Three years ago, Abby Ciesalk was entering her sophomore year at Michigan State University. She was on the job hunt like many students always are and went looking around for applications to fill out. “I’d never worked in retail before but I just needed like a simple part time job to do during school,” Ciesalk said. “So I just applied to places around my area, [Eastwood Towne Center] is like 10 minutes from my apartment, so I kind of applied out of convenience at first.”
She found the perfect job at a Bath & Body Works located within Eastwood Towne Center, a shopping mall in Lansing Township. Flash forward, Ciesalk will be graduating this spring and has continued working in the township for so long because of the people.
Small and locally owned businesses are rare and often hard to find, but in the heart of Okemos stands Dusty’s Cellar: a wine bar, tap room, bakery, and cellar all in one. For over 37 years Dusty Cellar has been providing delicious baked goods, fine wine, and fresh hand carved meat for the Meridian and Okemos area. “In 1980 my dad, Dusty, founded this establishment which started off as a bakery in Meridian Mall and then in 1981 we moved from the all into this current location and we’ve been here since”. said Matt Rhodes, the current owner. The establishment started off with a bakery, specialty food, gourmet wine and cookware, which eventually got phased out and got turned into the first restaurant and 12 years later a second restaurant was added to the same location.
Construction on the new L.O. Eye Care, located at 5100 Marsh Rd., is going slower than expected. The new location opening on March 31, in Okemos presents other business opportunities for the surrounding businesses in the Marsh Road plaza. “We did run into an issue with a design component of the new office and after spending a couple of weeks trying to find a way to achieve the look we desired, the plan had to be altered,” said Lisa Rentz, who is ahead of the construction progress of the new L.O. Eye Care center in Okemos. “This resulted in a slight delay in our original timeline,”
Rentz is the director of marketing for every L.O. Eye Care location in Michigan. “We have 11 other locations including two in East Lansing and one in Williamston as well,” said Rentz.
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As he sits in his restaurant, Olympic Broil owner Mike Alexander interacts with almost every customer that walks through the door, and he knows many of them by name. Like a typical boy growing up in Michigan in the 1960s, Alexander spent his summer days wandering down to the river with his friends to drop a fishing line in the water and hang out. “One summer they were building the Dog n Suds,” Alexander said. “Being the young guys we were, my friend and I thought it was great to watch the welders work.”
At the time, Alexander had no idea he’d spend the majority of his life working in this very same place. Originally a Dog n Suds in the 1960s, Mike’s father Jim Alexander acquired the property at 1320 N. Grand River Ave.
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