eMailMax — 4/21/12
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Moody On The Market

Pat Moody

She has been a regular at the St. Joseph Farmers Market, and for 23 years she provided dedicated service to her team at Whirlpool Corporation. Now, Beth Weaver of Baroda has retired from the corporate world and will unleash her passion for flowers into a full-fledged business of her own. Allow me to introduce you to Black Dog Farm & Gardens of Baroda! Beth stepped away from the 9-to-5 life the day after Easter and now she is a world class grower of cut flowers for retail and wholesale who will also punch up weddings and other special occasions with her colorful, magical, green thumb talents. Beth has already developed a solid reputation selling to local florists and has been a staple on the bluff at the Farmers Market, but now she’s got an outstanding plan for you “Forgetful Freddies” who seem to have a mental block when it comes to remembering those landmark special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and such. Thanks to her talents on the farm and a unique “Floral Subscription Service,” Beth can instantly recall all those important dates that just haven’t registered in your memory banks. Whether you’d like Black Dog Farm & Gardens to deliver the flower of the month, or arrangements featuring popular in-season blooms, whether you are a forgetful husband or a negligent boyfriend, let Beth do the remembering for you. Beth holds court on her farm at 9165 Date Road in Baroda or you can call her at 269-465-4870 or send an e-mail to Be sure to find Black Dog Farm & Gardens on Facebook and click the “like” button to become a fan and stay informed. Congratulations on your new career, Beth! Best of luck going forward!

There’s a “new sheriff” in town out Coloma way. Actually, he’s engaged in law enforcement in Orland Park, Illinois where he is a police officer, but he’s also the new owner of the Great Lakes Antique Mall on Ryno Road in Coloma. David Walker has been a vendor at the mall just off of I-94 and Friday Road for half a dozen years now, and has taken over the reins as new owner from Becky Traughber who launched the dream more than ten years ago. Becky will continue to be a vendor at the popular mall which features more than a hundred vendors of antiques and collectibles in the sprawling former supermarket building. Walker has notified all vendors at Great Lakes that it will be business as usual, with excellent service in a clean and friendly atmosphere. No changes in rent for current vendors and no additional fees will be levied, says Walker whose opinion is, “If the wheel is already perfectly round and spins freely, don’t try to change it!” He does plan some upgrades to the building including replacement lighting, roof repairs and smaller cosmetic needs over the next year. He has set a goal for his first year of ownership to sport the highest average annual sales in the state for an antique store of their size. In order to foster that goal he intends some small marketing changes and the development of a website for the business. He’s hopeful to have it live, online, by the beginning Of next month. The Great Lakes Antiques Mall is open 7 days a week from 10am until 6pm. Congratulations, Dave…and welcome to the world of business ownership!

Also new to the Paw Paw Lake neighborhood is Tyanna Weller who has hired on as Director of Promotions and Marketing for Jollay Orchards in Coloma. The former director of St. Joseph Today will help promote the entire stable of properties in the Jollay family stable including not only Jollay Orchards but also Grandpa’s Cider Mill and the Jollay Market.All three properties are peppered along Friday Road starting at the intersection with I-94 and stretching high into the hilly orchard country where visitors routinely enjoy a Ferris Wheel, Caterpillar Crawl, Corn Maze, a Cider Bar, homemade baked goods, Italian style LaVazza Coffee, hand-dipped ice cream, gourmet soups and sandwiches and more. For a complete calendar of seasonal events log onto or friend them on Facebook.

Looks like Paw Paw is getting a new 24- hour Walmart. Shortly after Easter the Paw Paw Village Council issued a thumbs-up for a new 120,000 square foot Walmart store on a 41 acre parcel along M-40 southeast of I-94. Word is that even with the council’s blessing there are some snags that could derail the deal in the form of insufficient water capacity and lack of a sidewalk. Stay tuned for more as the negotiations advance toward a hoped for opening in the fall of 2013.

While it’s highly unlikely that Powell Construction of St. Joseph would even bid on a project like the new Walmart, they continue to make a considerable name for themselves among their fellow tradesmen. Construction Today magazine, which bills itself as “The Magazine for the People Who Build North America,” put the spotlight squarely on Greg Powell’s team in their March 2012 issue, including a full color cover photo and headline on “Cottage Comforts.” Inside, the three-page story, complete with three more photos of Powell’s Hideaway Cottages at Harbor Shores project, tells the story in considerable detail. Cleverly titled “Building Above Par,” the story tells of Powell’s prime role in the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course’s Resort Community. Powell’s crew is currently working on the 14th and 15th of an expected 58 cottages, and anticipates working in the neighborhood for the next five to six years. The story also notes that this is not Powell’s first exclusive neighborhood contract, inasmuch as they wrapped up work a couple of years ago on 61 single family homes at Island Pointe Marina in St. Joseph. It’s a great story that does a great job of capturing Greg’s dedication to perfection, green building practices and more. Nice job, Greg! Keep up the great work!

By the way, if you are a residential builder and would like a shot at building up to 17 new homes in the Harbor Town neighborhood of Benton Harbor, bids are currently being accepted by the Cornerstone Alliance Local Business Consortium up until May 2nd. The homes will be built on Market Street between 8th and 12th streets on the site of the former wholesale fruit market of days gone by. To study the Invitation to Bid, contact Cornerstone soon at 925-6100 or stop by the offices at 38 W. Wall Street in downtown Benton Harbor to learn more.

Some folks seem to have missed the news that Van’s Medical Equipment of Lakeland virtually outgrew their showroom on M-139 in Benton Harbor recently and have moved into a much larger space at 323 W. Glenlord Road in St. Joseph just south of the Lakeland Health Park. Van’s General Manager Katy Bischoff tells me that they now sport a 4,000 square foot showroom along with their main office and warehouse. All totaled they now enjoy more than 12,000 square feet of space thanks to the move. The move into the Zwartec Building affords them a much larger space to showcase their home medical equipment product lines and services. The Van’s Medical team also operates a shop inside the Welcome Center at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joe and Van’s Health & Appearance Center at the Marie Yeager Cancer Center in the Health Park. The Van’s team offers a broad line of products including oxygen and sleep therapy equipment, electric hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, braces and supports as well as bathroom safety equipment. The move was made in mid-February and is now complete.

My friends at Travel Leaders have a fun new designation as a Walt Disney Authorized Vacation Planner! That means that based on their expertise and experience in planning Disney vacations, and their extensive training on Disney Destinations theme parks, resorts, cruises, vacation packages and more, the folks at the Walt Disney Company trust them to provide the utmost in professional assistance in planning customized vacations. In fact, their front-line leisure travel agents are College of Disney Knowledge graduates. Clearly having an agent specializing in the Disney product line will increase your chances of landing the best deals, itineraries, and the best overall Disney vacation. You’ll find the new Mouseketeers in The house at 1958 Mall Place, across the lot from the Secretary of State’s Office between the Fairplain Plaza and The Orchards Mall.

Speaking of fun and celebrations, the folks at Taylor Rental/Party Plus are celebrating their 36th Birthday today…Saturday, April 21st with a big party. They are partnering with the St. Joseph Benton Harbor Exchange Club to promote the “Believe in Blue” campaign being celebrated nationwide today. Promoting strong families with positive parenting, the Exchange Club observes April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Join the party from 11am until 2pm today with lots of bouncers and inflatable games, hot dogs, sno-cones, cotton candy, nachos and more. You’ll find the party at 2524 M-139 in Benton Harbor.

You can be a major part of the fun this summer when the community celebrates the return of the Coming Home Coming Together Concert at City Center Park in downtown Benton Harbor on Sunday, June 24th. The fun-loving committee is underway with event planning for this hugely popular summer concert, and they would love to have your corporation, business or organization as a major sponsor. Sponsor levels from the Full Note, to the Quarter Note are up for grabs and can provide some incredibly good vibes for your team with your “name in lights!” If you’d like to be a part of this very affordable and high-profile opportunity, contact Jamie at 269-757-0207 at your earliest convenience before your competition steals the limelight away!

How good are you at your own financial scoreboard? Can you read and understand your company’s financial reports, which are in essence the speedometer and scorecard of your business? They tell you and your banker how your business plan is working, so if you’d like to get better in that realm, the local SCORE Chapter is offering up a special seminar next Saturday, April 28th. “Manage Better – Master Your Financial Reports,” will be held in the Norris Room of the Maud Preston Palenske Library in St. Joseph from 9am until noon as presented by Dale Wells. Cost of the workshop is $25 and you can sign up by calling 925-6100.

Next weekend your are invited to an Afternoon Tea that promises to be a “festival of sweets, savories and scones,” not to mention teas! Prudy Barret Nelson, Carol Stockman, Anne Vonk, and Betty Beaty will be your hosts in the affair next Saturday and Sunday, April 28th and 29th benefitting the Benton Harbor Street Ministry GED program. The event will take place in the Nelson family home on Singer Lake, complete with stringed background music from St. Joseph High School Students from 2 until 4pm each day. All proceeds will go toward giving the awesome staff and students of the GED program a shot in the arm. Tickets are $35 each, and can be obtained by e-mailing to

A special Bark for Life American Cancer Society event is slated for Saturday, May 12th at Kiwanis Park in St. Joseph. You and your well behaved dogs are welcome, but you need to sign up no later than this coming Wednesday the 25th at

When I told you a couple of weeks ago about Lametra Wray’s genealogy business, Search Party, I didn’t have her contact info for you. If you would like to contact her for services, please call 269-782-1005 or 269-414-1912. You can email her at as well Sorry for having less than the complete story in that issue.

That’s it for this week, kids. Have a great weekend…and we’ll see you again next Saturday right here in MailMax!.

Pat Moody

Executive Vice President of

Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce

269-925-6100 ext. 216.