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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Featured Business: The Cupcake Station

The Cupcake Station:  Helping people one cupcake at a time

One of Kerry Johnson’s passions in life is cupcakes, but an even greater passion of his is helping people.  When he decided that it was time for a new venture in life, he started The Cupcake Station, and has kept his passion for helping people as an integral part of the cupcake business.  Today, The Cupcake Station has helped over 2,000 different organizations.  The Cupcake Station is now accepting applications for Franchises with one “condition.”  The future franchise owner must stay true to the roots of The Cupcake Station; giving back to the community.

Over 25 varieties of cupcakes are made daily from scratch.  Their most popular cupcake is the Carrot Cake Cupcake followed closely by the Michigan Bumpy Cupcake.  The Michigan Bumpy Cupcake features Dark Chocolate Cake with smooth White Buttercream bumps dipped in Dark Chocolate Ganache and drizzled with White Chocolate.  The Cupcake Station created this little piece of Heaven in homage to Sanders, another Michigan institution.   The Cupcake Station was the first to come out with The Michigan Bumpy Cupcake, which was featured on the national news.  Now, cupcake stores nationwide have started making Michigan Bumpy Cupcakes.

Currently, there are two locations, Birmingham and Ann Arbor that employ 22 people.  During the week, they sell 500-700 cupcakes per day and an additional 1,200 – 2,000 per day on weekends.   This weekend many more cupcakes will be flying off the shelves since Valentine’s Day is their busiest holiday of the year.  The Cupcake Station now ships its amazing cupcakes nationwide.

For locations or franchise information, please visit: www.cupcakestation.com.

Featured Business: Bearclaw Coffee

Doing Their Part to Bring Great Coffee and Jobs to the People of Michigan

Debi and Doug Scroggins started Bearclaw Coffee in 2002.  In eight short years that one small coffee shop has grown to 18 locations and three mobile units just in Michigan.  They have plans to open more locations in Wayne & Washtenaw Counties, which would bring 30 more employees to Michigan.  They also have stores in Kentucky and Virginia.

For location or franchise information, please visit www.bearclawcoffee.com

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Sweet Success For Sanders

One of Michigan’s most loved brand’s is making a comeback!  Sanders is experiencing a surge in popularity under the new ownership of Morley Brands LLC (another local icon).  Stores are opening locally and there are plans to take the brand national, according to an article on Detnew.com.

To read the whole article on Sanders sweet comeback, click here.

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Global Warming Salsa Ignites Michigan

Dan and Cherie Houston own a fitness consulting business, with locations in Highland/Milford and Clarkston.  Upon visiting their website, you’ll notice a theme that includes chile peppers, very appropriate for the creators of Global Warming Salsa.

Global Warming Salsa was born out of a need to find a salsa that was different and according to their website, “something that makes your mouth cry and sing at the same time.”  And before you start thinking the name is commentary on a political issue, you need to know that idea of “Global” came from them utilizing flavors from around the world.  They are using ingredients from all the popular international cuisines; Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Mexican just to name a few.

The salsa is a way for them to help their health and fitness clients add flavor to their food with minimal calories and a better overall nutritional value.  But most importantly, they are using the proceeds from the salsa to help combat childhood obesity by developing nutrition and exercise programs for schools and finish their book on childrens exercise.

For more information on award-winning Global Warming Salsa and a list of locations where you can purchase this Michigan product, visit www.globalwarmingsalsa.com.

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The Blocks Uncle Goose Built

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, 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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