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Cat's Meow resale shop expanding

The Cat's Meow resale shop in Essexville is expanding. The popular thrift store is part of Do-All, Inc., which creates vocational opportunities for employees with barriers to employment, such as disabilities. 
The Cat's Meow stores, the first of which opened in 2006, are the retail branch of the company, and offer workers training and employment in all retail jobs, like cashiering, merchandising, stocking, shipping and receiving. There are several locations across mid-Michigan of the stores, but the Essexville one will be expanding to an even larger size.
It's not moving; its former neighbor, Habitat for Humanity, is leaving the building and the Cat's Meow is expanding into the former Habitat space.
"With Habitat for Humanity's decision to move to the former Dunlop property we wanted to expand our current use of the building to create more opportunities for those we serve," says Do-All president and CEO Chris Girard.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: The Cat's Meow

State & Main restaurant opening in Midland

The charitable and economic development arm of the Great Lakes Loons, the Michigan Baseball Foundation, announced it has helped fund the opening of a new restaurant in Midland.

Called State & Main, the new restaurant will be located in the East End development at, where else, the corner of State and Main streets in Midland. It is scheduled for a spring 2014 opening and will be a social gathering place for all ages, according to the foundation.

"State & Main will be a community gathering place offering quality food and drink with first-class service morning, noon and night," says Paul Barbeau, Loons president and general manager. "Whether you are a professional, a rail trail user out with your running or biking group, or just visiting with friends--we want State & Main to be your place."

The restaurant is starting by hiring a restaurant manager and will be hiring additional staff after that.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Michigan Baseball Foundation

Pace & Hong auction house open in Midland

Northeastern Michigan-based auctioneers Pace & Hong Auctions are expanding downward with a new auction house opening in Midland.

The Midland auction house will offer antiques, collectibles, household items, furniture, appliances, tools and outdoor items, and provide a central location for auctions in mid-Michigan.

Construction is underway currently at the new location, which includes a large audience and presentation area, a stage with audio and video broadcasting capabilities, and on-site concessions.

Pace & Hong, headquartered in Alpena, will be holding Saturday morning auctions in Midland starting this fall, serving the entire Great Lakes Bay region including Midland, Saginaw, Bay City, Mt. Pleasant and surrounding towns. The Midland auction house will be open year-round.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Pace Hong Auctions

Insomnia Cookies coming to Mt. Pleasant

If you're like the crew over here at Mid Michigan Second Wave, then you know the pangs of late-night snack cravings. Well, if those cravings include cookies and you're in Mt. Pleasant, then you're about to be in luck.

Insomnia Cookies will be opening soon at 1620 S. Mission St. next to the Pita Pit.

But what will you be able to get? Well, the business--which has more than three dozen locations across the country and keeps growing--offers up a dozen styles of cookies along with other baked goods and frozen treats. You can also choose a variety of toppings, as well as pints of milk. And don't worry if you can't get out to get them because Insomnia Cookies delivers.

The bakery will not only have regular business hours for those with sweets needs during business hours, but will stay open late for all those with post-midnight munchies attacks.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Insomnia Cookies

The Real Seafood Co. to open in Bay City

Ann Arbor-based Real Seafood Co. will be opening the doors of its next location right in Bay City in the Uptown development.

The restaurant, which will join the likes of Down Corning, McLaren Bay, Chemical Bank and Courtyard by Marriott in the development, features fresh, customized dishes based on seasonal and local produce.

The restaurant features fresh fish that will come from New England, the Gulf of Mexico and, of course, the Great Lakes. Currently, there are locations in Ann Arbor, Naples, Fla., and Toledo, Ohio.

Real Seafood Co. will have two levels of seating with 200 seats inside and 100 outside as well as an upstairs and outdoor bar.

The restaurant is expected to employ about 100 people and will add 20 seasonal employees in the summer months.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Real Seafood Co.

Bientek Computer Services acquired by SAMSA, Inc.

SAMSA, Inc. recently expanded its operations with the acquisition of Bientek Computer Services, a web-based computer service referral business.

Bientek uses a trusted network of contracted technicians to provide computer repairs and support to residential and commercial customers. The current services are focuses primarily in southeast Michigan.

This acquisition allows SAMSA to not only grow geographically, but adds to the company's service ability and scope of services.

The company plans to expand to more geographic areas in Michigan, and potentially beyond, in 2014.

SAMSA provides on-site technical services to hundreds of small and medium businesses, local governments, and non-profit organizations, as well as residential clients in the Great Lakes Bay Region and throughout the lower peninsula of Michigan. They have locations in Saginaw and an office in Ypsilanti and a retail shop in Midland.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: SAMSA, Inc.

New sandwich shop opens up in Mt. Pleasant

Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based sub sandwich shop chain Erbert & Gerbert's has made its presence known in mid-Michigan with a new shop open in Mt. Pleasant.

It's located in the Stadium Mall on South Mission Street and offers some features like late-night delivery, catering and maybe most notably, unusual sandwich names.

The official opening was September 6, and the Mt. Pleasant location is the second Erbert & Gerbert's in Michigan, with the other in Portage. Most of the 50 franchised shops are across the Midwest and South.

The sandwich shop's hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. every day of the week.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Erbert & Gerbert's

New photography business opens doors

We love to hear about young people returning to Michigan to start up new businesses, which is just what Clare native Ryan Watkins is doing.

Watkins, a professional photographer, has recently graduated from the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Massachusetts, where he earned the school's Highest Academic Excellence Award.

He's back in mid-Michigan and starting a portrait photography and retouching business called Ryan Watkins Photography. He specializes in weddings, senior photos, family and child portraiture, corporate head shots, and high-end retouching.

Among the products Watkins offers are gift and standard size prints; canvas, wood or metal prints; portrait albums; thank you, save the date and graduation cards; Facebook collections and timeline photos, iPhone cases and high-definition slide shows.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Ryan Watkins Photography

MCG Plastics expanding

Bay County plastic injection molding company MCG Plastics announced it will double its facility size and expand its workforce.

The Bangor Township company will invest more than $600,000 into the expansion, which will add 15,000 square feet to the facility for warehousing, and allow owner Mario Garza to hire up to five new employees.

"MCG Plastics, Inc. is dedicated to continuing to grow their company and workforce in Bangor Township and Bay County," says Trevor Keyes, Bay Future economic development specialist. "We are very excited about the chance to continue to work with them during and after this expansion."

Among the incentives MCG received toward the expansion was a 12-year, 50 percent tax abatement. The company was founded in 1992.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Bay Future

First State Bank expands in Bay City

A Bay City bank will be taking on a new name this fall, as Saginaw-based 1st State Bank will take over a Bank of America branch which had been scheduled to close.

The branch is located at 3907 Wilder Road and Henry in Bay City, and will close as a Bank of America on November 1. 1st State says it will re-open the banking location in mid- to late November as its second Bay County location, and the fourth in the region.

"There's a very vibrant business community surrounding that branch," says 1st State President and CEO Rick Goedert. "It's important that those businesses have options when it comes to nearby, convenient banks to service them. 1st State has been looking for an opportunity to expand its presence in Bay City, and this seemed like the perfect time and a great place to do it."

1st State Bank was founded in 2004 by a group of Great Lakes Bay Region businesspeople and specializes in business lending and deposit services. Since then it also has added more services, like cash management, remote deposit and free courier service. Its other Bay City location is at 601 N. Madison, and it has two locations, including its headquarters, in Saginaw.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: First State Bank

HPIL Holding announces two new cooperation agreements

HPIL Holding of Saginaw announced two new cooperation agreements with companies in the energy and communications fields. HPIL is a global investment firm with interests in a lot of industries, from health care to sustainability.

The first-announced agreement is with 2Evolution Studios, an Italian web hosting, design and communications company that will work with HPIL Holding during a term of two years to develop possible projects through investment. HPIL is doing the investing through its communications-industry subsidiary, HPIL Globalcom.

Second, the company announced it will partner with O.R.C. SRL, an energy investment company also based in Italy, to extend and develop its interests in the energy sector, for a period of one year. That agreement was made through HPIL's subsidiary in the energy field, HPIL Energytech.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: HPIL Holding

SPACE, Inc. expands warehouse

A design firm with a badly designed warehouse--that's kind of like the old saying about how the plumber's house is the last one to get its pipes fixed.

Midland-based interior design firm SPACE needed help with redesigning its warehouse to be more efficient and serve its customers better, so it turned to the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development center for the Great Lakes Bay Region.

SPAE director of operations Paddy Hobohm worked with MI-SBTDC growth group specialist Kevin Kuhl to help figure out how the company could move forward and streamline the storage capacity it as outgrowing.

Now, the SPACE warehouse is reopened with Lean storage practices, consolidated and automated inventory systems, more available storage space, and a much faster delivery turn-around time. Lean practices involve the elimination of wasted space and time, and improved work flow. In the SPACE warehouse, that meant more vertical storage, organization of like components and fixtures, and a new product tracking system.

Hobohm says SPACE customers can now expect better service, faster delivery and up-to-the-minute inventory.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source SPACE, Inc.

Placement Management Center Staffing re-opens in Flushing

Staffing agency Placement Management Center is celebrating a re-opening and expansion this week at its Flushing office.

Placement Management Center has been in Genesee County since 1995, providing staffing for medical and industrial businesses. It has expanded over the years and now includes solutions for staffing issues, like payroll applications and human resources consulting.

The grand re-opening celebrates the new services and welcomes customers and employers to stop by the new offices for PMC, which is part of the Panter Group.

Part of the celebration includes a ribbon-cutting and open house, planned for August 8 at the agency's 114 E. Main Street location in Flushing.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Placement Management Center

Chalgian and Tripp open Midland law office

There is a new law office in Midland, located at 5820 Eastman Avenue and specializing in estate planning, special needs planning, elder law and probate litigation.

Chalgian & Tripp recently opened the doors to the new office, which will be staffed by Ramon F. Rolf Jr. and Joseph D. Weiler Jr., both of whom have previously had well-estabslihed practices in Midland and live in the area.

"We are thrilled to be opening our Midland office," says Amy Tripp. "We've been serving the needs of clients in the area for years and this development will help us to better serve our clients in the region. And, with the additions of Fred Rolf and Joe Weiler we will not only have the facilities, but the horsepower to handle the elder law and estate planning needs of Midland and surrounding communities.”

Rolf has been in the are for quite awhile, working in the areas of elder law, estate planning and estate and trust administration while Weiler began practicing law in the area in 2008 and focuses on elder law and Medicaid planning.

Chalgian & Tripp also have offices in East Lansing, Jackson, Ithaca and Battle Creek.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Chalgian & Tripp

Market opens with new name, offers Michigan-made products

The Landing convenience store on East Wackerly Street in Midland has gone upscale, changing its offerings and even its name.

The store now is The Landing Market, which reflects its new approach that highlights premium and Michigan-made foods and drinks. Beer and wine from Michigan are one focus, as are Michigan-made snacks and chips.

Other offerings include the usual party goods and convenience merchandise, but with more of a focus on local products and specialty foods. It also will contain a sandwich bar, soft-serve yogurt from the Yogurt Tap, and coffee with in-store seating.

The Landing first opened in October of 2010 and is owned by Alex Lundahl. It's open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays at 203 East Wackerly Street in Bell Plaza.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: The Landing Market
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