Local entrepreneur enrolls in small business program to help launch planned downtown brewpub

A new brewpub is planned for downtown Mt. Pleasant. And while it’s more than a year away from opening, its founder is already putting in the work to form relationships within the city and its business community.

Damian Fisher says that his TurtleFrog Brewing Company is about 18 months out from opening in the old Gray Sky Gallery building downtown.

Damian Fisher, owner of TurtleFrog Brewing CompanyFisher knows a thing or two about the importance of relationship-building within the business community. Fisher, a practicing law attorney that specializes in community and economic development, is a mentor-in-residence at Central Michigan University Research Corridor. It’s there where he’s enrolled in the CMURC Right Choice program to help get his business off the ground.

Fisher presented his Phase 1 Pitch for TurtleFrog on Monday, Feb. 18.

"What Right Choice tries to do is work entrepreneurs through the step-building process, try to help tailor their business pitch and create a message and story to tell," Fisher says.

"It helps to promote the business and helps come up with a viable plan. It gets you started."

Fisher’s plan is a downtown brewpub that is much about good beer as it is about fostering further development downtown. He wants to demonstrate to other entrepreneurs the different pathways available for making it easier to start a business downtown.

Becoming a good corporate citizen is just as important. Fisher points to the Bird Bar & Grill as an example of a local business with deep ties to the community.

Of course, creating a place to gather around quality beer is important, too. Fisher started as a home brewer and enrolled in the Fermentation Science program at CMU. He plans to open up his brewery to local home brewers, allowing them access to commercial brewing equipment.

"TurtleFrog Brewing starts with the name," Fisher says.

"We want to create a place where people as different as turtles and frogs can come together, share a beer, and create friendships."

TurtleFrog Brewing Company will be located at 120 S. Main St. in downtown Mt. Pleasant.

Visit CMURC online to learn more about its entrepreneur programming.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

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