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Category Archives: Ann Arbor Businesses

Here’s What’s Brewing for Ann Arbor Coffee Lovers

Ann Arbor Loves Coffee!With more than 50 individual coffee shops available to residents, it’s a fact that Ann Arbor definitely loves coffee. David Myers, owner of Mighty Good Coffee Roasting Company, is making the most of that affection. As artisan roaster Mighty Good Coffee moves into its fifth year in business, they will physically move from their tiny (less than 200 square feet) storefront at 118 S. Main Street, to a 2,200 square foot combination café and roasting operation at 217 N. Main Street. The move will allow seating for 24, with ample space for special events and coffee classes.

The move will allow Mighty Good to expand their menu of edibles. Additionally, it will give customers the opportunity to watch and learn about the roasting experience, as well as to buy beans directly from the roaster. And while Mighty Good is moving just a few blocks away from their old location, Myers expects to add to his customer base because of the new spot’s proximity to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market in Kerrytown.

Here are a few fun and interesting facts about what’s arguably the world’s favorite beverage:

  • After oil, coffee beans are considered the most heavily traded commodity in the world.

 

  • Even a tiny bit of oxygen in bags with one-way air valves can cause beans to go stale, so there is no way to “lock in” the freshness unless the bags are absolutely vacuum sealed.

 

  • Studies have suggested that the consumption of coffee is beneficial to health in some ways. Coffee appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease, among others.

 

Mighty Good Coffee can be found at the following retailers: Acme Mercantile, Busch’s, Holiday Market – Royal Oak, Jefferson Market and Cakery, Knight’s Market, Plum Market, Produce Station, Revive-Replenish, Sparrow Meat Market, Sprout House – Grosse Point, The New Chelsea Market, and Wine, Etc., in addition, of course, to the Mighty Good Coffee Café.

The Mighty Good Coffee Roasting Company provides fresh-roasted coffee to Ann Arbor residents (including via home delivery!) throughout the area – just one of the many perks of this growing local business. Martin Bouma – your Ann Arbor neighborhood expert – provides for virtually all of your Ann Arbor real estate needs. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the Bouma Group can answer any questions you have about real estate in Ann Arbor. Interested in Washtenaw County, or a specific Ann Arbor neighborhood? Call the Bouma Group today! And don’t forget to check out our Condo Hotline – we’ve got a handle on the Ann Arbor condominium market.

Conventions and Trade Shows Cap Productive Summer in Ann Arbor

From July 30 through August 5, Ann Arbor played host to the National Training Institute’s (NTI) annual trade show. The trade show is designed to attract vendors seeking to provide information about their services and products to the electrical industry. The University of Michigan campus was “home for a week” to over 2,000 NTI participants and, according to Mary Kerr (president/CEO of the Ann Arbor Convention & Visitors Bureau), NTI participants were expected to infuse over $5 million into Washtenaw County.

This was the second NTI convention to be held in Ann Arbor. This is in large part because of the University of Michigan’s strong record of union support, which creates a conducive environment for the NTI programs and course offerings. The group also has many “training partners,” companies and organizations that contribute various forms of support to ensure NTI’s success. UM is already set to host the National Training Institute’s 2011 meeting, as well.

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Ann Arbor’s Blackbird Theatre Finds a Permanent Nest

dramaOne of Ann Arbor’s cultural icons, the Blackbird Theatre, has established its permanent nest at the SH\’aut\ Cabaret and Gallery, 325 Braun Court in Kerrytown – right across from the Farmers Market. After a year of experimenting with various locations and after seven years at the Children’s Creative Center on Pauline Boulevard,  the Blackbird has roosted in its new spot. Founding artistic director Barton Bund feels confident that the company will continue to grow and thrive in its new locale.

Last Tuesday evening, Bund’s celebration of the Blackbird’s new home also ushered in a new era of dynamic, cutting-edge artistic endeavor for downtown Ann Arbor. In addition to  consistently offering a diverse body of original work, the Blackbird offers free educational programs, and performance opportunities for all students in Washtenaw County. The Blackbird strives to bring students together with the area’s most talented and established theatre veterans. Continue reading

Ann Arbor Downtown Library Lot Development Discussion May Regain Life Soon

As of last Thursday, there are big changes beginning near the Ann Arbor Downtown Library. Fifth Avenue from Liberty to Williams is now closed, and will remain so for at least a year. The northern section of the Library’s porch is closed, and handicap access has moved to William Street (with a new incline that ends across from the automated door). Bike hoops are now near the flagpole. So why are all of these changes being made?

At present, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is building an underground parking deck on the Library Lot site, which is the cause of the immediate (and ongoing) disruption. However, the top of the lot has been – and remains – under discussion. Several months ago, the League of Women Voters hosted a public meeting about possible uses for the Library Lot. At that meeting five, five-minute proposals for potential development were presented, followed by an hour of questions and answers. The League’s intent was to keep the city council apprised as to what kinds of development Ann Arbor residents were interested in seeing.

Part of the issue, as discussed in our previous blog Plannning for Green Space in Arbor, No Walk in the Park, is over whether the land should be used for commercial development or for greenpsace or other public purposes.

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Battery Plants Will Reinvigorate Ann Arbor Region’s Economy

A few weeks ago, President Obama made a literally “groundbreaking” visit to Holland (two hours west of Ann Arbor, Michigan). The purpose of the trip was to attend the ceremony inaugurating the construction of new a battery cell manufacturing plant. The LG Chem/ Compact Power plant’s construction is a strong, visible outcome of the Obama administration’s commitment to the development of a thriving battery industry in America.

In 2009, the state of Michigan announced its intent to become a leader in battery cell manufacturing production. In addition to the LG Chem/Compact Power plant, six other manufacturers have announced decisions to move to Michigan – giving our state more such plants than any other in the country.

The joint venture with LG Chem is one of two major forward moves by Compact Power. They will also join forces with Ford Motor Company. That project will build batteries for the electric version of the 2011 Ford Focus. And Johnson Controls-Saft will provide jobs for 500 more workers when construction of their $220 million lithium-ion plant in Holland is completed.

Greg Main, the president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, notes that, “This visit cements the Obama administration’s commitment to building a battery industry in the United States.” With the help of federal stimulus funds in the range of $1.3 billion, Michigan is able to offer attractive incentives – including credits designed to offset business tax liabilities associated with start-up costs.

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Ann Arbor Street Art Fair – The Original – Coming July 21-24

Official poster for 2010 Street Art FairWith a theme of “51 Years of Originality in 2010,”  the 51st Annual Ann Arbor Street Art Fair will take our city by storm from Wednesday, July 21 through Saturday, July 24. Established in 1960, “The Original Fair” was created “to increase public knowledge and appreciation for contemporary fine arts and crafts by creating opportunities that connect artists and the Ann Arbor community to their mutual benefit.”
 
The Festival is set on North University Avenue and on the University of Michigan’s Central Campus, amidst elegant Ann Arbor architecture and beautifully landscaped pedestrian walkways. If you’re lucky enough to live near the university campus, you’ll be within walking distance of the fun, which promotes art and puts the spotlight on the city!

Ann Arbor’s South Side Business Collaboration Means Variety for Residents

businesses, ann arborThe south side of Ann Arbor, which has always been a great place to live, is turning out to be full of some of our city’s “best kept shopping secrets.” They’re rapidly becoming secrets no more, thanks to a recent initiative by several local business owners. Encompassing an area between I-94, State Street, Ellsworth Road, and Oak Valley Drive, the Southside Business District (SSBD) was recently formed in an effort to promote networking among, and visibility for, the businesses in the area.

The idea began to take shape when James Snider, owner of Arbor Motion car repair, was approached by  neighbor Huron Valley Ambulance (HVA) for a donation for their flu shot clinic. Snider began talking with the businesses around him, and the SSBD was the outgrowth of those conversations. Beginning with six businesses offering support and cooperation to one another, the SSBD has grown to nearly 20 establishments directly collaborating by promoting each other and even offering discounts to their neighbors’ clientele.

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Ann Arbor Credit Unions “Feeling the Love” as Consumers Spurn Big Banks

Fifteen years after Dearborn native musician Bob Seger graduated from high school right here in Ann Arbor, he released “Feel Like a Number.” The song seems, in retrospect, to presage the way many Americans, including Washtenaw County residents, really are feeling these days – especially with regard to big banks. People are angry at big banks for their involvement in sub-prime mortgages and complex financial products like derivatives, which contributed to the financial crisis.

In the wake of big banks’ risky investment practices, which led to our nation’s current financial downturn, consumers are looking at alternatives for the investment and safe-keeping of their precious funds. As Americans begin the slow rebound from the financial crisis, the New Rules Project’s Community Banking Initiative reports that the percentage of US consumer deposits held by credit unions increased from 9 percent to 10 percent. According to the National Credit Union Administration, federally-insured credit unions now hold nearly $724.8 billion of all consumer deposits. The Ann Arbor region’s credit unions are reaping the benefits of local dissatisfaction with big banks, and, as consumers seek to divert their funds to local institutions, they are positioning themselves to gain more customers.  

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Ann Arbor’s Pink Pump Opens Downtown on Saturday

If you’ve been searching Ann Arbor for the perfect pair of shoes or the coolest new clothes, the hunt ends on Saturday. Although Pink Pump (formerly known as Shoe Envy) will celebrate its grand opening on August 14, lucky shoppers and Ann Arbor Art Fair attendees will get a sneak peek during the store’s soft opening on July 10. From Saturday until the grand opening, Pink Pump will be running specials and promotions, including 15% off merchandise. The Ann Arbor store will be located in the former John Leidy shop next to the Michigan Theater on East Liberty, which has been vacant since February.
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Eat Your Way Around the World in Ann Arbor

In a city like Ann Arbor, with restaurants to satisfy any palate, it is easy to fall into the pattern of frequenting a few favorites while ignoring the rest. Willing to move from your culinary comfort zone? This week, June 20-25, the Main Street Area Association is holding its semi-annual restaurant week, enticing you to sample international cuisine from 33 local restaurants. For a flat rate of $25 for dinner and $12 for lunch, you can literally eat your way around the world this week. The flat rate excludes beverages, tax, and tip, of course; you can order off the menus at any restaurant as well. Some places are offering 2 for 1 deals.
Hard to decide where to start? The 33 participating restaurants include all of the 2010 Taste of Ann Arbor Award winners, so you might want to start by sampling these winners: