Entrepreneurs find success meeting niche demands

The year 2017 wouldn't be complete without a few more bright ideas for small businesses opening up across the Upper Peninsula. From sustainable bread to repurposed furniture, U.P. entrepreneurs are finding their economic niches.


Forget Me Not opens in Sault Ste. Marie


Business owner Kathy Perry announced the opening of her new store, Forget Me Not, in mid-November. It's located at 826 Ashmun Street in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and showcases a wide range of repurposed, refurbished and restored items including furniture, decor and artwork.


Perry repurposes many of the items herself, but also offers work by three other local vendors to create a mix of styles, tastes and techniques that greet Forget Me Not customers with a variety of beautiful things.


Forget Me Not is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays.


Teal Lake Pizzeria replaces Paisano's in Negaunee


Negaunee wouldn't be the same without a pizza place on Teal Lake, and a new pizza restaurant is stepping into the shoes that Paisano's recently vacated.


Located at the former Paisano's at 81 Croix Street on the Teal Lake shoreline, the new Teal Lake Pizzeria is now open as of this week. They offer dine-in, takeout and delivery options for hungry Negaunee residents, and you can even order and pay online if you're so inclined.


Menu items include some local favorites like calzones and cudighi, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and of course an array of specialty pizzas, with even some vegan choices available.

Bakery focuses on local, sustainable bread


A new bakery in Ironwood is forging its path with inspiration from an old way of doing things. Bake Superior Bread, located at 230 E. Aurora Street in Ironwood, is owned by husband-and-wife team Andrew and Rachel Brand. They launched their new business with help from Northern Initiatives and now are busy baking fresh breads daily with a traditional, "old world" approach. That means using ingredients from local farms and preparing breads with no artificial additives.


"All of the products we make are free from the harmful ingredients that are typically packed into the store bought bread available in our local grocery stores," say the Brands on their website.


They source their breads from Whitney Creek Farm, Powderhorn Farm and Great River Organic Milling. Bake Superior breads are available at North Wind Natural Food Co-op in downtown Ironwood, Sharon's Coffee Company in Hurley, Wisconsin, and Cold Iron Brewing in Ironwood, besides the bakery's home location.


Bake Superior distributes in the Ironwood and Hurley areas and is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Haywire Grade rail trail being improved for its 50th year


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced some nice improvements to the 32-mile Haywire Grade over the next couple of years.


The goal for the trail, which was the state's first recreational rail trail project, is to have the improvements done for its 50th anniversary, which will be in 2020. New mile markers are being placed, which include the mile numbers and the historic Manistique and Lake Superior Railroad logo. The railroad originally built the grade, but it fell out of use and was abandoned, leading to the creation of a public-private partnership in 1970 to make a better use of the historic grade as a multi-use recreational trail.


Next up is the creation and development of 12 interpretive stations along the trail. They are planned to be done in time for four commemorative ride events in each season in 2020 -- a snowmobile ride in winter, an equestrian ride in spring, a bicycle event in summer, and an ORV/ATV event in the fall.


The work is, as in the beginning, being done by both public partners -- the MDNR, the Hiawatha National Forest and the city of Manistique -- and private partners, the Hiawathaland Trail Association and the Schoolcraft County Motorized Trail Association.


The markers run from Manistique to Shingleton and are tall enough for year-round usefulness.


"Standing several feet above the trail, the markers are located safely above average snow depth so they don’t get buried in winter," says Gerry Reese, a volunteer for the Schoolcraft County Motorized Trail Association and Hiawathaland Trail Association.

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