Detroit, a city of food

DETROIT — “Detroit is an ethnic battleground,” Professor in the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Allan Sherwin says when speaking of Detroit’s various food options. Detroit has many great things to offer, but what seems to be everyone’s favorite is their endless amounts of restaurants. For a city that is constantly being put through hardships and judgement it always has been noted to have two great things: spirit and food. Sherwin, who also has owned award-winning restaurants talks about the restaurant industry, said “it’s a very fluid industry because people eat everyday and they change and the way food’s changed and the people eat. Eighty percent of Americans at 4 o’clock in the afternoon do not know what they are going to have for dinner that night.”

Local businesses thrive in upstate New York due to community

BUFFALO, N.Y. — What makes the city of Buffalo so unique is that it’s full of small and local businesses started by families and real people who turned an idea into a reality. Because of the tight-knit and supporting community, local businesses thrive all throughout the city and the surrounding suburbs. Ashker’s Juice Bar, located at 1002 Elmwood Ave. right in the middle of the city, is just one small business that has become so successful because of its loyal customers and authenticity. Ashker’s, the first juice bar in Western New York, was started nine years ago by Sarah Nasca and her boyfriend, Angelo Ashker.

“Now Hiring” signs more common than not in Northwest Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Looking around Traverse City it’s hard not to notice the large quantity of stores looking for more employees in this northwest Michigan beach town. Diane Kimmel, who taught general business at Northwestern Michigan College, says “summer is Traverse City’s tourism time, so early summer and spring are big times for hiring. Traverse City Area Public Schools is one of the biggest employers and so is Munson (hospital). If you think about those two places, the public schools have to hire during the summer and the hospital is pretty much ongoing.”

Kimmel says the most successful way for Traverse City businesses to reach a larger audience of potential employees is by either newspaper ads or employment websites: “If you’re a local person you probably know about the email that comes out every week or every day called The Ticker.

Traverse City businesses prepared for the National Cherry Festival

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The annual National Cherry Festival is July 1-8 this year and Traverse City was busy preparing in recent weeks for the thousands of attendees, including both tourists and citizens. Steve Heap, a professional at the Association of Festival Organizers, says that communication is key when a city prepares for a festival. He also says it gets easier with experience, but still takes the whole year to prepare for the annual festival. Kaylie Camp, 19, has worked two previous Cherry Festivals at Fustini’s, an oil and vinegar store located in downtown Traverse City.

Change, not chains, growing in Seattle ice cream market

SEATTLE — For generations of Seattleites, like many around the country, Baskin-Robbins and summer have gone together like peanut butter and jelly. But, thanks to a switch in distribution method and unrest amongst local franchisees, Baskin-Robbins are closing and rebranding at an alarming rate in this major Pacific Northwest city. “I felt like Baskin-Robbins never had my back, and I didn’t want to pay the franchise fee when I didn’t think the name was helping me,” says Burien ex-franchisee Jae Naele. Naele, a Korean immigrant, had owned the location at the Five Corners in Burien for 14 years, when she chose to go independent and rebrand as the Meltin Spoon in February. The Baskin-Robbins in Burien has rebranded: it is independent and is now known as the Meltin Spoon.

Mason ice cream and candy store remains unfazed by technology

MASON — While data shows less and less people have time to go out shopping these days, family-owned ice cream and candy shops remain flourishing with customers and life. “Until they figure out a way to have a drone deliver a handcrafted chocolate malt, I think we’re going to be all right,” joked Shawn Sodman, owner of The Daily Scoop. Sodman and his wife Kathy have been owning and operating the ice cream parlor for seven years and offer a wide variety of ice cream, milkshakes, malts, sundaes and even grilled cheese. All of the ice cream and cheese is provided courtesy of the MSU Dairy Store. “Me and my softball team try to go to the Daily Scoop after every game,” said 11-year-old Samantha Bennett.

Traverse City has some special things to offer entrepreneurs

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City in northwestern Michigan is home to many entrepreneurs. The town has a supportive food scene, excellent tourism, a strong Chamber of Commerce, and many citizens with amazing stories to tell. If you walk through Downtown Traverse City, you may come across Ben Phillips, owner and founder of Ben’s Boards, a company that rents paddle boards on Grand Traverse Bay. Scroll through social media and it’s likely you’ll see Sean Murray, founder of Green Light Podcast.

Old Town starts to squeeze beyond its borders; is that a good thing?

What is Old Town Lansing? The old neighborhood may be stretching beyond its original boundaries. Those who live and work here are really trying to expand what people think of as Old Town. For example, the Golden Harvest and Ozone’s Brewhouse to the north; Scoop’s, Strings n Things and Elderly Instruments to the west; and Preuss Pets and Zoobie’s to the east are all a part of town, according to Matt Hund, Old Town Commercial Association board member. But it’s not as simple as simply extending borders.