Thursday, February 18, 2010

Outdoor shop coming to downtown Boyne City

The former Kiss Carpet building at 126 Water Street, will be home to a new outdoor sports shop called No Boundaries in early April. The new store will offer outdoor apparel and gear for hiking, camping, paddle sports, kayaks, cycling and Nordic (but not downhill) skiing. Owners are Bob South, a Boyne City area resident who will manage the store, and Jeff Collins, a Petoskey resident and custom home builder who also owns Glennwood Construction, which is doing the tenant improvements for the store. "We are friends from cycling, we ride together regularly," South said. "Jeff has an entrepreneurial mind and so do I, and we share the same vision for the store. It's not the best economy to open a new business, but we believe in Boyne City." South is a former board member of the Boyne Area Chamber, and says "We really want to be involved in the community and the Chamber." Another key employee will be Ben Tompkins, who will help manage the store and will also be involved with building strong community relations. South grew up in Indiana, graduated from the University of Indiana. He and his wife Carrie moved here in 1997; they now have three children. South was one of the original owners of North Country Cycle Sport in Boyne City and most recently worked at High Gear Sports in Petoskey.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Expanded broadband service coming to county

(From the Petoskey News-Review) Charlevoix County residents are expected to be among the first in the state to benefit from a $33 million federal stimulus grant that will help bring vastly expanded broadband Internet access to the area. Representatives from the nonprofit Merit Network, which is overseeing the network expansion project, hosted an informational session for area business and government officials at the Boyne District Library Thursday. The project, dubbed the “REACH Michigan Middle Mile Collaborative” will extend Merit’s existing 1,600-mile network of fiber-optic by 955 miles which will directly connect 44 “anchor” institutions such as libraries, universities, colleges and health care centers state-wide. Merit officials estimate that across the state, the project will make broadband Internet service more easily available to more than 886,000 households, 45,800 businesses and many other public institutions such as schools. Read the full story.

Certified sommelier steers BC Provisions wine selection

(From the Petoskey News-Review) When customers stop by one local corner store to pick up a bottle of wine, they'll find a selection that's influenced by the sort of beverage expert more commonly found in high-end restaurants. After 18 months of studying wine and related topics, Ed Brehm, 44, recently became a certified sommelier. He has attained the first two of four accreditation levels offered through the Court of Master Sommeliers. His wife, Kristine - who began operating the Boyne Country Provisions party store in downtown Boyne City a year and a half ago - has been tapping his wine-evaluation knowledge in deciding what bottles to order. Under their ownership, the store has quadrupled the number of available labels.