Entrepreneurship :Development News

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Veteran Old Town resident opens professional office center, invites start-ups to join the district

Entrepreneurs or small business owners looking to make their home in Old Town will find affordable space adjacent to the heart of the district beginning this spring. 
 

Bloom Coffee Roasters set to spill the beans in Old Town

Roasters get ready to open the doors in Old Town and create a peaceful place for lovers of caffeinated, single-source brews. 
 

West Coast music producer brings skills home to Michigan to open new academy

Muskegon native Brian Roth builds successful career as a composer and sound producer in L.A., then brings it on home to Michigan to share knowledge and skills with young musicians at his new Grand Ledge academy. 
 

Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale commits to larger home on East Side

Two brewers with a community-minded vision start renovating space for a microbrewery and distillery on Lansing's East Side.
 

The Robin Theatre takes flight with musical and performance acts

A husband-wife team reclaim a foreclosed property in Lansing's REO Town and take flight with Lansing's newest black-box theatre.

Mitten State Malt to provide local flavor for area craft brewers

Michigan craft brewers can shorten their commute to find locally sourced malt when an Okemos entrepreneur opens Mid-Michigan's first malt house this winter. 
 

Iorio's Gelateria brings a little bit of Italy to East Lansing's southern edge

A brother-sister team inspired by family heritage has brought a taste of Italy to East Lansing in the form of European-style coffee and sweet treats with Iorio's Gelateria.

Farmer and meat-cutter goes to market with new Olivet store

Greg Saltzman is bringing the great outdoors to the city. Or at least to the small town of Olivet.
 
In mid-May, Saltzman and his wife Karen opened Whitetail Farms Fresh Market near the Olivet College athletics complex. The 6,400-square foot market at 4506 W. Butterfield Road features 1,600 square feet of food sales area, plus an in-house smoke and meat processing area. The new custom-build market expands on the family's decades of experience in meat processing, farming, hunting and just plain country living.
 
"We're gearing the market toward anyone within an 80- to 100-mile radius and we got something for everybody," Saltzman says. "We're not a big box story, and I'm into service and helping my customers find what they need when they walk in."
 
The Whitetail Farms Fresh Market is a spin-off of Saltzman's legendary Whitetail Farms Custom Deer Processing business that he operated since 1998. After consulting with the Small Business Development Association in Lansing, Saltzman decided last year to bring the business to town and to combine it with a small grocer and butcher shop.
 
"My venison processing had kept growing and growing and growing," says Saltzman. "I knew I would have to change things, so I purchased the property and started to build the business there."
 
Saltzman grew up the son of a meat cutter in Marshall, Mich. He started in the grocery business as a teen in 1975, and worked his way up from stocking shelves at the local Feldpausch to working in the meat department. He stayed in the business for nearly 30 years, then had the opportunity to help his wife run her father's farm. An avid hunter, he began processing wild meats, growing cash crops and raising beef cattle. After building a following of close to 800 customers, he knew it was time to take his business to the next level.
 
Whitetail Farms Fresh Market carries produce and grocery items that compliment the sales of fresh beef, pork and poultry. Customers will find marinades, seasonings and sauces, as well as regional produce, and can also call on him to process venison and other wild game on the premises.
 
Saltzman decked out the interior like a "man cave," carrying over the earth tones of the exterior and adding taxidermy decor in the form of a buffalo head and standing bear. He brought four employees from his previous facility and hired 9 more. He hopes to add more people and begin processing livestock in early 2016.
 
"I love the meat business," says Saltzman. "And I love my customers. I'm a farmer and a hunter and there's lots of stuff to talk about."
 
Source: Greg Saltzman, Owner, Whitetail Farms Fresh Market
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
 
Got a story idea for Capital Gains Development News? Email Ann Kammerer here.

Duke's Saloon puts a little bit of country in Lansing's urban core

Brandon Montemayor traveled south and went kitty-corner across the Midwest before coming back with a concept for a new country bar in Mid-Michigan.
 
Duke's Saloon opened just after Memorial Day, bringing a "'lil' country, a lil' rock and a lotta fun" to downtown Lansing. Modeled after popular venues in cities like Columbus, Nashville and Indianapolis, Duke's immerses patrons in a country roadhouse experience, starting with a hand-painted mural of the Dukes of Hazzard and John Wayne by Detroit artist Jeremy Harvey. 
 
"There are tons of Top 40 and dance clubs but nothing for the country crowd downtown," says Montemayor, Duke's general manager. "We just wanted to broaden the demographic of things available to people."
 
Montemayor and owner Doug Johns Jr. completely transformed the previous Harem Urban Lounge at 414 E. Michigan Ave. to accommodate a dance floor, darts, full-size pool tables, a high definition big screen playing music videos, and a DJ who builds his playlist on requests via Twitter. A live band will perform country rock most every Friday night.
 
Duke's features an eight-item food menu with a tex-mex and southwestern flair, as well as 15 signature drinks. Among the top thirst quenchers is the Bushwacker—a blended frozen drink of rum, coconut and amaretto, served in a hurricane glass and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. The full-service bar also decants the largest draft cider selection in the area.
 
Montemayor was born and raised in Lansing. He says the city is primed for a nightclub like Duke's that appeals to people like him who are great fans of today's country music.
 
"The thing I like about the music is it's so broad now," he says. "It used to mostly be people singing about losing their wife or their dog. Now, the messages they deliver are so much broader, and there's more of blend to the sound with pop and rock."
 
Duke's is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., with free line-dancing lessons offered from 7:30-9 p.m. on Thursday nights. The bar accommodates 265 people, and employs eight bartenders and four servers.

Source: Brandon Montemayor, General Manager, Duke's Salon
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor

Got a story idea for Capital Gains Development News? Email Ann Kammerer here.
 

Chiropractic center expands, adds disciplines for functional approach

Alisa Hoffman blended two disciplines, opened a well-equipped office, and began building a practice that has attended to the rehab, massage and physical therapy needs of Greater Lansing for three years.
 
Since May 2012, the Chiropractic Professional Center has grown from two to eight staff and added 2,000 square feet to the clinic at 3400 Pine Tree Road. Most of the growth, Hoffman says, took place in the last year, as word-of-mouth took hold of her unique, multi-disciplinary approach.
 
Hoffman learned her functional approach to chiropractic treatments at the New York Chiropractic College, and through several clinical rotations in upstate New York. Her team of chiropractors, massage therapists and physical therapists focus on how the body moves, applying gait analysis, compensation patterns and restriction to treat patients.
 
"Functional chiropractic rehab is essentially if you took chiro, massage and physical therapy and put it into one," Hoffman says. "My goal was to take my practice one step further and make it a one-stop shop for all treatments."
 
Hoffman says her appointments are longer than typical visits to the chiropractor, and involve more muscle work and stretching than traditional treatments. Techniques routinely used include Cox Flexion Distraction (for disc lesions), nerve impingements and facet arthropathies. She also employs traction to help decompress the spine, as well as the Graston Technique to help break down scar tissue and treat conditions related to soft tissue.
 
While her practice attends to most musculoskeletal issues like low back and neck pain, headaches, disc lesions, sciatica, and nerve root entrapments, her specialties lie in treating the lower extremities like hips, knees, ankles and feet, and shoulders. Hoffman says those specialties, combined with her functional approach, brings a lot of athletes through her doors, as well as people of all ages looking for pain relief.
 
Hoffman located her clinic in South Lansing to be near her hometown of Holt, and to be part of a larger medical office park. Plans are to add a fitness center and reflexologist to the mix of medical message, physical therapy, and chiropractic services in the coming year.
 
Source: Dr. Alisa Hoffman, Owner, Chiropractic Professional Center 
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
 
Got a story idea for Capital Gains Development News? Email Ann Kammerer here.

Whipped bakes up solution for new location

Randy Umfleet always looks to bake something masterful be it cookies, cupcakes or a specialty cake. So when he faced the prospect of moving, the owner of Whipped Bakery concocted a creative solution that could take the cake.
 
Since April, Umfleet has set up shop inside Roma Bakery Deli and Fine Foods after agreeing to relocate and make way for the Creole—Old Town's up and coming restaurant, bar and performance venue. Not wanting to lose momentum, Umfleet arranged through friends to keep baking and offering his delectable desserts through Roma's kitchen. He also began laying the groundwork for opening a new retail space at 1209 Turner, just across the street from the location where he had operated for about 13 months.
 
"Everything is going great," Umfleet says. "I just love working with Roma. They're just fantastic people."
 
Umfleet is referring to Mena and Sostine Castriciano—the owners of the long-standing Roma Bakery, now up for sale after nearly 50 years. Umfleet isn't ruling out the possibility of purchasing the bakery. But for now, he's simply baking up his confections in Roma's full kitchen, and selling them to customers through pre-order and pick-up.
 
Come July, Umfleet will open the doors on his recreated retail outlet in Old Town. At 1,000 square feet, the new space will be slightly larger than his previous store, and will seat about 50 people. The new Whipped will feature all new furniture and fixtures within a simple, urban atmosphere where customers can enjoy specialty bakery items, coffee drinks, juices and more. Umfleet says he will bake everything at Roma, then deliver each morning to the retail location.
 
"I'm just excited about the future of Whipped," says Umfleet as he reflects on the possibilities of buying Roma as well as his new Old Town digs. "The potential to have two locations is nothing but positive."
 
Source: Randy Umfleet, Owner, Whipped
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
    
Got a story idea for Capital Gains Development News? Email Ann Kammerer here.

Lansing Brewing Company on tap for fall

Beer lovers, pub fans, and folks looking to reclaim part of Lansing's heritage will find everything on tap when the Lansing Brewing Company reopens after a 100 year hiatus.
 
"This is just another step in making this city a fantastic place to live," says Sam Short, consultant with the Lansing Brewing Company.
 
Short is part of a team led by the Gillespie Group in bringing the only full-production craft brewery and distillery to the Capital City. Located in the heart of the Stadium District, Lansing Brewing Company will consist of a full-scale production facility for craft beers and spirits, as well as a pub and restaurant that serves progressive takes on classic comfort foods.
 
The original Lansing Brewing Company operated from 1898 to 1914, and sat on the corner of Turner and Clinton. The building was destroyed by fire in 1971, with On the Grand Condominiums rising from the site several decades later.
 
The new Lansing Brewing Company will occupy a renovated tool and die facility at 518 E. Shiawassee Street. The $1.5 million renovation is expected to be completed by late summer, with a public opening slated for fall. Jennifer Gillespie owns the brewery.
 
"We haven't had our own brewery for years, despite the fact that tons of other cities have been exploding with breweries," Short says. "This place will represent Lansing as a working city—a place where the working guy or woman can come and enjoy something that's made in your town for you."
 
The brewery will offer 10 beers, four spirits and two wines. Among the line-up will be the signature amber cream ale—a brew based on Lansing's signature beer produced and bottled at the original Lansing Brewing Company.
 
"It's a unique throwback beer," says Short. "No one in the nation brews an amber cream ale. We're reaching back into history, and going back to recipes that are time-tested over the century."
 
Lansing Brewing will employ about 75 people. Once renovated, the "industrial sheik" facility will feature a 150-seat restaurant, private event areas, and an outdoor garden and patio for up to 100 people. The facility will produce about 2,500 barrels in the first year, with a capacity for up to 5,000 barrels. The company plans to sell bottled brews through retailers.
 
Source: Sam Short, Consultant, Lansing Brewing Company
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
 
Got a story idea for Capital Gains Development News? Email Ann Kammerer here.

Strength in Numbers brings power of gaming to Lansing

There's a new game in town. And the numbers are growing.
 
Based on the East Side, Lansing's Strength In Numbers Game Studio promises to transport gamers to alternate worlds to embark on lives filled with challenge, adventure and heroism. Now 23 employees strong, the start-up gaming company is attracting talent from Michigan and beyond as it looks to transform Lansing into a hub for gaming development, publishing and entrepreneurship.
 
"With one person, it's weak company, but with more you're stronger," says Founder Scott Reschke. "We want to build that infrastructure that attracts and allows talent to stay here. Why would you let them leave and go out west when we can build something right here in Michigan?"
 
Reschke's vision grew from his previous entrepreneurial adventures in computer repair and cyber cafes. During that time, he aggregated countless hours of research based on the preferences and passions of gamers, as well as the trends and buying habits of gamers and everyday consumers.
 
Armed with data and a penchant for exploration, Reschke began building a sustainable company in the video gaming arena. His goal, he says, is not just to recycle old gaming ideas, but to create challenging, innovative and competitive games that draw on original artwork, storylines and music created by his team.
 
Currently in development, SiN Studio's Tuebor will present a multi-genre, fast-paced video game rich in story and deep with group participation. Reschke derived the game's moniker from the Latin word on the seal of Michigan that means "I will defend"–a sentiment he says is well suited for the game's premise. 
 
"Video gaming is escapism," says Reschke. "It's no different than watching baseball, football or soccer any day it's on. Those fans are imagining themselves on the mound or on the field or in action. With gaming, it's just someone's outlet for imagining their lives are a little more exciting."
 
SiN Studios took up residence April 1 in the basement of the Lyman and Sheets office building at 2213 E. Grand River in Lansing. The studio will be holding an open house on May 14 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Members of the community can tour the 6,000-square foot studio, meet staff, experience live demonstrations on 3D character modeling and motion capture software, and pose for photos with local cosplay groups.
 
Source: Scott Reschke, Founder, Strength in Numbers Game Studio
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
 
Got a story idea for Capital Gains Development News? Email Ann Kammerer here.

Design and advertising agency moves downtown, renews focus

A creative company that got its start 17 years ago recently set up shop on Washington Square, reflecting a rebirth that coincides with Lansing's downtown district.
 
The creative professionals at AE: Adventures in New Media say their new direction answers the growing need of organizations big and small to enhance their new media presence. And with a new location at 408 S. Washington Square, the three-member company says AE has the feel of a start-up but the track record of an established agency.
 
"You'll get the comfort a small company, where you can talk one-on-one with us," says John Addis, CEO and creative director. "But we also come with the experience of having done hundreds and hundreds of state and national projects as a team."
 
AE: Directions in New Media grew from Addis Enterprises, founded by Addis in 1998. The company resided in Old Town under the name of AE Studio and Gallery from 2006-2010, then went on hiatus while Addis worked for a larger agency. During that time, Addis continued to collaborate with Tony Sabo and Jennifer Berggren, two Lansing-based creatives. After several projects and late night discussions, the three decided to join forces and resurrect AE with an eye toward 21st century strategies.
 
"Our focus on new media doesn't mean we're excluding the old," says Addis. "But we are going to put focus on new media since the bang for the buck is so much greater. There is a place for traditional media in any strategy. It just depends on the audience."
 
Addis, Sabo and Berggren recently cut the ribbon on their new space that had been the home for Capitol Fur for more than 90 years. The 1,500-square foot interior features high ceilings, original wood floors, and was moderately reconfigured to accommodate spaces for conferences, collaboration and video and audio production. Plans are to hire an assistant this summer, as well as one or two more staff.
 
"If you're going to be a new kid on the block, you want to have a store front and have people walk by and peek inside," says Addis. "This space does that."
 
Over two decades, the AE team has won awards in logo design, website design, video production, music composition, print design, and campaign development. The team has also launched more than 250 business, governmental, university, and personal websites, and produced more than 100 video projects for television and web.
 
Source: John Addis, CEO and Creative Director, AE: Adventures in New Media
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
 
Got a story idea for Capital Gains Development News? Email Ann Kammerer here.

Once Upon A Child resale outlet to open in Delta

Anyone with kids knows they seem to grow an inch overnight, transforming that new pair of jeans into ill-fitting capris, or that long-sleeved shirt into a quarter-sleeve fashion.
 
A new franchise in Lansing's Delta Township has a solution for keeping kids in stylish clothes without having to lay-out high-end prices. At Once Upon A Child, customers will find gently used kids clothes for newborns through tweens, as well as high-quality used toys, baby equipment and furniture.
 
Co-owner Lisa Starks says the store focuses on buying and reselling used children clothing and gear from individuals in the community. All clothing must be freshly cleaned and laundered, and free of rips, holes or tears, while all equipment and toys must meet voluntary and mandatory safety standards.  
 
"It's great because you can sell something to us for a fair price, or buy something in the store that still looks new," says Starks. "Unlike a consignment shop, sellers are paid immediately. And if you buy, you'll save a lot of money, too."
 
Starks and co-owner Patty Roberts acquired the space at 5827 W. Saginaw Highway in February after attending extensive training at the Once Upon A Child franchise headquarters in Minnesota. Since then, the two have worked to ready the 4,000-square foot space in the Delta Center Plaza for a mid-May opening.
 
"Being a mom, I can appreciate the store concept," says Starks, who has two children under 9 years old. "It provides a great value for buyers and sellers."
 
The new Once Upon a Child is one of about 12 Michigan franchise locations, as well as nearly 300 other franchise stores in the U.S. and Canada. Starks says she is planning to hire 15 to 20 staff. All staff, she says, will be thoroughly trained as merchandise buyers, and will assess and price items according to criteria set by the franchise headquarters.
 
Source: Lisa Starks, Co-owner, Once Upon A Child
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
 
Got a story idea for Capital Gains Development News? Email Ann Kammerer here.
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