DBusiness Daily Update: Grand Traverse Pie Co. Re-opens Rochester Hills Shop, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Grand Traverse Pie Co. has re-opened its Rochester Hills shop. // Courtesy of Grand Traverse Pie Co.
Grand Traverse Pie Co. has re-opened its Rochester Hills shop. // Courtesy of Grand Traverse Pie Co.

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Grand Traverse Pie Co. Re-opens Rochester Hills Shop

Grand Traverse Pie Co. has re-opened its Rochester Hills shop (6920 N. Rochester Road) and is planning a free pie slice promotion in recognition of the event.

From Sept. 6-18, guests visiting the re-opened establishment can receive a free slice of Michigan fruit pie with any classic comfort food purchase. The GT Pie comfort food menu includes homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, quiche, and its signature chicken pot pie.

The Michigan Fruit Pie Collection includes cherry, blueberry, and apple pies with choice of GT Pie’s crumb or pastry crust.

“We are excited to share the goodness of our Fall Comfort Food Classics with our returning and new GT Pie enthusiasts by celebrating the grand re-opening of our Rochester Hills shop with the bounty of Michigan fruits in our delicious pies,” says Mike Busley, co-founder of GT Pie Co. “I am personally proud to share the goodness of this pie shop with our new owner and GM, Ryan Denski.

“Ryan is carrying on his family’s tradition of ownership within the pie company family. Ryan’s parents, Gail and Lou Denski, were our very first franchisee some 20 plus years ago. They purchased the Brighton GT Pie Co. and have raised their children with the same passion for pie that they had as the first franchisee owner.”

Denski says: “It’s really a great feeling to carry on the family tradition of providing our local communities with fresh comfort food and, of course, pie.  Since I was a little boy making dough for all the pie shells I knew where I would end up and helping grow a great brand, it’s a pie passion.

“Managing a Grand Traverse Pie Co. you really get to see people happy and satisfied with high-quality fresh products. We love to keep the freshness alive as our society moves further and further away from that fresh fare.”

Hours of operation at the Rochester Hills location are Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Motor City Match Awards First $1M Round of Grants

Motor City Match celebrated the program’s Round 20 awards, which includes 20 grants totaling $1 million dollars to entrepreneurs looking to bring their dream of opening a business in Detroit a reality. This marks a doubling of the grant pool and increase of funding from $500,000 in grants every quarter to $1 million dollars.

The expanded impact was made possible by $15 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding approved recently by Detroit City Council.

“Motor City Match has unleashed the incredible entrepreneurial talent that has always existed in Detroit and is bringing a range of wonderful new businesses to neighborhoods across the city,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to this additional ARPA funding, the program will have twice the impact on the revitalization of our neighborhood commercial corridors.”

Among the businesses receiving grants are an African-themed metaphysics shop, high-end and custom apparel shops, a party supply rental shop, a community laundromat, and a host of new neighborhood-based coffee, tea, juice, and ice cream shops among many more.

In addition to grants, the program confirmed awards to 45 additional businesses in its Business Plan, Develop, and Design Tracks. These awards offer technical assistance, business services, classes and workshops, and one-on-one consulting for Detroit businesses still developing their projects. Round 20 Awardees represent all seven council districts and more than 13 Detroit neighborhoods.

“The beauty of the Motor City Match program is that it continues providing valuable tools and resources for awardees throughout their entire journey from idea to open,” says Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. “This program helps to ensure that once open, those doors stay open, and these businesses remain essential.”

Starting with Round 20, the program will leverage an infusion of federal funding from the city’s ARPA allocation to increase both the amount of grants and scope of services available. The quarterly grant pool will increase to $1 million for new businesses and offer $250,000 in grants to existing business that have been operating in the city for at least one year.

U-M Survey: Slowdown in Inflation Buoys Consumer Sentiment

Consumer sentiment rose by 13 percent in August, lifting the all-time low reading for the survey reached in June but remaining 17 percent below a year ago, according to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

Rising sentiment was seen across age, education, income, region, and political affiliation, and can be attributed to the recent deceleration in inflation. Most of this increase was concentrated in expectations, led by a 59 percent surge in the year-ahead outlook for the economy following two months at its lowest reading since the Great Recession, says Joanne Hsu, a U-M economist and director of the surveys.

The index of current conditions remained relatively unchanged, with a modest rise in personal finances offset by a similar decline in buying conditions for durables. Despite these recent developments, overall sentiment remains extremely low by historical standards.

“With gas prices waning and inflation slowing, consumers felt some welcome relief this month,” Hsu says. “But consumers continue to feel the negative impact of persistently high prices on their pocketbooks. Hopefully this recent improvement continues, as sentiment remains close to the all-time historic low reached in June. There is a long way to go before consumers feel truly confident about the state of their personal finances and their outlook for the economy.”

The strongest improvements in sentiment were exhibited by low-income consumers, who typically have fewer resources to buffer against inflation, Hsu says.

Overall, consumers’ views on their personal finances improved about 7 percent, primarily due to a reduction in the share of consumers citing inflation’s harmful effects on their living standards, down from 49 percent last month to 44 percent. Likewise, fewer consumers spontaneously mentioned gas prices or food prices at any point in the survey this month.

The share of consumers who mentioned hearing negative news about inflation fell from 37 percent last month to 29 percent in August. Still, all of these measures remained elevated relative to last year, reflecting the continued effects of inflation on consumer attitudes.

More than half of consumers expect their incomes to grow over the next year, with anticipated wage gains rising from 1.1 percent in July to 2.3 percent in August. These gains were particularly large for Republicans, who now expect a 2.4 percent increase in income, nearly closing their persistent gap with Democrats, who expect a gain of 2.7 percent. Only 18 percent of consumers, however, expect their income growth to exceed inflation. The share of consumers expecting unemployment to rise in the year ahead fell from 38 percent last month to 34 percent, though up from 24 percent a year ago.

Hygieia in Livonia Adds Metro Detroit Endocrinology Center as Clinical Partner

Livonia-based Hygieia, a provider of digital therapeutics for insulin management, has added Metro Detroit Endocrinology Center in Dearborn as a clinical partner, extending the company’s d-Nav® network and making autonomous insulin therapy service available for underserved populations.

The d-Nav Insulin Management Program uses AI-powered technology to prescribe the appropriate insulin dose each time a patient prepares to inject. The result is safe and effective insulin treatment. Studies have shown that nearly 90 percent of d-Nav patients have improved A1C levels within 90 days, without increasing the risk for hypoglycemia.

“Our partnership model gives endocrinologists a new dimension of care for their patients:  autonomous dose adjustments,” says Dr. Israel Hodish, medical director at Hygieia. “This allows patients to receive necessary dose adjustments whenever needed, leading to better outcomes. Plus, a Hygieia partnership gives endocrinology practices the opportunity for additional revenue while freeing up resources in their very busy clinics.”

Metro Detroit Endocrinology Center, one of the largest endocrinology practices in Michigan, is incorporating the d-Nav program into a standard protocol for its eligible patients.

“We have seamlessly operationalized the d-Nav program into our practice, and we have already seen positive results,” says Eric Alzaroui, COO at Metro Detroit Endocrinology Center. “Hygieia embeds dedicated diabetes specialists into our practice, so we can get patients started on the program quickly.”

Metro Detroit Endocrinology Center also is collaborating with Hygieia to support patients on the program who speak Arabic and Spanish, offering materials, instruction, and ongoing communication so these patients can properly use the d-Nav program.

d-Nav Technology is the only device that is FDA cleared for autonomous delivery of insulin dose recommendations.

For more information, visit dnav.com.

Transformation of Michigan Avenue Corridor in Lansing Continues

Gillespie Group in Lansing says it is ready to explore a new phase in the development of 3131 East Michigan Ave. in the capitol city as the property is now being marketed as ROECO.

REOCO could become a regional mixed-use entertainment destination pending the outcome of this next phase, fueling a transformation in the Michigan Avenue Corridor and Lansing’s Eastside neighborhood that already has attracted attention and investment from local and national sources.

The site was home to Sears for 66 years. Most recently the site was a temporary host to Sparrow Health System’s COVID-19 testing. ROECO was chosen to honor the history of Sears, Roebuck and Co, a cornerstone in Lansing’s history. The name represents innovation and coming together — a nod to history while carrying the story of the corner into the future.

“It’s an exciting time to be in Lansing, as we have met the challenges of the last few years with new projects and developments all over the city and region,” says Pat Gillespie, president and CEO of Gillespie Group. “We have incredible momentum, and this site is a great example of that. I’m looking forward to adding new partners as we give this location new life, writing the next chapter together for the future of our city.”

The timeline and final product of this project are subject to change as Gillespie Group finds new partners and makes changes and alterations to the plan along the way.

Returning Retiree Boot Camp Offers Free Guidance to Metro Detroit Retirees

The first boot camp for metro Detroit retirees looking to reevaluate, reimagine, and recreate themselves for the 21st century workplace is being conducted at 11 a.m. on Sept. 14 at Gesher Human Services in Southfield.

The free two-hour program, which will be repeated Oct. 19 and Nov. 16, will provide insights into options for both work and play that may never have been considered by participants. Education, information, and tools to craft an enjoyable future will be offered.

The workshops are being started amid a nationwide shift of retirees wanting or needing to go back at work. Economic issues along with personal issues like feeling isolated have recently led to a rise in unretirements.

“We are seeing a shift in demographics with a lot of people who have stepped out of the workforce in the last few years starting to reengage,” says Gerard Baltrusaitis, employment and internship specialist at Gesher Human Services. “A lot of people thought they had their retirement all figured out but then inflation, a downturn in the stock market or health care costs, made them think again.”

To register, contact Baltrusaitis at gbaltrusaitis@geshermi.org or 248-233-4288.