Cabela’s to wow at grand opening

CabelaThe highly anticipated grand opening of Cabela’s in Chesterfield Township takes place this Thursday. In addition to 175 new jobs, the development brings something special to the area, and with that, a lot of excitement surrounds this weekend’s festivities.

The impressive 90,000-square-foot facility features 2,500 square feet of hand-painted murals, 150 wildlife mounts, vintage and modern outdoor photographs, and high-tech interactive kiosks. In addition to aisles and aisles of merchandise that include everything from live bait and sporting gear to clothes and cabin décor, there are plenty of excited employees ready to share their passion for the outdoors, encouraging customers to try out products and participate in live demonstrations.

Cabela a.pngThis is Cabela’s fourth location in Michigan, and it has been tailored to Macomb County. Located near the intersection of Hall Road and Interstate 94, it is minutes away from Lake St. Clair. The store offers a large selection of fishing gear but is especially stocked with items for muskie, walleye and smallmouth bass fishing, since this is what Lake St. Clair is known for. With more than 100 reels to choose from, customers are encouraged to try them out before making their purchase.

Because hunting is also a popular pastime here, another large portion of the store is dedicated to firearms. This is the first store to have a digital firearm kiosk that allows customers to easily sort through a vast catalogue of guns, pulling up information on weight, capacity, caliber and much more. With assistance from an employee, a sample firearm can be filled with CO2 and fired at a target on the screen. In addition to getting a feel for the grip and pull of the trigger, the interactive kiosk tracks and reports your movement. There is also an archery range in the store where you can get in a little target practice with a number of different bows.

Cabela 1With a mission to bring the love of outdoors to everyone, Cabela’s offers something for every member of the family. This is evident by the products they carry, such as toy fishing rods and kid’s tackle boxes, and even by their shopping carts which include baby seats and motorized carts. Kids will not only be amazed by the mounted wolves, deer and moose in the displays, but they can also learn about the animals and their habitats by using a touchscreen kiosk.

The grand opening takes place Thursday, Aug. 3. Crowd entertainment begins at 7 a.m. and includes giveaways, live music performed by Lucas Hoge and several speakers. At 9:45 a.m., there will be a dramatic ribbon cutting ceremony where an employee will shoot an arrow to break the ribbon. Doors officially open at 10 a.m., and the shopping can begin! The first 500 customers in line (18 and over) will receive a gift card valued from $10 to $500. The party continues with more festivities and giveaways throughout the entire weekend.

Cabela’s is located at 45959 Towne Center Blvd. in Chesterfield Township. More information can be found on their website at www.cabelas.com/chesterfield.

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Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in business outreach and communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Macomb County encourages you to shop small this Saturday

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It seems as though all of the shopping focus for the month of November centers on Black Friday, that one time of the year when stores extend their hours and provide deep discounts to shoppers. But often, lost in the shuffle of all the shopping madness, is the importance of small businesses. Black Friday deals mostly center on the big chain stores. While there’s nothing wrong with shopping at those places, supporting small, local businesses is very important as well. Small businesses are more likely to contribute to their respective local communities.

In 2010, American Express launched the first-ever Small Business Saturday. Each year, the initiative has made positive strides. For example, in 2014, an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small businesses in the one day. In 2015, it is estimated 95 million people went out to shop at small businesses.

Macomb County wants to be right where the action is. This year, as a way to encourage residents and visitors to shop the county’s independent retailers, Macomb County is making it easier than ever to support local businesses. The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development has created an online interactive resource for shoppers to find and connect with the more than 1,600 independently-owned retail stores located within the county.

This new resource is a mobile-friendly interactive map that displays local shops by 16 different categories, highlights the location of the retailers within a specific area and has a pop-up with additional information on individual shops. This new resource is available to shoppers on the award-winning Make Macomb Your Home website at www.MakeMacombYourHome.com/Shop.

And, in case you didn’t know, in Macomb County, the retail industry employs more than 42,500 workers and has a $2.29 billion annual economic impact. Wow. That’s something worth shopping for!

Woman-owned businesses find success in Macomb County

Working for the Department of Planning & Economic Development has introduced me to a diverse array of interesting businesses. It just so happens, many of them are owned or co-owned by women. Since March is Women’s History Month (we all knew that, right?), I’ll share my insight into just some of the many woman-owned businesses that contribute to Macomb County’s economy. Click on the links to learn more about the mothers, sisters and daughters running these amazing businesses.

safieNot long after I first started working here, I began dabbling with writing press releases, which is how I became aware of Safie Specialty Foods Company Inc. in Chesterfield Township. They pickle and package locally-grown vegetables like asparagus, beets and, of course, pickles. I have always advocated shopping small and buying local, but it hadn’t occurred to me that Macomb County products were being carried by major retailers. I quickly sought out the brand at Meijer, and if a jar of pickles can be considered luxurious, then these certainly are – with sliced green pickles contrasted by a colorful blend of whole spices and arranged by hand in elegant glass jars.

Through work, I also began to write blogs for Make Macomb Your Home and Macomb Business. This has allowed me to interview hard-working entrepreneurs, learn how they got started and share my love of their products and services with Macomb County readers. Plaza Mexico in Eastpointe is a tiny little restaurant serving the best Mexican food in the area. Pilar’s Tamales in Warren offers must-try Salvadoran fare made with all-natural, free-range and organic ingredients from local farms. The father of the Detroit square pizza, Gus Guerra, passed the family business down to his children who are still serving up outstanding pizza and cold beer at Cloverleaf in Eastpointe.

New to Macomb County is Minha’s Coffee Haus in Mount Clemens, serving fair trade, organic, kosher coffee in compostable cups. The Twisted Pretzel makes dangerously delicious bark, caramel clusters and gourmet pretzels available at Viviano Flower Shop branches in Chesterfield Township, Shelby Township and St. Clair Shores. Champagne Chocolates in Mount Clemens is a well-established confectionary producing a wide variety of delicious, freshly-made chocolates and toffee.

Choices Natur Kosmetik in Shelby Township hand-makes natural, customizable bath care products like lotion, soap and scrubs. Mount Clemens-based Paperback Writer Books sells a wide selection of gently-used books, and you can listen to some good tunes while you peruse. Iron Ivy in Eastpointe is packed with vintage items and artwork made by local artists.

More recently, I learned about several woman-owned businesses when I wrote the company descriptions for the 2016 Macomb Business Awards program and attended the event. Nominees included Roseville-based Gotta Have Products which manufactures and internationally distributes promotional products such as vinyl decals and hat clips that hold writing implements. Also based in Roseville, I.F. Metalworks is a growing company that supplies both industrial tools and ornamental metalwork. Clinton Township-based JEM Tech Group helps businesses evaluate energy usage and proposes energy-saving solutions. Recently relocated to Mount Clemens, Relevar Home Care helps families to make informed decisions about long-term care options and to find solutions. Ruma Organics in Macomb Township is a natural personal care business that began with a mom making organic deodorant cream for her family.

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There are hundreds of woman-owned businesses in Macomb County, and the economic development specialists on our staff work with many of them on a regular basis, offering resources to help them thrive and see success in Macomb County – which is good news for consumers like you and me!

If you are a Macomb County business and would like to know more about the services our department offers, contact us at (586) 469-5285 or visit our website at MacombBusiness.com.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Natural product line gives Choices Natur Kosmetik edge

As an amateur soap maker, I was really excited when Senior Economic Development Specialist Jack Johns and Project Coordinator Camille Silda invited me on a retention visit to Choices Natur Kosmetik. Not only did I learn about the company’s philosophy and incredible growth, but I also got to smell some really delightful aromas in the process.

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As is the case with many entrepreneurs, Choices started out in the creator’s basement. This past June, Helga Soave opened a 2,000-square-foot storefront in Shelby Township. Her primary focus was on selling wholesale, but since her boutique has opened, retail sales have doubled her wholesale revenue. Soave credits the uptick to Macomb County consumers’ desire for healthy and natural products.

According to Soave, while the cosmetic industry suffered during the Great Recession, organic body care saw an upward trend, and the market for organic products continues to increase. Choices’ revenue is up an impressive 200 percent from last February. The company is looking to hire more staff and intends to open several other retail locations and a manufacturing site.

Mickie Wolf, the company’s cosmetic chemist, handles product development. Soave found Wolf through Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! and is working with them to add another employee. Soave has also been working with the Small Business Development Center to explore franchising opportunities. Our staff at Macomb County Planning & Economic Development has been collaborating with the company for several years, providing site analysis reports when they began their search for a commercial building.

In an effort to create a healthy lifestyle for her family, Soave found that she couldn’t find the type of chemical-free products she was looking for, so she began to make them herself. She uses natural and organic ingredients and essential oils. She adheres to the European Union Cosmetics Regulation, which is more restrictive than the United States’ regulations.

Soave credits her current success to the Beaumont Hospital farmers markets, which gave her the opportunity to interact with customers, gauge her prices and evaluate her packaging. Today Beaumont is one of Soave’s wholesale clients.

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Choices is the only bath care company in the United States that enables customers to create their own custom blends. Soave, who previously worked as a chemist and an esthetician, saw that people with many different skin issues were being treated with the same products. This gave her the idea to let customers choose their own essential oils to build a combination that best suits their needs.

“We use exactly what you need, so it fits,” said Soave.

Each customer’s scent combination is stored on file, making it easy to reorder next time. The store also strives to be environmentally friendly. Many of their products come in reusable glass jars. When you run out of product, instead of buying another container that may end up in a landfill, you buy a pouch to take home and refill your jar.

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Choices is a very welcoming environment. There are sinks in the middle of the building so customers can try soap scrubs to find which ones they like best. The essential oils are available for smelling and trying new combinations. Soave encourages customers to read the back of each essential oil to learn more about it. The staff is also willing to answer questions and provide guidance.

The natural product line, customized merchandise and environmentally-responsible focus set Choices apart from other bath and body product manufacturers and retailers. This is definitely a Macomb County business to watch.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Business and recreational opportunities on display at the Detroit Boat Show

As a recent transplant to Southeast Michigan, I never fully appreciated the number of marinas, boats, businesses, and recreational opportunities along Lake St. Clair in Macomb County. This past September, I attended the Boating and Outdoor Festival at the Lake St. Clair Metropark and gained a real appreciation for the region’s boating culture.

The boating industry is huge in Michigan. According to the Michigan Boating Industries Association, Michigan is the third largest marine market in the country, following Florida and Texas. Boasting an economic impact of $762.4 million in new boats, motors, trailers, and accessories in 2014, Michigan continues to outpace the national average.

UntitledI am pretty sure the sales reps at the Boating and Outdoor Festival didn’t anticipate a windfall kind of day when they saw me checking out the state-of-the-art fishing and powerboats, cabin cruisers, and personal watercraft, but I did have to talk myself down a few times while looking at the latest kayaks and smaller sailing craft.

After attending the festival, I am really excited to see what the Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center has to offer, including all of the different exhibitors showcasing the latest navigation and communication equipment, docking systems, boats, apparel, and other opportunities such as charter trips and fishing on Lake St. Clair. I think my daughter will really enjoy some of the great activities planned, especially meeting a mermaid and watching the alligator wrangling!

This show will be a welcomed taste of summer on a February day. And I am sure with all the boats, fun, and water, there is bound to be a great tiki bar!

Geurink, Brent IMG_0018Brent Geurink is an associate planner for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development’s Land and Water Resources Group.

Macomb County anticipates the Detroit Boat Show

I am excited to attend the Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center this year as it is the best way to THINK SPRING! The Detroit Boat Show is among the biggest and best that you’ll find anywhere, and it is representative of the huge recreational boating community we have here in Southeast Michigan and Macomb County.

The Detroit Boat Show is more than huge yachts, fishing boats or nifty new watercraft, it also has hundreds of vendors that show off their wares and give out prizes. My sister and her family came along with me and my family last year, and we made a whole late afternoon and evening of it! I recommend parking near Greektown, take the People Mover over to Cobo and see the whole floor (if possible), then hit PizzaPapalis on the way out.

Last year, they had water-skiers who did tricks right inside a long, flat pool inside Cobo Center. The kids weren’t the only ones who got in the human-sized bubbles on another pool, I had to try it too! Kid Rock also had his vintage-like wood boat on display at the WCSX radio booth display; it was definitely worth seeing the craftsmanship that went into that retro boat.

I’m looking forward to the many different types of boats that will be on display and also am interested in the personal watercraft section this year, as that could provide lots of great family time this summer if we can find a great deal. Every year, the boat show changes quite a bit and never seems like the same show.

While you are there, make sure you stop at the Lake St. Clair Tourism booth and get your new edition of the “Top 99 Destinations Around Lake St. Clair Map.”  It is also very neat to see what other venues have been added to the map!

See you there!

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Hours
Saturdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sundays – Mondays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday – Friday 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Gerry Santoro is the program manager for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development’s Land and Water Resources Group.

Retail is big in Macomb

When people think Macomb County, their first thought might be advanced manufacturing or defense, but retail is an often overlooked significant part of the economy.

When you have a more-than-healthy private sector growing manufacturing jobs with high wages complemented by industries like health care, defense and aerospace, it is no surprise that the demand for retail is going to be big.

EmploymentIncome generated in other industries means that there are plenty of retail establishments to choose from in Macomb County. With 2,369 options for holiday shopping covering the county, ranging from big box to boutique, there is something for everyone.

Nearly 1,600 of these businesses are independently owned, which gives shoppers a chance to have a big impact. Recent research suggests that the multiplier effect on a local economy of patronizing a local independent business is as high as 68 cents, compared to 43 cents when shopping at a chain. When you add it all up, these businesses are doing a lot directly, indirectly and inductively for the local economy.

This shopping season, Macomb County is encouraging shoppers to shop at local businesses. The county has compiled a database of area independent retail locations. It’s filterable by location and category.

These unique retail businesses define Macomb County’s downtowns. Retail growth and activity in Mount Clemens, New Baltimore and Roseville are all helping spark redevelopment into local downtowns.

The outlook is bright too, and there is certainly an opportunity for more investment. Macomb County’s current median household income is $53,435, a number expected to rise to $63,113 by 2020. Additionally, with its 865,570 residents, Macomb County has been one of the fastest growing counties in the state, adding a whopping 24,592 residents just since 2010. If these trends continue, Macomb County will surpass one million residents before 2040. With new revenue comes new spending, painting a bright future for retail in the county.

Businesses have been working hard and fast to keep pace with demand. Since opening in 2007, Partridge Creek has found success along the mega-retail corridor that is Hall Road. Each year, more than $1 billion of goods are sold along the 12-mile stretch of road in Macomb County. Planned for completion in 2016, a new massive luxury outlet mall will bring an additional 330,000 square feet of retail.

In Roseville, Macomb Mall has undergone a nearly $10 million renovation that has revitalized not just the mall property, but an entire stretch of Gratiot. The state of Michigan took notice, naming Roseville as the first city in the state to be designated as a Redevelopment Ready Community.

All it takes is a look at traffic counts along Hall Road (topping out daily at more than 100,000) and the parking lot at Lakeside Mall to see that the 150 retailer destination is thriving as well.  The lure of our region’s retail is so strong, even Amazon wants a piece.

Are you looking to start, expand or grow a retail operation in Macomb County? The Department of Planning and Economic Development can help. From site selection, information and research to traffic counts and other assistance, we have a team of experts ready to assist. Reach out and get started!

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a senior planner for Macomb County, providing content for the Macomb Business website. If you have a topic you would like to be featured, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org. This holiday shopping season, the department is promoting efforts to shop local, find what local businesses are doing and share your story.