eMailMax - 03/18/17

Moody On The Market

Pat Moody 2017-03-16 06:02:03

It came about a week later than had been anticipated, and it arrived on a snowy day in Michigan’s Great Southwest, but the Dairy Korner in St. Joseph is back up and running…and officially open for business. You can now stop by the long-running ice cream stand for a nice hot breakfast of oatmeal, a cup of coffee and more and then stop back by for lunch or dinner as well…or just any old time for your favorite ice cream treats. The Dairy Korner is under new ownership as I shared with you a couple of weeks ago, and you can read the rest of that original story right here. Just wanted to update you to let you know that the place is now open and ready to serve you. You might want to take special note of a new burger they have crafted in my honor, which is rather humbling. The “Moodylicious Burger” is a deluxe olive burger with a slab of cream cheese to cap it off. Give it a try…I hope to soon myself. In case you missed it, here’s the original story from Moody on the The Dairy Korner in St. Joseph has been making kids of all ages smile for more than 60-years and when the “for sale” sign went up at the end of last season, there were fears that those smiles would fade and the end might be close at hand. Despite the dramatic makeover and fresh new look for the iconic ice cream store and diner, some were afraid that a potential buyer might find the land more valuable than the building. Well rest easy, Dairy Korner lovers. Anthony & Denise Miceli have taken command, after closing the deal to buy the business, and they and their kids and a flotilla of employees will set sail to breathe new life into the place and keep the spirit alive and well. The Micelis were in the house when I met with them, taking inventory of what was ready to go and what they would need to do to get the Dairy Korner open by their ideal target of March 6th. On top of that, they plan to operate ten months out of the year, closing only for January and February to recharge the batteries for the next go round. When they first came to town a little over eight years ago, they actually were interested in acquiring the place, but it wasn’t for sale, and despite occasional “for sale” signs that would pop up out front over the years, the long-time owner never really got serious about actually selling until Greg Rood successfully purchased it, performed the makeover, and ran the shop for a full season last spring and summer. When he closed for the season he put the business on the market, and that’s when the Micelis jumped into action to make their long standing dream come true. Anthony worked as a Claims Resolution Manager in the Legal Department at Whirlpool for just under nine years, and Denise spent 20 years as a Starbuck’s Coffee Shop manager in Tinley Park, Illinois outside of Chicago before moving here. The Dairy Korner has been a treat for tens of thousands of customers since first opening in 1956, and fans will be happy that the new owners are not only dedicated to keeping the traditions alive, but enhancing them even further. Tony says they fully intend “to become a part of the fabric of the community,” and he wants it to be a regular gathering place for people like the friends who used to gather on site to play bridge. Both say they want people to consider themselves “friends and family, not just customers.” The diner is making plans to routinely host opportunities to give back to the community through special fundraising efforts with the likes of Make A Wish, St. Jude’s, the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Count Your Blessings Day, and others where 100-percent of the profits will go toward such causes. The Miceli family comes with four children who will also be involved in the operation including Grace who says her favorite offering there is the Ice Cream Flurries (which is also her mother’s top choice), Anthony Junior who pegs the Vienna Beef Hot Dogs as his favorite, and dad’s top pick is the good old fashioned Ice Cream Sundae. The two other sons who were not at the shop that day include Joey, who also works at The Mark III in St. Joe, and John who is attending Western Michigan University. The Dairy Korner has been ensconced at 1605 Lakeview Avenue in St. Joseph just off of Lake Shore Drive across from Rooster’s Party Store for decades and their prime features are the soft serve ice cream and custards as well as a diner- style menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and more. There are 7 or 8 stools at the front counter, a couple of picnic tables out front and a side canopy has seating for 36 additional patrons. Staffing essentially includes about 16 to 17 full and part time employees, and the Micelis have been working to contact past workers to see if they want to continue to work there. Now that they are open, look for Dairy Korner to be open seven days a week starting at 7:30am with Infusco coffees, breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal, and staying open ‘til 8pm in the shoulder seasons of early spring and late fall and winter but naturally later hours in prime summer seasons. They also will obtain a premium hot chocolate beverage by Ghiradelli, and will tweak the menu with a few additions or subtractions based on demand the complexity. The new owners are truly a family affair, focused on quality offerings and top notch quality customer service, and they very much look forward to welcoming you! Berrien County’s economic development team is on a roll, with another major assist to a manufacturer in Michigan’s Great Southwest… the second so far this month. The Cornerstone Alliance joined JR Automation Technologies of Stevensville, in announcing the forthcoming creation of 60 new high paying jobs and a sizable expansion of their Red Arrow Highway plant to the tune of a $1.9-million investment. JR Automation is a Michigan-based company that designs and builds custom automation equipment for multiple industry sectors from several facilities including the former Dane Systems of Stevensville. Cornerstone Alliance worked closely with company leadership by providing technical assistance and site development options that allowed JR Automation Technologies to successfully maneuver the obstacles for expansion. With support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Kinexus, the Cornerstone Alliance team compiled a compelling business case for the successful expansion of their production facility to remain in Berrien County. Bryan Jones is Chief Executive Officer of JR Automation. He says, “Southwest Michigan and the talented people who choose to work at JR Automation are huge contributors to our continued success and expansion. Having the supporting structure of Cornerstone Alliance, the MEDC, and Kinexus allows JR Automation to focus on our operational business growth.” Jones points out that, “Southwest Michigan is a great place to live and raise a family and we are excited to be offering new job opportunities to the workforce here. We look forward to the continued opportunities that will be generated in this community through JR’s expansion.” Lincoln Charter Township Trustees approved a tax abatement at their meeting Tuesday night for the 25,000 square foot expansion to the company’s existing Berrien County facility which will allow the company to accommodate increased production. JR Automation Technologies expects to complete construction by December, 2017. Successful economic development efforts are focused on providing better jobs and more income for its residents. The impact of the 60 new jobs created by JR Automation Technologies is increasing the earning potential of the Berrien County workforce well over the county’s median household income of $44,000. Cornerstone Alliance President Rob Cleveland says, “JR Automation is a growing company, with sites across the country and we are grateful they’ve chosen to invest and create high-paying, high-skilled jobs in Berrien County.” He adds, “As a long-time member of the Michigan family, JR Automation understands the positive business climate and advantages of doing business in the State of Michigan. Their belief in the ability to find skilled labor in Southwest Michigan is evident in their decision to grow in Berrien County.” According to Cleveland, the expansion efforts of JR Automation Technologies were the result of a collaborative effort among economic development partners. Cleveland says, “JR Automation’s growth in Michigan’s Great Southwest would not have happened without the diligence and support from Lincoln Charter Township and Berrien County Drain Commissioner, Chris Quattrin. Cornerstone Alliance is grateful for the great work they did to make this expansion a reality.” Established in 1980, JR Automation is a leading provider of intelligent automated manufacturing technology solutions that solve customers’ key operational and productivity challenges. JR serves customers across the globe in a variety of industries, including automotive, medical device, aerospace, and more. In 2016, JR Automation hired over 250 new technical employees with significant growth to continue in the coming years. The JR Automation expansion is the second multi-million dollar expansion project assisted by the Cornerstone Alliance team this month, following closely on the heels of last week’s word that LECO Corporation will add a 64,000 square foot laboratory and products showcase on Hilltop Road in St. Joseph Township to the tune of $19-million dollars. Last fall the Southwest X Southwest CISMA worked with the City of St. Joseph to host an open symposium for landowners and managers on Japanese Knotweed, an aggressive invasive plant. The Symposium drew over 100 participants to the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center to learn about the identification, treatment, and disposal of knotweed, and the partnership is now hosting a second seminar to cover these topics, along with remediation, management, and decontamination. The Second Japanese Knotweed Symposium will be held next Tuesday, March 21st starting at 9am at The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center at 601 Main Street in St. Joseph. The event is free and lunch will be provided for attendees. Japanese Knotweed, also called “Michigan Bamboo” or “Mexican Bamboo”, is an invasive plant that was originally introduced as an ornamental hedge-row plant, because it grows in tall, dense clumps that quickly establish and spread. It is specifically because of this that knotweed can create so many issues for homeowners. Knotweed will quickly take over areas if left unattended, and can reproduce from even small, finger nail sized pieces, making mowing or tilling a major vector of spread and establishment. The deep, spreading roots of knotweed can break foundations, pipes, and hard top, causing considerable property damage, while the stands can also shade out and kill other plants, as well as creating soil erosion and water issues. The symposium will include information on knotweed identification and habit, State guidelines and background, as well as management, decontamination, and remediation. People interested in attending are asked to RSVP for this free event by calling the Van Buren Conservation District at (269) 657-4030 x 5 or registering online at Two Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) credits will be available for attendees. This symposium is hosted by the SW x SW Corner CISMA, the City of St. Joseph and The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center and funded in part with funds from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program through the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development. The Lake Michigan Catholic Blue Tide hope you’re not done with the wearin’ of the green today! The Lake Michigan Catholic Schools are hosting their annual St. Patrick’s Day Party this evening, Saturday, March 18th from 5pm until 8pm at the Catholic Elementary School in south St. Joe at the corner of Washington & Vineland Avenues. The party features green beer and Tabor Hill Wines along with three dinner choices including Guinness Beef, Corned Beef, and Rueben Sandwiches, all three of which also include the fixings. Even if you can’t stay for dinner, they are offering take out options to go. Additionally they will have live music, raffles, games and prizes for tons of fun for your money. All proceeds will benefit Lake Michigan Catholic Schools Athletics. Get your green on… and head for LMC tonight for good food and a good cause. That’s it for this week, folks. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again Saturday right here in MailMax or anytime 24/7 online at Pat Moody Morning Radio Personality WSJM Radio (269) 925-1111

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