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Mason Jar Cafe a hot spot in Benton Harbor Arts District

Be it a plate of bright, runny eggs or a tall, juicy hamburger, at the heart of every single dish that comes from the tiny, open kitchen in Benton Harbor’s Mason Jar Café lies a common strand of DNA: simple, healthy, locally sourced ingredients. “We always know where our products are coming from,” said restaurant co-owner and head chef Abel Martinez. It was this philosophy that led Abel and his wife, Jayme Cousins, to finally exchange their titles of “employees” for “restaurate...

Granger physicians built home with open concept in mind

Perched on a stool, a cup of coffee on the high-top table in front of him, Jesse Hsieh starts most mornings watching small animals frolic around his expansive backyard. The family physician is so close to the outdoors that he may as well be sitting on the back patio, but with the tall wall-to-wall windows that line the back half of the great room, he and his wife can enjoy nature with the added benefit of temperature control. “We chose these windows because we wanted to bring the outside ...

Radio DJ revisits passion for drawing to create children’s book

Most mornings, Corey Mann’s voice accompanies thousands of Michiana residents on their commute to work. On the weekends, his Instagram feed fills with photos. Backstage shots with the members of Kiss, pictures of he and his son flanking “Star Wars” star Carrie Fisher or actress Rosario Dawson; flashback photos with Muhammad Ali, the Rock and countless other A-list celebrities are not uncommon. For the last two years, though, Corey has spent most evenings under the dim light of a desk ...

Buchanan students personify impact of new endowment

Alex Tobler and Dylan Catalano inspect the library of their middle school, a space that has been refurbished since their move to high school a few years ago. On an August day, the soon-to-be-seniors talk with confidence about their future plans to make a difference in the community. Dylan sees himself as a politician, helping to enact change. Alex wants to help in a different way, by putting criminals behind bars. They laugh frequently as they notice the spotless carpet and undamaged book ...

‘Girls Pint Out’ members bond over love of beer

On a Wednesday night in late July, a banker, a therapist, a chemist and a stay-at-home mom walk into a brewery. What sounds like the start of a bad joke is actually the kickoff for a regular meeting of Michiana women gathering to celebrate a mutual passion: Their love for beer. These four ladies and a few others who joined them are greeted at Cultivate Brewing in Berrien Springs by the lead brewer, Hannah Lee, who fits right into the clan of female beer connoisseurs. The women swap stories ...

Local physician debunks popular food myths

Fall begins a marathon of months often filled with unhealthy treats, but a number of favorite foods may have an unnecessarily bad reputation. Dr. Asad Ansari, a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist with Beacon Medical Group in South Bend, says the impact of various food groups is not necessarily one-size-fits-all. MYTH 1: Chocolate gives you acne. Consuming chocolate does not mean your face will automatically break out in pimples. “For most people, chocolate likely will ...

United Way director uses vivacious personality to reach people all across southwest Michigan

Nestling into one of two oversized chairs in front of Anna Murphy’s desk, it is easy to feel welcome and at ease with the person sitting in front of you. Surrounded by piles of paperwork and inspirational decor, Anna’s smile welcomes you like a good book or cup of coffee, her laughter brings you to a place where you feel at home. The self-described attention lover insists she doesn’t seek out the spotlight, but when it falls upon her, she doesn’t miss the opportunity to tell anyone who ...

New adventure attraction in South Bend offers team building, family fun

When the door locked behind them, Liz Noland, of South Bend, and the rest of her family of 10 began to comb the parlor for any semblance of a clue. Liz and Audrey Miller, of Goshen, start their search near a set of antique chairs facing a fireplace. Outside the room, co-founder for Michiana Escapes Aaron Smith watches the family on a monitor. He sends them a message: “good luck,” which appears on a screen in the parlor. Aaron likens the escape room concept to a live game of Clue without ...

Chicago transplant creates art of all media in Michigan’s Harbor Country

Creation comes easy for Joe Hindley. There is so much inspiration inside the Sawyer, Michigan-based artist’s head, that it seems there is always an idea waiting to be fleshed out. Sometimes he will be working on one project only to see creative inspiration strike and throw him in a different direction. The artist said it can be difficult on the business side of his art studio, but it never keeps him wanting for ideas. “There is not enough time to do everything I want to do,” he says. ...

Silver Beach Pizza expansion a hit with customers

A kaleidoscope of glass, metal and leather, the latest addition to one of Michiana’s most popular pizza destinations more closely resembles a modern microbrewery than the classic atmosphere of the former train depot down below. A closer look at the schooner-shaped insignias carved out of the back of the chairs surrounding the bar and the unique light fixtures — also shaped like the trademark beer glass — surrounding the upper balcony dining room reveals that, despite the updated looks, ...