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New Buffalo’s first brewery finds a home in a former church

Less than a mile from the glittering waters and sandy beaches of Lake Michigan is a white church with a steeple and a unique congregation. It might seem a bit sacrilegious, but at the new Beer Church brewery in New Buffalo it is easy to taste how beer can be a religious experience. Since March, Beer Church, the first brewery in New Buffalo, has opened its doors and welcomed those with a thirst for craft beer. The church’s resurrection began when co-owners John Lustina and Jane Simon ...

South Bend’s Purple Porch Co-op thrives on farm-to-table business

The sun was shining in fat golden beams through the large glass windows of South Bend’s Purple Porch Co-op on a crisp winter day. Customers browsed between aisles eyeing varieties of fresh produce, taking great care to inspect each label. Myles Robertson, the local foods purchaser for the co-op, emerged from the back room clad in an apron and wearing a smile. Myles, who has been with the co-op since 2010, has worn a lot of different aprons in his time, which has included customer service ...

Dainty Maid in South Bend revitalized as ‘Cops and Doughnuts: The Dainty Maid Precinct’

When Dainty Maid shop owner David Hab died Feb. 5, 2016, the bakery closed shop at 231 S. Michigan St. in South Bend. For six months the downtown area was devastatingly devoid of the usual smells of freshly baking doughnuts, until the long arm of the law swooped in to rescue the shop and its following of hungry customers. In late August, Clare, Michigan-based Cops and Doughnuts bought the bakery, restoring the shop and reviving some of the same recipes that first drew customers to the ...

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 ...

Local ice cream shops serve cool treats, each with their own unique flair

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! This age-old adage certainly takes on new meaning during the summer months in Michiana. As temperatures begin to rise, children young and old find themselves longing for a taste of the sweet treat. But ice cream is no longer as simple as chocolate and vanilla. Three local ice cream shops are out to prove it, each with their own unique claim to frozen fame. Oink's Dutch Treat A nickname given to him by a longtime friend was the inspiration ...

Driving new business

A few Michiana business owners saw it coming — their enterprising drive and vision, suddenly here today and gone tomorrow. And driven right back the day after. For the owners of Luxe Wagon, Grateful Green Food Truck and Boho Pretty Mobile Boutique, it is exactly what they had in mind when beginning their mobile truck businesses. From fashion to food, each vendor has varying mileage in their experience catering to the local community, but they all share the belief that the business-on-wheels ...

Bridgman business focused on promoting local artisans

One of Michiana’s hidden gems can be found in plain view in downtown Bridgman, Michigan. The shop is actually an easy find, located in a lavender-painted brick building at 4217 Lake St. A unique artisan gift shop, The Sandpiper offers beautiful hand-crafted gifts and a shopping experience designed to stimulate the senses. Visitors can sip on a complimentary mug of fresh Sandpiper coffee while browsing through beautifully crafted “usable art” that is paired with stories about the artists ...

Home sweet work

GRANGER, Ind. — When it comes to designing apparel and gifts for customers across the nation, Courtney [Bock] Schultz feels right at home. Largely because … well, she is at home. Like many creative individuals in the era of mobile connection and social networks, Courtney has focused her talents through an entrepreneurial lens. As a student at St. Mary’s College, she stitched the beginnings of Courtney Bock Designs on aprons and baby gifts using her Grandma Bock’s sewing machine. ...

Art builds community

The Benton Harbor Arts District has built a reputation as a vibrant artistic community rich with creativity. Located near the Harbor Shores neighborhood, the Arts District boasts unique restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops and a variety of galleries. But it wasn’t always that way. A key component in the revitalization of Benton Harbor, the Arts District has been nearly 20 years in the making. In 1998, when what is now the New Territory Arts Association (NTAA) was founded, the neighborhood had ...

Romantic getaways minutes from the coast

With another brutal winter hopefully behind Michiana residents, couples all over the region are anxious to get out of the house and spend some quality time together. Like the return of birds chirping and spring bulbs peeking through the melting snow, seasonal lakeside businesses are beginning to open their doors and prepare for warmer weather. Tourists wishing to beat the busy season can take advantage of all St. Joseph and Harbor Country have to offer while witnessing the early signs of ...