Local farmers to open beer and wine production facility, tasting room in downtown Allegan

What’s happening: A vacant storefront in downtown Allegan could use a little work and its future tenants are prepared to do just that — and a grant from the state will make their goal a little more obtainable. The nascent beer and wine maker Heronmark has been awarded a $25,000 Match on Main grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to help with the vacant building’s interior and exterior renovations.

What’s planned: Ben and Katelyn Ramsay own and operate a farm outside of town, where they’ve been growing their own hops and grapes for beer and wine production. Their vision, now bolstered by the Match on Main grant, includes a beer and wine production facility, and tasting room with seating and select food service, in downtown Allegan. The interior and exterior at 132 Hubbard St. will receive significant renovations and it’s expected that the business will open to the public later in 2023.

Matchmakers: The $25,000 grant announced for the Heronmark project is part of a larger round of Match on Main grants awarded throughout the state, which included a total of $807,673 in grants awarded to 35 small business projects in both the lower and upper peninsulas. It’s the communities themselves that apply and are awarded the grants on behalf of the small businesses; the Match on Main grants are available to select and master level communities in the Michigan Main Street program, or those that are considered an Essentials or Certified Redevelopment Ready Community.

How to apply: The application window opens for the next round of Match on Main grants on Monday, Jan. 30, and two informational webinars are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, and 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19.

Visit Match on Main online to learn more about the application process and requirements.

What they’re saying: "We are so delighted to open our business in Downtown Allegan," says Katelyn Ramsay, co-owner of Heronmark. "We currently grow our own hops and grapes for beer and wine production on our farm outside of the City of Allegan. This is a significant step in the growth of our business to
create products for consumers from our harvested agricultural material."

Heronmark will be located at 132 Hubbard St. in downtown Allegan.

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