson are co-brewers). Harmony offers rustic wood fired pizzas, salads, house made soups and some snacks (with an expanded menu coming soon) and was named among the “Top Five West Michigan Brewpub Menus” by Revue magazine.

1551 Lake Drive, Grand Rapids
LIKE Harmony Brewing on Facebook

Friday, July 19, 2013

Brewery Terra Firma Now Open with 7 Beers on Tap...Coming Soon: 40 Taps of Terra Firma Beer

Brewery Terra Firma opened its doors at 2959 Hartman Rd. on the historic 10-acre Dracka Farm just south of the Grand Traverse Mall over the 4th of July Holiday. The brewery is now pouring seven beers crafted onsite and will eventually house 40 taps of Brewery Terra Firma beers. Taproom hours are 10am-10pm Monday through Saturday and 2pm to 9pm on Sunday.

The brewery is primarily a production facility which will be distributing it’s beer in the seven county area surrounding Traverse City serviced by H. Cox & Son. Distribution began early this week with Manitou Amber Ale and Gladstone American Pale Ale already arriving in local establishments. The taproom adjacent to the brew house seats 64 people along with an outdoor beer garden. Food is not prepared onsite; patrons are welcomed and encouraged to bring their own food. Local snacks and soda will also be available to compliment the wide variety of beer.

The current beer menu offers a variety of well balanced styles including a blonde ale, amber ale, american pale ale, india pale ale, black IPA, extra special bitter and a porter. The Bee Hive Honey Blonde is brewed with buckwheat honey sourced from the sustainable apiary on the brewery’s farm. The Manitou Amber Ale is the original Northern Michigan classic which was one of Michigan’s most popular and most widely distributed brews in the late 90s under Traverse Brewing Company. The Black Orchid Vanilla Bean Porter is a rich porter laid down over Madagascar vanilla beans. Future releases include the Donkey Smasher Imperial Brown Ale and brew master John Niedermaier’s famous Ancho Chili Dutch Double Chocolate Porter.

Brewery Terra Firma (Terra Firma-Latin for Solid Earth) sits on ten acres of farmland that will generate ingredients used by the brewery to make its beers. Hops, herbs, fruits, vegetables and even honey will be produced, using sustainable production methods, environmentally conscious waste management and innovative water and heat reclamation systems. Brewery Terra Firma will be a contributor to the local economy of Traverse City and is already becoming a model for the next level of ultra-efficient microbreweries. The goal of Brewery Terra Firma is to brew the best beer possible, and to respect the land, the community, their patrons and their employees while doing so. Terra Firma is the vision of Brew Master, John Niedermaier.

For more information on the brewery, visit Brewery Terra Firma on Facebook or at

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

“Life is a Dream” for Mission Table’s Chef Paul Olson in Northern Michigan Farm-to-Table Video

In the global culinary scene, there’s a growing interest in returning to the basic philosophy of sourcing local – a foundation on which the earliest pubs and restaurants were built. In Michigan, one of the pioneers of this slow food movement is Chef Paul Olson of Mission Table restaurant.

An appreciative supporter of regional growers and producers, Olson’s passion for what’s available seasonally in his own Old Mission Peninsula backyard is the focus of a new video called “Farm-to-Table” from filmmaker Evan Joling. It is the second in a 3-video collaborative series from Northern United Brewing Company.*

Featuring music by Michigan singer/songwriter Danny Kline, the 1:56-minute video shows Olson stopping off at the Santucci Farm for the day’s harvest – items that are taken back to the kitchen and are crafted into a variety of entrees, sides, desserts and artisanal cocktails on the Mission Table menu.

“We craft our ever-changing, seasonal menu around what’s available on the Peninsula first,” says Olson, who – along with wife Barbara Olson (Events Director) and peninsula natives and historic preservationists Jon Carlson and Greg Lobdell – is a managing partner in the business.

“We grow our own herbs on-site and purchase as much meat, poultry and produce from local farmers and growers as we can,” Olson says. “The hour it takes from harvest to delivery ensures that our strawberries, blueberries, arugula, tomatoes and other vegetables are as fresh as possible. Once we’re back to the kitchen, we take what’s before us and collaborate on the evening’s ever-changing menu.”

Much of Mission Table’s produce is also sourced from nearby Kroupa Farms – a decision not made solely based on proximity.

“We have a great appreciation for John Kroupa and all he does to work with us,” says Lobdell. “He really built the gardens as a special favor to us and the fact that he personally delivers to us is really quite amazing.”

With a common focus on conservation and sustainable practices, it’s no wonder good things are brewing between these businesses.

“They also use more labor-intensive practices than many farms,” says Olson. “This reliance on human touch continues with the farm’s dedication to pulling or hoeing weeds by hand in the gardens and vineyards. It’s just one more way they minimize chemical use and the farm’s overall impact on the environment.”

It’s this type of mutual mindset that also lead to the creation of Bonafide Wine brands – which was introduced to the marketplace in 2010. Most of the grapes for the limited-release brand are grown in either the nearby estate vineyards of Peninsula Cellars or the 3-acre Bonafide Vineyard and are crafted by Kroupa – a passionate and talented winemaker.

A Michigan native, Olson is a graduate of both Michigan State University and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He honed his skills in New York City and Connecticut, before returning to Northern Michigan.

Once known as the Bowers Harbor Inn, the award-winning eatery was purchased by Carlson and Lobdell in 2006 and was rebranded as Mission Table in 2010. Welcoming visitors for generations, the 1880s-era building was once the summer retreat for Chicago lumber baron J.W. Stickney and his wife, Genevive.

Sprawling out over a lush 11-acre parcel – which also encompasses the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery & Pub – Mission Table boasts 700 feet of waterfront, nestled beneath majestic oaks and pines. Unparalleled views of the West Grand Traverse Bay and Power Island make this one of the region’s most popular al fresco dining establishments. The restaurant also boasts a 2300-square-foot Tasting Room, where samples of more than two dozen products – including North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin beers, Civilized Spirits and Bonafide Wines – are served.

Mission Table is open throughout the summer, Sunday through Thursday from 5-9pm and from 5-10pm on Friday and Saturday.

Mission Table is part of Northern United Brewing Co., which also encompasses the North Peak, Grizzly Peak and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales craft beer brands, as well as the Civilized line of spirits. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants, and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, all in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor.

13512 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City

*To view Evan Joling’s “Summer in Northern Michigan” video, featuring singer/songwriter Jetty Rae, M22 and the Broneah Brothers, and North Peak Beer, click here.