Monday, September 21, 2015

Fustini’s announces new location in Boyne City

With its fifth Michigan location, Fustini's introduces specialty olive oils and balsamic vinegars to the growing Boyne City market. Fustini’s has signed a lease for a property at 120 Water Street in downtown Boyne City and will assume occupancy as of November 1, 2015. (This location is being vacated by Smitten Designs, which is moving next door to the former Logo Pros location.)

“A trip to Fustini’s is not a standard shopping routine — it’s an experience,” says owner Jim Milligan. “Our core business has always centered around providing the highest quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars.We invite our guests to taste the oils and vinegars themselves and come up with their own favorite combinations.”

The model has worked very well over the last seven years as the company expanded across Michigan from its original Traverse City location, opening stores in Petoskey, Holland and Ann Arbor (another location was opened July of 2014 in Maui).

“After we take possession, we will build out the store in the distinct Fustini’s fashion. An Opening Event will be scheduled at a later date,” says Connie Nunemaker, Fustini’s General Manager.

What is Fustini’s? The real question begins with, "What are fustini?" In Italy, fustini (literal translation: drums) are the stainless steel containers used to properly store olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

How did it come to be? Jim Milligan, founder of Fustini's, was so intrigued by and enamored with the oil and vinegar stores he saw while traveling in Europe, he wanted to bring the concept Stateside. After a long career in international business at 3M and Imation Corporation, he created Fustini's Oils & Vinegars—the name a playful homage to his Italian inspiration. Recognizing the exploding "foodie" market at its early stages, he opened his first tasting room in 2007 in the idyllic Northern Michigan resort town of Traverse City, where he had regularly vacationed with his family for decades. Jim found his perfect second life in his ideal location.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Stiggs Brewing opening next summer in former railroad building

Future home of Stiggs Brewing Co.
Stiggs Brewing Company plans to open next spring or summer in the former Railroad Office Building at 112 S. Park St., Boyne City. Business founder Mike Castiglione with help from an investor has purchased the building from Hugh and Susan Conklin. Castiglione said Stiggs Brewing Company "will focus on producing quality and unique beverages for its patrons paired with local cuisine, exciting atmosphere, and a welcoming staff. The primary focus will be a beer bar, serving both in-house brews and other Michigan beverages. The full bar will also serve wines and spirits with an emphasis on Michigan-made products." He hopes to attract craft beer enthusiasts by providing a large selection of products for both consumption at the beer bar and to take home with them. He also plans brewery tours, beer classes, beer-tasting sessions, a home brew club and supply shop, local home brew competitions, competing in local and statewide events, and hosting local beer events. Their website is  The brewery was included in a recent Petoskey News-Review story on the growth of brew pubs. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Good Neighbors Food Pantry opening every Tuesday starting Sept. 22

Good Neighbors Food Pantry of Boyne City will open its doors on Tuesday, Sept. 22. A dedication for the new pantry is Thursday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. The pantry’s annual meeting, including installation of board members and election of officers, will precede the dedication at 6 p.m.

The pantry is located on the west side of the Boyne Area Free Clinic’s building at 624 State St.. Volunteers have been refurbishing an area in the building for the two months, and equipping it for food distribution.

“The support we’ve received from the community has been amazing,” said Good Neighbors board president Susan Conklin. “We are grateful to the many businesses, organizations and volunteers who have made it possible for us to get the building ready and get up and running so quickly.”

Donations of labor and materials, as well as financial contributions, have been received from the following businesses and organizations: Firehouse Flooring, Preston Feather, Carpentree Inc., Wright Building and Design, CindiFranco’s Cool Stuff, The Wood Shop, Boyne City Hardware, Boyne Area Free Clinic, The Grain Train Natural Foods Market, Char-Em United Way, and the City of Boyne City.

The pantry will be open once a week, every Tuesday beginning Sept. 22 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Depending on the need, another day may be added to the schedule.

Volunteers are still needed for various aspects of pantry operations, from stocking shelves to picking up food, to helping on pantry days. Donations for operating the pantry and purchasing food are also welcome.

The Good Neighbors Food Pantry recently formed to help improve access to healthy foods for families in need. Discussions began months ago between The Manna Food Project and area pantries about how to meet hunger needs in the area, and eventually resulted in the formation of a committee to explore options. That committee became Good Neighbors Food Pantry, and has grown to include many community members, who have taken on the project with enthusiasm.

> For more information about Good Neighbors Food Pantry or to volunteer, email, visit the Volunteer Connections page at CharEm United Way (, or visit Good Neighbors Food Pantry on Facebook. Donations may be sent to Good Neighbors Food Pantry, PO Box 35, Boyne City, MI  49712. Visit their Facebook page.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

"Outrageously offbeat" Horton Bay Parade to return on July 4th, 2016

Chip Lorenger is already promoting the parade
at the Horton Bay General Store.
A group of Horton Bay area residents are planning to revive their wacky 4th of July Parade parade in 2016. They have scheduled a fund-raiser from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6 at the Horton Bay General Store. Popular local band Horton Creek will play for the fund-raiser, and some of the band members are active on a committee planning the parade. Organizers have started a Facebook page with with photos from past parades, and posts such as "Fun Horton Bay Parade fact: Average attendance 2,500, but peak was 10,000 in 1980's (in a village of 38 people!)." The parade was held every year or two starting in the late 1970s through 2008. In 2009 the parade was cancelled. However, according to the Petoskey News-Review, "In the spirit of Horton Bay craziness, it's been reported that parade spectators are still planning on gathering for the non-parade. Horton Bay General Store owners are hosting the non-parade event at noon on Saturday, July 4, in front of their store," where they planned to sit on the porch and wave at passing cars. In 1998, Horton Bay resident Sara Gay Damman wrote a feature story on the parade for the Chicago Tribune, which began like this: "An opportunity for public humiliation." That is the pitch John Rohe, czar of Horton Bay's Annual 4th of July Parade, uses to lure otherwise normal people into entering what many believe is one of the most outrageously offbeat Independence Day parades in the U.S."