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.
TwoGuys Brewing to Distribute Products Throughout Michigan
Two west Michigan companies are partnering to quench the thirst of beer drinkers statewide.
Grand Rapids-based beer and wine distributor Henry A. Fox Sales has agreed to distribute the products of TwoGuys Brewing, which is in Wyoming, throughout Michigan.
The three beers that will be available include BC Blonde, a 5.3 percent ABV blonde ale, Mosaic Quest, a 6.2 percent ABV American IPA made exclusively with Mosaic hops, and Trench Warfare, an English brown ale.
All three beers are available in four-pack, 16-ounce cans and on draft. Henry A. Fox Sales also will be rolling out TwoGuys Brian Seltzer, an unflavored hard seltzer, and the brewery’s wine spritzers.
“When we decided it was time to take the next step for TwoGuys Brewing and begin distributing our beers outside of our Wyoming brewery, we didn’t have to look far,” says Thomas Payne, owner of TwoGuys Brewing. “Henry A. Fox Sales checks all of the boxes for us. They have a strong commitment to their suppliers, know the market like the back of their hand, and can help tell our story beyond our taproom walls.”
Payne and his wife, Amy, started TwoGuys Brewing in 2018 after he spent more than a decade running TwoGuys homebrew club.
“I grew up in Wyoming and it’s still home to me and my wife today, which is why it just made sense to go with a hometown distributor like Henry A. Fox Sales,” Payne says.
“TwoGuys Brewing has a fun, eclectic mix of beer, hard seltzer, and cider and we’re thrilled to introduce Michigan craft beer lovers to what’s brewing in Wyoming,” says Steve Smith, craft brand manager for Henry A. Fox Sales. “We pride ourselves on working hand-in-glove with breweries like TwoGuys to help them succeed today and into the future.”
Beyond Juicery + Eatery Opens in Troy and Ann Arbor
Beyond Juicery + Eatery, a healthy fast-casual food outlet based in Detroit, has opened two new locations, in Troy and Ann Arbor.
The Troy restaurant, located at 5316 Crooks Rd., is owned and operated by Robert Kasgorgis and Jason Najor. These multi-unit operators are bringing a third Beyond location to Troy, while also marking their third restaurant with the brand.
“As devoted community members ourselves, we greatly understand the value of providing guests with a welcoming and upbeat eating atmosphere where friends, families and colleagues can come together and enjoy a healthy meal,” says Kasgorgis. “Following the positive reception of our other locations in Northville and West Bloomfield, we’re happy to be sharing Beyond’s people-first mindset with more residents and helping to grow the brand’s rapidly expanding footprint throughout metro Detroit.”
The Ann Arbor restaurant, located at 3300 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd., is owned and operated by Jason Waterman. This new location is part of the retail space in the premier Uptown Ann Arbor apartment complex, which features outdoor patio seating. Not only will this be the third Beyond location in Ann Arbor, but it is also Waterman’s third restaurant with the brand.
“The feedback I’ve received from my existing Ann Arbor stores thus far has been fantastic, and I’m excited to continue this solid momentum in Uptown,” says Waterman. “I know that Uptown residents will instantly be drawn to the brand, just like I was.”
Beyond Juicery + Eatery offers a wide variety of made-to-order juices, smoothies, wraps, smoothie bowls, and salads, using only fresh ingredients. Additional offerings include homemade salad dressings, hummus, and salsa, and 100 percent USDA organic bottled juices and wellness shots.
For more information, visit here.
Seven Detroit Affordable Housing Projects Get $150.2M in Federal Funding
Detroit mayor Mike Duggan is expected to join other officials this afternoon at the former Lewis College of Business in Detroit to announce that seven affordable housing projects in Detroit are receiving $150.2M in federal funding.
The funds come from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Together, the seven developments total 517 units of affordable housing for Detroiters.
Once home Michigan’s only Historically Black College and University (HCBU), Lewis College of Business is one of the seven projects to receive LIHTC funding.
Rock Family of Cos. Promoting August Crowdrise Challenge
The Rock Family of Cos. is promoting its annual Community Challenge in August. It is a month-long fundraising competition where select nonprofits compete to raise the most money with the top teams winning cash prizes.
This will be the fourth year that the Center for Success Network in Detroit is participating in the Crowdrise Challenge.
Still COVID-conscious, the center is opting to invite supporters to host small events rather than staging a single large event. Anyone interested in hosting an August Crowdrise Celebration needs to visit here and fill out the form at least two weeks prior to the event.
Hoosier Security Acquires Fidelity Building Protection and Management Systems
Indiana’s Hoosier Security, which has offices in Michigan, has acquired Fidelity Building Protection and Management Systems of Indianapolis. Terms were not disclosed.
The Michigan office of Hoosier Security is a joint venture with Ricco Security in Utica and has acquired many national accounts among the OEM automotive manufacturers and distribution facilities.
The acquisition means a larger technician pool and technical training capacities to support continued growth.
Social District Opens in Downtown Royal Oak
Royal Oak, Mich., July 15, 2021 – The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority opened its social district on July 16, which allows restaurant and bar customers to leave establishments and walk around with alcoholic beverages.
The district is located between Lincoln Avenue and 11 Mile Road, from S. Lafayette Avenue to Knowles Street. The area bounded by Pingree Boulevard, N. Main Street and E. 11 Mile Road also are included.
Designated common areas are all streets and sidewalks within the social district, including designated parks and gathering spaces. District boundaries will be clearly marked with signs, indicating if people are leaving or entering.
More than 35 downtown Royal Oak establishments, including restaurants and entertainment venues are within the social district zone. Participating businesses will have a sign indicating they are part of the social district. The City of Royal Oak Social District will be open year-round, seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Participating businesses currently include Motor City Gas, Gusoline Alley, Rock on 3rd, and Oak City Grille. This number is expected to grow. Businesses that want to serve alcoholic beverages within the designated social district need to apply for and receive their social district license through the City of Royal Oak and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission before they can become a part of the program.
Guests visiting the City of Royal Oak Social District will be required to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Adult beverages can be ordered at any participating establishment, and will be served to them in a plastic, social district-specific cup.
- Establishments are required to add a sticker of their logo, and the date of sale to each cup.
- Only alcohol purchased from participating businesses can be consumed in the social district zone.
- Each cup is for one-time use. Guests will not be permitted to take a cup from one establishment into another.
- Cups and adult beverages are not permitted in the downtown Royal Oak parking lots or structures.
- Two different styles of plastic cups are approved for use by licensed businesses: A 16-ounce white cup will be used for beer and a 10-ounce cup will be used for wine or liquor beverages.
“A big focus for us right now is the future of downtown Royal Oak, which includes ways that we can effectively support local business and increase the economic growth of our vibrant downtown,” says Tim Thwing, director of community development for Royal Oak. “The Royal Oak Social District is another way that patrons can experience and support many of their favorite establishments in Downtown Royal Oak.”
In the event a special license is issued to a special licensee within the social district, such as Arts, Beats & Eats, establishments with a social district permit will not be permitted to sell alcoholic beverages in the social district-specific cups, and the social district will cease operations for the duration of the special event.
For more information and a list of participating businesses, visit here.
Islamic Center of Detroit to Host Family Festival July 23-25
The Islamic Center of Detroit is hosting the MI 2021 EID Extravaganza July 23-25 in celebration of Eid ul Adha 2021, which is expected to be celebrated on Tuesday, July 20.
Eid ul Adha is a festival celebrated among Muslims all over the world in remembrance of the sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim made based on his strong faith in Allah.
In addition to the Islamic Center of Detroit, the event is sponsored by Rahma WorldWide, Pure Hands, Life for Relief and Development, WellmadeFood.com, Mezza Mediterranean Grille, and Damas Cuisine and Catering.
“One of the most satisfying and rewarding ways of celebrating Eid, is to bring entertainment and joy to the children of our community,” says Sufian Nabhan, executive director of the Islamic Center of Detroit. “After such a hard year of pandemic mandated closures, illness, and continued unemployment amongst our neighbors, we wanted to bring a moment of fun to those who need it most in the community.”
Among the extravaganza’s features will be “The World’s Largest Bounce House,” “The Giant,” a large inflatable obstacle course featuring 50 unique obstacles; and “The Sport Slam,” a sports arena filled with goals, nets, hoops, and balls of every size and type. There also will be henna, face painting, food trucks, live performances, and more.
Meijer Announces Expanded Teacher Discounts
Grand Rapids-based Meijer is adding office furniture and kids’ apparel to the more than 1,500 items now included in its annual 15 percent off teacher discount.
Offered to teachers through its 257 Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, the discount provides savings on classroom essentials like paper, pencils, folders, and notebooks while addressing the issue of teachers spending their own money on supplies throughout the year to restock classrooms.
Additionally, Meijer says it is focused on helping teachers save money on their own needs, as well as the needs of their families. Expanding the discount to add key items like desks, bookshelves, frames, lamps, and kids’ clothing allows teachers some extra savings as they plan their personal supply needs, maintain remote workspaces in their homes and prepare their own families for the first day of school.
“Teachers proved to be heroes as they adapted lesson plans and extended the classroom into their homes during the pandemic,” says May Graceffa, director of back-to-school merchandising for Meijer. “The upcoming school year may require flexibility, so finding a way to further reduce stress on their pocketbooks as they consider their own homes and families for the first day of classes led us to expand the offerings covered by this year’s discount.”
The average teacher spent approximately $745 on supplies, according to AdoptAClassroom.org, but only had a $212 classroom budget for the 2019/2020 school year.
Teachers can get the discount, in the form of a paper coupon, by presenting a current school ID at their local Meijer Customer Service desk. They also are able to take advantage of the coupon repeatedly by obtaining a new one any time they return to Meijer throughout the back-to-school shopping season so they can complete their shopping lists when it is most convenient.
For more information, visit here.
Summer Skilled Trades Training Returns to Washtenaw Community College
More than 600 skilled trades workers will participate in national training programs on the Washtenaw Community College (WCC) campus in Ann Arbor over the next two weeks as hands-on instruction resumes following the pandemic.
The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers kicked off its annual training Sunday afternoon with a welcome reception and check-in. It will be followed by a week of classroom and laboratory instruction. Topics will range from basic computer skills and fall prevention and safety to crane signaling and the latest approaches in installation, maintenance and repair of single-ply roofing systems.
As many as 120 workers from 22 states are expected to attend this week’s National Instructor Training Program.
More than 500 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and National Electrical Contractors Association members will participate in the annual training program being hosted on the WCC campus July 25-30.
WCC will lead summer training for two other industries — the plasterers and plumbers/pipefitters — virtually this year.
The annual “train the trainer” programs help journeymen and women stay at the forefront of knowledge and skills required to work safely and to excel in their fields with everchanging technological advancements.
MOT Production of ‘Blue’ Hits the Stage Sept. 11-12
Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit is set to stage its next production — “Blue” — an opera shedding light on the everyday experience of Black Americans, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11-12.
Winner of the 2020 Music Critics Association of America Award for Best Opera, “Blue” is a new American opera that centers on a family and community as they experience both tragedy and healing.
This production will be the first opera staged at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, and boasts a fully female leadership team under director Kaneza Schaal and conductor Daniela Candillari.
In addition to featuring many original cast members reprising their roles, many have a direct connection to metro Detroit and affiliations with institutions such as Oakland University (Krysty Swann) and the University of Michigan (Kenneth Kellogg, Olivia Johnson, and Camron Gray).
“You could say that ‘Blue’ is about a Black teenage boy who dies at the hands of a police officer — but that would be misleading, and would probably make you think the opera was exploitative of tragedy,” says Yuval Sharon, artistic director of MOT. “What BLUE is actually about is the story of a Black family, and the strong community that family has in the wake of a terrible tragedy. Tazewell’s heartfelt and deeply personal story, expressed through Jeanine’s engaging music, highlights just how much opera can serve as a mechanism for creating community and for offering healing.”
Tickets are available via Ticketmaster and on the MOT website.