Michigan’s Amazing People

Yesterday, we featured Kid Rock not only for his love of Detroit and Michigan, but for his giving spirit.  Do you know someone that is giving back?  If so, send us an e-mail at michiganisamazing@michaelflora.com and tell us about them.  It can be an individual, young or old, businesses large or small – anyone that is doing their part to make the community or a person’s life better.

Please tell us about your nominee and include your contact information in case we need more details.

We are going to begin featuring upstanding and outstanding citizens and businesses and would like all of the Michigan Is Amazing fans to tell us who is amazing to you.

Let all of your friends know, too!  Let’s celebrate all of the amazing people in this great state!

Michigan Business Spotlight – McClure’s Pickles

Using their Great-Grandmother’s pickle recipe, McClure’s Pickles began making pickles in 2006.  They use local produce whenever possible and each pickle is hand sliced.  Soy and vegetable inks are used with chemical-free plating and are created using wind powered electricity for their labels.  McClure’s Pickles was started in 2006 just outside of Detroit.  Today, they also have a location in Brooklyn, NY.

For more information or retail locations, please visit: www.mcclurespickles.com

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Michigan Business Spotlight – Kern’s Sausages

Kern’s Sausages opened for business in 1949 in Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Little Bavaria.  They offer 34 varieties of homemade sausages, baked goods, cheeses, fine wines, and German import foods.  They have one of the largest selections of domestic and imported beer in the area and also offer catering and gift baskets.

For more information or to visit Kern’s Sausuages, please visit: www.kernssausage.com

Check out this week’s featured business: Bagger Dave’s

A Legend in the Making

Bagger Dave’s is known for their legendary burgers which are made from fresh, never frozen, beef.  Patrons can choose a Legend or create their own Legend from oodles of choices.   Fries are hand-cut daily and they also have Dave’s Sweet Potato Chips that are very tasty.  Although Bagger Dave’s is known for their legendary burgers, their most popular item is the Amazingly Delicious Turkey Black Bean Chili which has all-natural Michigan fresh ground turkey, fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, green peppers, a blend of secret spices, and sliced jalapeños.

Bagger Dave’s is very active in the local communities.  They have charity partners and school fundraising programs.  They believe that community giving is very important.  Bagger Dave’s also supports Michigan businesses whenever possible.  They serve the best Michigan-brewed beer on draught at all of their locations (4 on draught at a time).

Here is a list of the breweries that supply Bagger Dave’s with Michigan beer:

  • Dark Horse – Marshall
  • Founder’s – Grand Rapids
  • Bell’s Brewery – Kalamazoo
  • Arcadia Brewing Co. – Battle Creek
  • Ann Arbor Brewing Co. – Ann Arbor
  • New Holland Brewing Co. – New Holland
  • Keeweenaw Brewing – Houghton

Each location is decorated with old pictures of the city in which the restaurant resides.  This local flair is time-consuming to pull together, but makes each location unique and that much more interesting for patrons.  Bagger Dave’s has three locations: Ann Arbor, Berkley, and Novi.  A location in Brighton is in the works.

For more information or to visit a location, please visit:  www.baggerdaves.com.  You can also check out their facebook fan page:  Bagger Dave’s Legendary Burgers & Fries.

Today in Michigan History

April 7, 1947

Henry Ford died.

According to one Ford biographer, “at the time of his death, Henry Ford was summed up as a patriot, philanthropist, philosopher, sociologist, reformer, economist, teacher, and above all, a man of simple tastes. He was widely depicted as an inspiration of youth and symbol of individualism, American ingenuity, free enterprise and America itself.”

Scores of Michiganders eulogized the 83-year-old Ford. Michigan senator Arthur Vandenberg noted that “he probably had as great an impact on his time as if he had been president of the United States.”

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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Featured Business: Uncle Goose Blocks

The Blocks that Uncle Goose Bulit

Uncle Goose was founded by William Bultman in 1983 and the tradition of these fine wooden blocks has been continued by William’s sons, Pete and Scott. Today, Lindenwood Inc. manufactures the blocks in Michigan and distributes the Uncle Goose line around the world.

The Bultman brothers have expanded their father’s vision from ABC blocks to include over a dozen foreign languages, American Sign Language, Braille, nursery rhymes, bugs, Presidents, and math.  Lindenwood also accepts custom orders.

The 1.75” cubes are handcrafted from Michigan basswood that is farmed – planted and harvested on industry-managed land around the Great Lakes.  Lindenwood’s manufacturing process minimizes waste, both in production and packaging. They use only child-safe, non-toxic inks.

Ninety-Nine percent of everything used is local to West Michigan and all of the production is done in Grand Rapids.
The Uncle Goose brand has been honored with Parent Choice Awards, Dr. Toy’s “100 Best Toys” award, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio awards.

For more information or to order a set of Uncle Goose blocks, visit Lindenwood’s website at www.lindenwoodinc.com

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Check out this week’s featured business: Trattoria Stella

Nestled in the old Traverse City Asylum, Trattoria Stella offers Traverse City residents and patrons from around the state delicious food made from the finest ingredients, quite a bit from area farmers, and a great wine selection, many from local wineries.  Many of the ingredients and wines come from within 20 miles of their kitchen door,  which supports their local area businesses while getting the freshest, most flavorful ingredients.  Nearly everything is made in-house: bread, desserts, pasta sauces, dressings, etc.

Paul and Amanda both grew up in Birmingham, Michigan and are passionate about great food.  Paul has managed some of southeastern Michigan’s most notable restaurants, including Sweet Loraine’s in Southfield, Big Rock Chop & Brew House in Birmingham, and D’Amato’s in Royal Oak and Ann Arbor. It was at D’Amato’s where Paul first worked with Myles Anton, Trattoria Stella’s Executive Chef.

Amanda’s passion for training took her around the world to open new restaurants with Dallas-based T.G.I. Fridays and Detroit-based Elias Brothers Corporation among others.  Amanda is a sommelier currently working towards her master sommelier accreditation.  Trattoria Stella has quickly earned the reputation as one of the best wine cellars in the region thanks to Amanda.

Trattoria Stella takes to heart the fact that the community supports them and their continued success. They, in turn, continue to encourage a healthy and happy community through education.  Last year, they accomplished their goal of giving back one percent of their gross sales to local charitable organizations.

For more information or to visit Trattoria Stella, please visit: www.stellatc.com

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