Saddleback Barbeque is now open for business at its second location in Okemos (1754 Central Park Drive). Soft opening events for invited guests were held last Monday and Tuesday night, followed by the grand opening on Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For years, the Michigan Connections Academy, based in Okemos, has been offering students and families from all across Michigan an alternative way to attend public school. At this school, children in grades K-12 can learn the state curriculum without having to leave the comfort of their homes.
“It’s a really great option for kids who don’t function well in a brick-and-mortar school,” said Hannah Schrauben, a kindergarten teacher for the school. The students that her and her colleagues work with include kids with illnesses who cannot leave their home for school as well as high level athletes who devote most of their day to training.
The children participate in live video lessons or calls with their teachers.
Mitten Raised (4661 Okemos Road) opened on May 19. Since then, Katie Anne Lambert and Leah Fabian have been baking to bring “world class, handcrafted, baked goods to the Mitten State,” as promoted in their website. Born out of Lambert’s love for baking and Fabian’s contributing work, Mitten Raised is said to have baked goods and an experience customers won’t forget. A world traveler, Lambert gained experience working in Vail, Colorado, with top pastry chefs. She also spent time in Maui working at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, located inside the Four Seasons resort in Wailea but something about Michigan brought her back.
David Snider, owner of Haslett True Value Hardware, knows getting the right tool or part for the job is absolutely essential. He prides himself on not only having the right parts for the job, but also having a staff knowledgeable enough to find anything the customer could need to complete a task. The staff at the store were very attentive to all of the customer’s needs throughout the process of finding the right part for their projects. One man, trying to find out which size pipe would work best for his plumbing at home, was immediately given personal recommendations from the employee in exquisite detail. “Customer service is what sets us apart from a chain hardware store, we hire knowledgeable people that just make life easier for everybody,” Snider said.
Over the past few years, the Okemos Public Schools’ Board of Education has made policy changes regarding discipline and as a result of the change asked that the administration periodically update the board.
Tailgate season is in full swing, and a key part to any tailgate is great food. Shirley Prescott, co-owner of Mert’s Specialty Meats, has plenty of options available for the tailgater and home cook alike. “We make our own sausage, no MSG or preservatives, they are great to grill at a tailgate,” said Prescott, “We also sell burger patties made for you already or bulk ground beef, always fresh ground.”
Prescott said what separates their market from a large chain grocery store is not only their superb customer service, but the quality of all of their products. “All of our meats are sourced from the midwest, we grind our own meats all day
long,” Prescott said, “We also have developed our own recipes for our meats such as our chicken spinach feta sausages, which is one of our best sellers.”
In addition to their house made specialties, Mert’s also provides a wide variety of preparations for any consumer’s needs. An array of beef, pork, lamb, veal, various game meats, as well as seafood and shellfish are spread across a very lengthy deli-style counter in the store.
We might not ever forget to ride a bike once we learn how to, but where is the best place to buy one? Denny Vandecar, owner of Denny’s Central Park Bicycles believes he has answered that question. He has owned the shop for over 55 years in the Meridian area, 35 of them at his current location. “We sell completely different bicycles then they do at a big box store, ours are lighter, and we have a wide variety of parts you can buy for them,” Vandecar said, “You can service your bicycles here as well, and the assembly of our bikes is a big deal, it takes a big step ahead of others.”
Vandecar continued to elaborate on the importance of the assembly of the bikes in his shop, stating the quality of the parts and the care taken into the process makes his bikes superior to those of a generic bicycle in a big box store. “The way we assemble them, our extended warranty, and our extended service all make the difference,” Vandecar said, “We only stock a quality product that we can get a warranty on, so the manufacturer will back us up, that why we feature the Specialized brand.”
For the everyday bike rider, Vandecar gave his recommendations on what products he would consider purchasing.