DBusiness Daily Update: Steve’s Mediterranean Chef Unveils New Look, State Dials Back Pandemic Workplace Rules, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Steve's Mediterranean Chef has invested in a new look and refrigerated trucks. // Courtesy of Steve’s Mediterranean Chef
Steve’s Mediterranean Chef has invested in a new look and refrigerated trucks. // Courtesy of Steve’s Mediterranean Chef

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Steve’s Mediterranean Chef Unveils New Look

Steve’s Mediterranean Chef in Madison Heights states it has invested more than $500,000 in state-of-the-art equipment that will be used alongside its hand-crafted food production operation to keep the product authentic.

In addition to the $500,000 spent on equipment, company officials say $270,000 was invested in new refrigerated trucks to deliver products, further ensuring freshness. The company also is waiting for the delivery of two new mixers from Germany, each costing $80,000.

In addition, the company will debut a rebranded look. The new packaging label is designed with bright sunshine tones and is set to appear in Michigan grocery stores by July 4.

“What started as a way for me to be connected to my children, working in a business together, has become bigger and more successful than we could have imagined,” says Pierre Chammas, owner and CEO of Steve’s Mediterranean Chef. “Some of the recipes for our food are centuries old and we are committed to producing the highest quality foods, with a high human-touch, giving it that delicious home-made taste and texture.”

Its specialties are Mediterranean favorites like hummus, tabouli, garlic sauce, grape leaves, and spinach and feta pie.

Originally available in 40 stores, Steve’s Mediterranean Chef line is now sold in 250 stores in Michigan including Kroger, Meijer, Nino Salvaggio, Johnny Pomadoro’s, Papa Joe’s Market, Holiday Market, and Westborn Market. It recently expanded distribution into northern and western Michigan and many restaurants and hotels serve the brand, including Leo’s Coney Island, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, and MGM Grand and MotorCity Casino hotels.

State Dials Back Pandemic Workplace Rules

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) today filed COVID-19 emergency rules to align with Federal OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The updated rules are set to expire Dec. 22, 2021. The rules rescind the emergency rules issued on May 24 and focus on health care.

The updated MIOSHA emergency rules adopt the Federal OSHA ETS and focus on health care settings where known or suspected COVID-19 patients may be present. These workplaces may have a higher exposure risk for employees and need continued protections to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Dialing back workplace rules for non-health care settings allows employers to use their best judgment in determining whether to maintain:

  • Daily health screenings
  • Face covering requirements
  • Social distancing requirements

Nevertheless, MIOSHA strongly encourages workplaces to follow the available CDC and OSHA recommendations to mitigate hazards.

MIOSHA says it has a duty to protect Michigan workers and the agency’s emergency rules have provided employers and employees with the guidance and certainty they needed to stay safe. These updated rules, the agency says, demonstrate that it has the flexibility it needs to ensure consistency with federal OSHA.

Non-health care workplaces should align policies with CDC guidelines to ensure they help contain the spread of COVID-19. Federal OSHA has updated guidance for non-health care employers as well.

Lume Cannabis, 313 Presents Announce Cannabis Partnership

Detroit-based Lume Cannabis Co. today announced a partnership with 313 Presents in which Lume will become the exclusive cannabis brand of 313 Presents’ DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston.

The announcement represents the very first integrated, activated cannabis partnership in 313 Presents’ portfolio, which will include marketing opportunities spanning culture, music, and entertainment.

Per the five-year agreement, DTE Energy Music Theatre will include Lume branding throughout the venue, including widespread signage, a dedicated 6,000-square-foot Tree House lounge and satellite activations throughout the venue. Located inside DTE Energy Music Theatre’s West Entrance, Lume’s newly built Tree House provides ample outdoor space for concert goers to socialize and enjoy food and beverage offerings. Cannabis consumption and purchase is not permitted on-premises; however, the lounge contains indoor areas where guests can purchase Lume-branded merchandise and learn about the company’s retail offerings at its 18 off-site recreational dispensaries.

“We’re thrilled to announce this dynamic marketing partnership with 313 Presents, which provides educational opportunities to expand cannabis’ place in wellness, recreation and lifestyle settings,” says Dave Morrow, CEO of Lume Cannabis. “Lume is actively leveraging live events and strategic brand partnerships to bring communities together and create memorable experiences. We look forward to building a strong, lasting relationship with 313 Presents.”

DTE Energy Music Theatre is an iconic music venue in Michigan that has hosted a wide array of talent since opening in 1972. It accommodates 15,000 attendees and hosts an average of 50 live events each summer, featuring some of the most renowned names in music and entertainment.

“Lume’s innovative marketing strategy and emphasis on live events makes them an ideal partner of DTE Energy Music Theatre,” says Howard Handler, president of 313 Presents. “This relationship provides our guests with a unique opportunity to learn more about another leading lifestyle brand.”

313 Presents promotes and produces concerts, theatrical productions, sporting events, and shows at six world-class venues across southeast Michigan, including Little Caesars Arena, Fox Theatre, Comerica Park, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, and Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre. DTE Energy Music Theatre’s 2021 event lineup includes performances by Chicago, The Black Crowes, Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Maroon 5, KISS, Brad Paisley, Alanis Morissette, Zac Brown Band, and many more. Visit here to see the full schedule.

Report: Pandemic Jeopardizes Michigan’s Progress on Child and Family Well-being

Michigan was doing better than half of its peer states in children’s economic security and health prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was falling short on education needs, according to the 2021 “Kids Count Data Book,” a 50-state report of recent household data developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation analyzing how families have fared between the Great Recession and the last year before the COVID-19 crisis.

The Michigan League for Public Policy also released its 2021 “Kids Count in Michigan Data Book,” and together, the state and national reports on child well-being show nearly a decade of progress on kids and families’ needs could be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic unless policymakers act to sustain the beginnings of a recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

“As we look at the things Michigan has done well to better support kids and parents over the last decade, the improvements we’ve seen in children’s health and economic security are now the very areas still being threatened by COVID-19, and the pandemic stands to make Michigan’s existing struggles in education outcomes even worse,” says Kelsey Perdue, director of Michigan Kids Count. “We have seen the progress we can make with a concerted effort, sound policy decisions, and related investments, and policymakers need to follow that same formula to offset COVID’s impact, especially with the increased state and federal funding available right now.”

Sixteen indicators measuring four domains — Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community Context — are used by the foundation in each year’s national Data Book to assess child well-being. The national Data Book also tracks how child well-being indicators have been improving or declining in each state, comparing 2010 to 2019 data this year, and ranks states in each domain and in overall child well-being.

For 2021, Michigan was ranked 28th in the nation in overall child well-being, an improvement from its ranking of 32nd last year. Michigan’s best national rank in the four categories was 22nd in Health, followed by its rankings of 24th in Economic Well-Being and 29th in Family and Community Context. Michigan’s lowest national rank was again in Education at 41st in the country. Some noteworthy data points include:

  • Economic Well-being: In 2019, 371,000 children lived in households with an income below the poverty line.
  • Education: In 2017–19, 125,000 young children were not in school.
  • Affordable Health Care: In 2019, 78,000 children did not have health insurance.
  • Family and Community Context: In 2015–19, 295,000 children lived in high-poverty areas.

While the national Data Book analyzes national and state data on child well-being, the 2021 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book: A Better Future is Possible examines state, regional, county and some city data, with the two reports working together to tell the whole story of how Michigan kids and their families are doing. The League looks at four similar domains as the national Data Book — Economic Security, Education, Health and Safety, and Family and Community — to assess child well-being. Some of the individual indicators and data sources vary within those categories, but this year’s state Data Book also primarily compares data from 2010 to 2019 along with most recent year data for additional indicators.

The Michigan Data Book also found that Michigan worsened in less than adequate prenatal care from 2010 to 2019, and children in investigated families went up (worsened) from 2010 to 2020, and the number of 3- and 4-year-olds in school stayed the same from 2010-2019. The Michigan Data Book’s Education indicators have different year ranges due to testing changes and methodology, but the state improved in eighth-graders proficient in math between 2015 and 2018 and students graduating high school on time from 2010 to 2020. The state worsened in third-graders proficient in English Language Arts from 2015 to 2019.

While the report includes the most recent information available for the state, it does not fully capture the impact of the past year. Additional survey data from the last year that are included in the books add to the story of Michigan’s children and families in this moment, looking at the struggles with economic, food, and housing security, educational challenges, and mental health strain of the pandemic on kids and parents.

Feldman Automotive Group Becomes Title Sponsor of Beaumont Celebrity Golf Benefit

Feldman Automotive Group has signed on to be the title sponsor of the Children’s Miracle Celebrity Invitational, Aug. 30 at the Detroit Golf Club.

This new celebrity golf event is a partnership between the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and Beaumont Children’s Hospital. It will feature dozens of national and local celebrities from the world of entertainment and professional sports. Every foursome will be a paired with a celebrity.

All proceeds will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network at Beaumont Children’s and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation.

“The entire Feldman Automotive family has a special place in our heart for the good work of the Children’s Miracle Network,” says Jay Feldman, chairman and CEO of Feldman Automotive. “Mark and I have been proud to support this organization in the past and when this opportunity came up, we decided to go all in and bring the Feldman Automotive Children’s Miracle Celebrity Classic to life.”

In May 2020, Feldman and Wahlberg combined efforts with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation to donate 1,100 tablet computers to Beaumont Health to distribute to patients to communicate with loved ones who were not allowed to visit during the COVIC-19 pandemic.

Known for the last three decades as the Beaumont Children’s Miracle Classic, the new invitational provides a full day of golf, hospitality, and live and silent auctions of celebrity experiences and signed memorabilia.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to continue our support of Children’s Miracle Network while enhancing our relationship with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation,” says Margaret Cooney Casey, senior vice president and chief development officer at Beaumont Health and president of the Beaumont Health Foundation. “The generosity of the Feldman Automotive Group paves the way for a unique and successful fundraising event at one of Michigan’s premier golf clubs all to assist our most precious resource, our children.”

Support of the Children’s Miracle Network at Beaumont Children’s provides life-saving services, vital pediatric equipment, and funds for patient scholarships given to families unable to afford needed care. The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation will utilize funds to improve the quality of life for youth in Detroit, Boston, and nationwide, by providing financial resources and community support to youth services.

Other charity golf opportunities from the Beaumont Health Foundation include:

Monday, July 26 – Grosse Pointe Classic

Benefiting the renovation of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Beaumont, Grosse Pointe.

At the Grosse Pointe Classic, golfers will enjoy a fun afternoon golfing the beautiful championship course designed by Harry S. Colt, along with lunch, cocktails, dinner, gifts and online auction.  Since 1983 this golf outing has raised more than $4 million for important programs supporting the health and wellbeing of the surrounding community.

Location:  Country Club of Detroit, 20 Country Club Dr, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

Registration/Sponsorships: Beaumont.org/GPGC

Tuesday, September 21 – Karen Wilson Smithbauer and Drs. Harris, Birkhill, Wang, Songe & Assoc.

Host the Women’s Health Care Classic

Benefitting women’s breast cancer programs within Beaumont hospitals Dearborn, Trenton, Taylor and Wayne

The Women’s Health Care Classic is a two-course event providing an opportunity for community members from all across southeastern Michigan to enjoy a day of golf, as well as breakfast, lunch, cocktail hour, gifts, auction and dinner. During the cocktail reception at the Dearborn Country Club, the lives of three remarkable women that were strong supporters of WHCC will be honored: Dolores Pfeffer, Nancy Zakar and Dr. Sheryl Conn.  Karen Wilson Smithbauer and Drs. Harris, Birkhill, Wang, Songe & Assoc are the title sponsors of this annual event.

Locations:  Dearborn Country Club (women only), 800 N Military St, Dearborn, MI 48124; TPC Michigan (men and women), 1 Nicklaus Dr, Dearborn, MI 48120

Registration/Sponsorships:  Beaumont.org/WHCC

Monday, October 11 – Drive for Life Invitational

Benefitting oncology patient programs and services at both the Walter & Marilyn Wolpin Comprehensive Breast Care Center in Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and the Wilson Cancer Resource Center in Beaumont Hospital, Troy.

Drive for Life Invitational features a round of golf on the pristine rolling hills of the North Course of Oakland Hills Country Club, designed in 1918 by Donald Ross and the club’s first head pro, Walter Hagen. Guests will enjoy golf, breakfast, lunch, cocktail hour, gifts, online auction and dinner.

Location:  Oakland Hills Country Club, 3951 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI  48301North course only

Registration/Sponsorships: Beaumont.org/DriveForLife

Sponsorship and registration information for all events can be found by visiting Beaumont.org/giving/events.

Orion.Events Thanks Essential Workers with Convert Tickets

Orion.Events in Orion Township is throwing a party June 26 at its Wildwood Amphitheater (2700 Joslyn Ct. in Lake Orion) to honor and thank essential workers for their commitment during the pandemic.

Each essential worker who registers at Orion.Events website prior to the event will receive one complimentary ticket to the concert performance featuring Interstate 90’s Detroit.

“We have not forgotten the load our essential works have carried during the past year and a half,” says Chris Barnett, township supervisor for Orion Township. “These dedicated individuals kept our community safe and functioning during the pandemic. We want to take care of the people who took care of us through the pandemic. It’s Orion.Events way of saying thanks.”

Interstate 90’s Detroit delivers a mix of rock, pop, and dance hits, including favorite rock hits from the 1990s and 2000s.

Space is limited and registration is required. Tickets can be purchased: general admission lawn seats are $15 and VIP seats are $30. Two Saturday showtimes are available and essential workers may attend either the 1 p.m. or 8 p.m. Concertgoers may bring their own blanket and lawn chair. Outside alcohol and coolers are prohibited. Food and beverage concessions available on site.

Upcoming Wildwood shows include a Fourth of July Weekend Laser Spectacular featuring tributes to Steely Dan plus the Allman Brothers on July 1; Def Leppard plus Poison on July 2, David Bowie on July 3, the Kids Under the Carpet PHISH Tribute on July 4, and the Purple Madness Prince tribute on July 23.

For more information, visit here.

Royal Park Hotel in Rochester Receives AAA Housekeeping Award

Royal Park Hotel in Rochester has been recognized with the 2021 AAA Inspector’s Best of Housekeeping award, granted to hotels throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean that earn the highest possible cleanliness and condition scores.

A hotel’s housekeeping and maintenance attributes are among the most important components analyzed during the on-site evaluation conducted by AAA’s professionally trained inspectors. While every hotel must meet rigorous standards of cleanliness and condition to qualify for the AAA Diamond Program, hotels awarded the Inspector’s Best of Housekeeping designation significantly surpass expectations, as measured during a comprehensive, on-site inspection. All areas must reflect this very high standard as AAA inspectors review for evidence of dirt, dust, pests, equipment performance, and more.

“This award means more than it ever has during a time when the safety of our guests depended on our housekeeping and sanitation,” says Sue Keels, general manager at Royal Park Hotel. “We’ve always been committed to providing everyday luxury, and that means the cleanliness of every room and every surface. Our housekeeping team is more than deserving of this award.”

Royal Park Hotel is part of a select group of hotels in North America that have demonstrated housekeeping excellence for two consecutive inspections and are free of AAA member complaints. It is in the top 25 percent of all 27,000 AAA Diamond designated hotels.

“AAA has found that cleanliness and physical condition are consistently among the most important components travelers consider when looking for a hotel — and we know that will be more important than ever as travelers get back to exploring the world in a post-COVID environment,” says Scott Hamerlee, director of the AAA Diamond Program. “In addition to passing AAA’s rigorous on-site inspection, Royal Park Hotel has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to keeping its property in top condition for our members and their guests.”

New Day Golf Classic Scheduled for July 19 at Wyndgate C.C.

Rochester Hills nonprofit New Day Foundation for Families, dedicated to reducing the financial and emotional burdens on cancer patients and their families, is hosting its golf fundraiser on July 19 at Wyndgate Country Club in Oakland Township.

To register or sponsor the Golf Classic, visit here. Entry for a foursome is $1,000; tickets for “dinner only” are $55 per person.

Golf registration begins at 10:00 a.m., with a grill lunch at 10:30 a.m., and a shotgun start at noon for the 18-hole scramble. Guests will enjoy drinks and contests on the course. The event wraps up with dinner on the terrace, hosted by Justin Rose of WXYZ-TV7’s “Sports Cave,” featuring appetizers, carving stations, and an open bar.