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Princess Tea Party

Spring color breaks over Kalamazoo

Tom Small


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Perrigo promotes Amanda Carter on tablet packaging team

Amanda Carter has been promoted as Operations Management Trainee for the tablet packaging team for Perrigo, in Allegan.  

Carter will shadow-train with the supervisors on the production floor to learn the operations management tasks.  

She has worked in tablet packaging for 17 years with Perrigo. During her tenure, she served as a blister packaging technician and an associate production engineer.   

Carter is a student at Davenport University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business management.  

She is an Allegan High School graduate and now lives in Allegan.  

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Rebecca Herrington, Perrigo

Helena's Boutique opens doors in Benton Harbor

Class started at 9 a.m. but Helen Adams was sitting in her seat at 8:30 a.m. That's how excited she was about learning how to run her own business. "I loved this class that much," she says.

Learning of the POWER program (Promoting Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs) from her sister-in-law, Margaret Adams, a Cornerstone Alliance Women's Business Center program manager, was the deciding moment for Helen Adams and her dream to have her own store.

She has spent most of her life helping her family and others as a housewife and pastor's wife, married to Rev. Albert Adams. "When you're in ministry you learn how to deal with people and I can apply that skill to this business," Helen Adams says.

She has been interested in fashion throughout her life and has previously worked in a boutique, among other jobs.

When asked about her decision to go into business for herself, the excitement rises in Adam's voice as she tells of the 11-week course that taught business finance, marketing, ways to talk to customers and others in business among a variety of topics.

"I gave up three big trips -- to Haiti, Florida and New York -- so I would not miss any of the classes," Adams says.

Graduates are eligible for financing to help get their business started.

Helena’s Boutique, 155 W. Main, in Benton Harbor next door to Whirlpool and across the street from the old State Theater is now open for business. The consignment store, which also accepts donations, has new and gently used clothing. It also offers plus sizes.

The motto of Helena's Boutique is "dress to impress" and she has the fashions to help her customers do that.

Some designer names Adams offers include Coach, Louis Vouitton, J. Renee, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Linea, and Kate Spade.

The shop has clothing for women, men and children, plus accessories including jewelry, purses, scarves, hats, and shoes.  

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Helen Adams, Helena's Boutique

Comstock Township to be new location for Topsy Labs network operation center

A company that makes products to search, analyze and draw information from conversations and trends on sites like Twitter and Google+ has decided to locate a network operation center in Comstock Township.

The San Francisco-based Topsy Labs expects to create 35 new jobs. One job already being advertised says the company is looking for someone to provide support for Topsy's mission critical large scale infrastructure and application stack and be part of a team that monitors and troubleshoots technical issues.

Topsy Labs is expected to generate about $170,000 in new private investment in the area. The State of Michigan Strategic Fund has given a $350,000 incentive to the company for its location in Southwest Michigan. "We are grateful for the company’s decision and certain Topsy will quickly appreciate Michigan’s world class workforce,” says Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Michael A. Finney. 

Comstock Township will be offering tax abatements to the company. Topsy Labs considered locations in Canada before choosing the site in Comstock.

"We look forward to becoming part of a vibrant business center in this historic community,"  says Topsy Vice President of Operations David Berk.

Topsy gives consumers and businesses the power to explore any question or topic using the world’s largest index of real-time public social data. Many of the largest global brands, advertising agencies, media organizations, and technology companies use Topsy as their day-to-day social dashboard.

One of its services is to provide a strategy center where a company can analyze its presence in key geographic regions and markets. A company can look at the historical baseline for its social presence and compare it against that of its competitors. It can identify trends and issues before they go viral and locate key influencers to whom they want to reach out. 

“With Topsy in our midst, our region is now proudly home to the world’s only index of the public social web,” says Southwest Michigan First Chief Executive Officer Ron Kitchens.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Borgess welcomes new doctors and physician assistants

In recent weeks Borgess Health has been adding a number of doctors and physcian assistants to its various locations across Southwest Michigan. Here are a some of them:

Duncan Chapman, MD, family medicine specialist, has joined Borgess ProMed Family Practice at the Woodbridge Hills location in Portage. Dr. Chapman is a member of the American Medical Association and American Academy of Family Physicians. He received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed his family medicine residency at the University of Colorado. While at Wayne State University, he received the Gold Humanism Honors Society Award, given for “demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.”

William Curtiss, MD, has joined Borgess Trauma and Emergency Surgery, and will be providing trauma, critical care, and general surgery services to the community. Dr. Curtiss received his medical degree from Wayne State University and fulfilled his residency at Providence Hospital and Medical Centers, where he served as Chief Resident from 2011 to 2012. He also completed fellowship training in surgical critical care through Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. Dr. Curtiss is a member of the American College of Surgeons, and the Society for Critical Care Medicine. He is also involved in the teaching of residents and medical students through the WesternMichigan University School of Medicine.

Premier Radiology has added K. Derek Kreitel, MD, and Alison Nohara, MD, to its highly specialized team. They will provide both neurointerventional and spine care for the community. 

Dr. Kreitel received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and fulfilled an internal medicine residency at the Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati. He completed a diagnostic radiology residency at the University of Virginia, and also completed both a diagnostic and neurointerventional radiology fellowship at the university. Dr. Kreitel holds memberships in the American Society of Neuroradiology, Radiological Society of North America, and Society of Neurointerventional Surgery.

Dr. Nohara received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and completed a neurosurgery residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Miami. She also completed a radiology residency at Emory University in Atlanta, and followed up with fellowship training in both diagnostic and interventional radiology at the University of Virginia.

Borgess ProMed Family Practice has added Jennifer Owens, certified physician assistants (PA-C), to its growing family practice. Owens previously was a certified ophthalmic medical technologist at Haik Humble Eye Center in West Monroe, La. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Owens received a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Harding University in Searcy, Ark. She received Bachelor of Science degrees in Ophthalmic Medical Technology and Biology from the University of Arkansas.

Todd Ruiter, DO, is the newest member of Borgess Orthopedics, part of the Borgess Bone & Joint Institute. He specializes in hand, wrist and upper extremity care. Dr. Ruiter is a candidate member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He completed his surgery residency at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Queens, NY. This was followed by fellowship training in hand, wrist and microsurgery at the CMKI Institute at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. In addition to his medical training, Dr. Ruiter served for three years as a flight surgeon with the U.S. Army, including one year with the 82nd Airborne prior to his residency training. Borgess Orthopedics is located at 2490 S. 11th Street in Kalamazoo.

Borgess ProMed Family Practice has added Katherine Schultz, certified physician assistants (PA-C), to its growing family practice. Schultz joins ProMed Family Practice after serving as a PA-C with Family Health Center in Kalamazoo and the Borgess Heart Center for Excellence. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and is also a member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. She received a Master of Science degree in Medicine-Physician Assistant Studies from Western Michigan University.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Michael Smith, Borgess Health 

Bronson to open new post-acute care facility in Mattawan

A new facility specializing in rehabilitation and skilled nursing care will open in mid-September at 23332 Red Arrow Highway in Mattawan.

Bronson Commons is intended to meet a growing need in the area for a place where adults of all ages can continue care and recovery after leaving the hospital.

It is built to serve 100 patients, who will all have private rooms. It was built to replace the Bronson Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Lawton. That facility is being sold and redeveloped as an assisted living community.  

Approximately 90 patients and 162 employees from the Lawton facility will move to Bronson Commons the week of Sept.16.

Bronson Commons will provide short-term nursing care and therapy in a facility specifically designed for patients who need more assistance following illness, injury or hospitalization.  

The medical team includes physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners onsite daily through the week, along with a skilled nursing team devoted to bridging the transition between inpatient care and home. Bronson Commons also has a unit devoted to residential long-term care, with a focus on providing a secure, homelike environment to adults with dementia.

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, complex wound and ostomy care, post-operative rehabilitation, IV management, chronic disease management, psychiatry, hearing, podiatry, dental and optical services all will be provided.  

Private insurance plans, as well as Medicare and Medicaid are accepted.

Bronson Commons, designed by architects Kingscott Associates and Post Associates, has many built-in conveniences, a number of which are being provided through donor support, which has contributed more than $350,000 to enhance the patient rooms and healing spaces at Bronson Commons.

Indoors, there are multiple places for patients and family members to gather and visit including a vibrant cafe in the heart of the facility and an adjacent library. Artwork by area artists is displayed in patient rooms and hallways and large windows bring in natural light and views of the woodlands. Each patient room has a comfortable bed and seating area and 42-inch flat screen TV. There is WiFi throughout.

Outdoors, there are three courtyards to enjoy. Each courtyard has walking paths along with seating areas and a variety of plantings. In order to enhance patient privacy, each patient room with a window to the courtyard is at an angle to every other room so that no windows directly face each other. The courtyards and cafe will be open to the public.

For more information about patient care services at Bronson Commons, call (269) 283-5200.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Candice Elders, Bronson Healthcare

Urban Cottage to have eclectic home furnishings and more

At Urban Cottage they say many of their home furnishings tell a story -- either in its design or that of the designer. It's a story that will continue in the homes of those who buy Urban Cottage furnishings, accents and gifts.

Customers will find that with each visit they’ll discover something new and some surprises, says says Jessica Davis, who is the brains behind the store.

Davis was born and raised in West Michigan and a big fan of Downtown Kalamazoo. She says it was important to her the store be located in the downtown district because she feels that the energy of the area reflects the artistic style of their store.

The store will feature a multitude of cool, furniture and gifts for the home--from vintage chairs and dressers to funky glassware and lamps.

What is one of those stories the items sold tell? "We just made a trip to Mexico where we met a young lady and her mother, and we brought back some beautiful linens. We’ll also be showcasing products made by artists a little closer to home," Davis says.

In addition to home furnishings and unique accents, Urban Cottage will also be offering staging and decorating services along with regular in-store events that feature themed design tips and specials throughout the store.

Urban Cottage opens Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 166 Kalamazoo Mall. Its hours will be  10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; and noon-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Jessica Davis, Urban Cottage

Matt Lynn takes Regional Director role for United Way

Matt Lynn has been named the regional Director of Community of Impact for United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBCKR).
Lynn formerly served as Director of Community Impact for United Way in Battle Creek.
In his expanded role, Lynn will lead the organization’s work with staff, volunteers and community partners as they mobilize and target resources in the areas of education, income and health.
Lynn has been with the Battle Creek United Way for seven years. 
He also has a great deal of experience in education, counseling, youth development, career development and neighborhood revitalization, as well as community organizing and street outreach for youth in Chicago, New York City, Detroit, Flint, Albion and Battle Creek. 
Lynn, a recognized community leader has received a Leadership Award from the Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce for his work with the Battle Creek Leadership Challenge.
Lynn received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Albion College in 1996 and Masters of Public Administration from Western Michigan University in 2001. He is married and has three children.
UWBCKR President and CEO Michael Larson says Lynn "brings considerable knowledge, capabilities and strong relationships across the region that will enhance our community partnerships and build momentum in meaningful ways."

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Chris Riker, United Way

WMU to offer concentration in health field for MBA's

Western Michigan University students who are working on a master's degree in business administration now have the option of doing so with a concentration in healthcare.

The program is designed for those who want to be leaders or managers in healthcare.

Available beginning the fall of 2013, the MBA degree with a concentration in healthcare is earned by taking between 36 and 48 credit hours, depending on prerequisites.

Nine hours are electives and will be chosen from courses offered by the Haworth College of Business and other colleges on campus offering courses with a healthcare focus.

Dr. Satish Deshpande, associate dean of operations and graduate programs, says the MBA program is not just for business students anymore.

"There is a huge need for healthcare management--the business side of healthcare,"  Deshpande says. "The healthcare system needs leaders who understand the business aspect. There are doctors who are now receiving their MBA degrees. You do not have to have studied business in the past to earn your MBA. Many doctors are now leaders in the business world."

That's why WMU plans to offer a dual doctor of medicine and master of business administration degree starting in fall 2014 when the university's medical school enrolls students.

"Today's healthcare executives realize that to succeed in today's rapidly changing business climate they need to be able to manage regulatory business challenges and positively impact their organizations," says Barb Caras-Tomczak, MBA program coordinator. "The expertise gained by program participants will make them attractive hires for leadership positions in healthcare firms."

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Cindy Wagner, Western Michigan University


Homer Stryker Field to be new home for Northwoods League team

Kalamazoo is poised to become the second Michigan city to host a Northwoods minor-league baseball team and the franchise, which so far does not have a name, is planning a public event in mid-to-late October.
A five-year contract signed with the Northwoods League calls for a new, Kalamazoo-based team to play beginning in 2014 at Homer Stryker Field, a 5,000-seat venue.
Northwoods will pay the city $35,000 to use the facility for 35 games and 15 practices. The payment also will go toward field maintenance.
The income will cover all costs for having the team play in Kalamazoo, so taxpayers will not be subsidizing local minor league baseball. The revenue also will help the city of Kalamazoo cover fixed costs for stadium upkeep that continue regardless of whether a team is using the venue.
The league will grow to 18 franchises when Kalamazoo and Kenosha, Wisc., join in 2014. Officials say another two could follow. 
The Northwoods League’s team rosters are populated with the cream of America’s collegiate players who use the summer league to hone their skills and catch the attention of pro scouts. There are often 10 to 15 scouts at most games. Considered amateurs, the players are not paid but they are anticipated as top talent to be drafted for the majors.
The Northwoods League has produced a number of major league players, including Tiger-turned-Yankee Curtis Granderson Jr. and Tiger outfielder Andy Dirks. Reportedly, 120 major league scouts recently attended Northwoods’ 2013 All-Star Game. 
Another feature of the teams is players stay with local host families as they play 70 games in a 73-day season in the league that has teams in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.  
The Northwoods League’s Battle Creek Bombers are expected  to be a rival for Kalamazoo’s new franchise. Their general manager Brian Colopy says he looks forward to also being managing partner in Kalamazoo.
"Every time you come to a game we want to exceed your expectations, whether it’s what you’re eating, drinking, the player interaction, the promotions and cleanliness," Colopy said.  "The fans are going to see some great baseball at family-friendly prices."
Kalamazoo’s last foray into minor league baseball ended in 2010 after the Kalamazoo Kings played there for 10 years. Before that, Kalamazoo’s team was the Kodiaks. Kalamazoo’s baseball traditions date back to 1887, and include teams like the Kazoos, the Celery Eaters, and the Lassies, a 1950’s franchise of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Sean Fletcher, City of Kalamazoo

Xcheapskate shows diners the best deal at local restaurants

The Xcheapskate website is designed to help diners find the restaurant with the most inexpensive meals in a way that goes beyond what is available on existing sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon, or by searching with Google.

At the recent Demo Day for companies in the pilot program for WMU Starting Gate participants, Founder Daniel May said the web site he and David Selden have developed over the past 18 months was inspired by being "a college student and broke."

Mays wanted a site that made bargain dining as easy as possible.

Using Xcheapskate, someone looking for a place to eat can go the site, enter the type of food they are hungry for and the price range they are seeking. When they press search Xcheapskate will show them the number of such items in the area, the number of restaurants at which it is available, and where they are located.

For example, as part of the demonstration May searched for an item in the $2 to $5 range and found there were 18 such items to eat, available at eight different dining establishments.

If the person using the site then chooses where they want to eat and goes to the restaurant page they can find information such as appropriate attire, type of cuisine served, and full menus.

May, a WMU finance and management major, demonstrated different features of the site, including one for families that showed the average price of menu items, so a parent could gauge about what a bill might come to if they decided to patronize a specific restaurant.

Another allows for ratings of specific menu items. May explained rating of individual items helps when a restaurant, which might be known to have a strong menu, still has some items that don't measure up, so for someone ordering those items the restaurant's reputation would be misleading.

Xcheapskate also shows the location of restaurants being searched for using MapQuest. Restaurants mapped on the site are color coded so users can easily see the type of food, such as Chinese or Mexican, that is served. 

Other aspects of the site still are being developed. May said he and his business partner expect Happy Hour information to draw more people to the Xcheapskate site. Work also is being done to develop a mobile version of the site.

As Xcheapskate is further developed local businesses will have the opportunity to send targeted notifications to those using it, giving them a chance to let customers know about special deals or menu changes. Eventually, that also will be the way the company raises revenue. And it is hoped restaurants will want to take up the responsibility for updating the site as their menus change. Currently, information on the site comes from restaurant websites found online.

For restaurants to be willing to keep the site updated, Xcheapskate will have to demonstrate that it has a substantial user base, May said.

"To help Xcheapskate move forward we need as many people as possible using it when they are out," May said.

He said they also are interested in getting feedback from users of the site.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: WMU Starting Gate Demo Day

Fish Ninja monitors home aquarium to help keep fish alive

For beginning and intermediate aquarium owners maintenance can be daunting to the point that it becomes the reason they give up their home fish tanks. Fish Ninja wants to be the answer for these fish fans.

Nate Norman, studying Sales and Business Marketing at WMU, has been working on Fish Ninja with Mike Roussin, an Engineering Management Master's student, and Charles Washburn, studying Engineering Design Technology at WMU. At the Starting Gate Demo Day, Norman described the work they have accomplished on Fish Ninja since coming up with the idea of developing a way to help keep fish alive.

They wanted a device that would attach to the tank and would feed the fish, measure water temperature, include a camera to allow aquarium owners to watch the fish when they are not home and see that they are feeding properly, provide outlets for lights and notify the aquarium owner if steps needed to taken, such a changing the water in the tank.

Working with the Kalamazoo product design consulting firm Tekna, they developed a prototype that could do many of the tasks they originally envisioned. Tekna allowed the team to use its 3-D printer to create the fish feeder. The software needed for the monitoring also is nearly complete.

The feeder and monitoring system is ideal for a tanks of 20 to 150 gallons and would cost about $170.

As they investigated what they hoped would be a key selling point for their product they found that notifying the aquarium owners of unsafe nitrite levels was not feasible at this time. They discovered only waste water treatment plants have the kind of monitors they need to measure nitrites and those are prohibitively expensive. That aspect of the system will not be included until much more research is conducted, Norman said.

During the question and answer period of the demonstration, the Fish Ninja team was encouraged to talk to more potential customers.

Norman said the next step for the team is evaluating the intellectual property they have created to see if they can obtain patents. From there, they hope to find a distribution deal with a major national pet store chain, such as Petsmart or PetCo.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: WMU Starting Gate Demo Day


Rgroup offers new way to help scattered friends regroup

Keeping a group of friends together at music festivals, theme parks, or even at Art Hop in downtown Kalamazoo on a Friday night can be challenging.

If the venue is loud, like a music festival, friends may not hear their phones when a member of the party calls to try to find them. They also may not realize they are getting a text message if they are too engaged in what they are watching.

RGroup is a phone app that turns your phone into a device that seeks out your friends by locking on to their phones and providing an arrow on your phone screen showing which way you must go to find them.

Recent Western Michigan University MBA graduate Ryan McNally and John Fry, a current MBA student at WMU, described their project, RGroup at the Starting Gate Demo Day presentation of the app with the motto: "The simplest way back to your friends is in your pocket." Pawel Majkowski, a current MBA student answered questions about the company.

First users login to create a profile or sign in with a social network, such as Facebook. An invitation is sent to those who will be attending an event together. There is a specific time window when the phones can find one another so that your friends can't find you all the time.

Surveys the group have conducted show that 49 to 50 percent of those asked said they would pay for such an app and would use it on a regular basis. They also found that 62 percent of those questioned said they regularly attend events with three to five other people. "That's just about when a group becomes unmanageable," Majkowski said.

For those skeptical that people will pay for such an app even though they have said the would, the team also is investigating ways to sell ads to vendors at large events that would be seen by those using a free version of the app. Those who want to forego the ads could buy the app, which would not have advertising to paid users.

The team also is looking into collecting data on who is using the app, and where they are going, and selling it to vendors interested in tracking the physical flow of patrons at an event.

During the question and answer period the team was asked how it was dealing with the drain on the phone battery their app would create. They responded that they are aware of that potential problem and are looking at different solutions.

They also were asked to make sure any data they collect would be anonymous before they sold it. "Please don't sell my data," Eric Schmidt told the team. "That would be a dealbreaker for me."

RGroup members indicated demographic information would be the type they would collect and resell, not personal information.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: WMU Starting Gate Demo Day 

FindersKeepers matches personalities and travel destinations

The idea behind the startup FindersKeepers is that people who rely too much on the advice of others when planning their vacations could be in for a big disappointment.

Matt Rumora, studying Management and Economics at Western Michigan University, says referrals from others can lead to only seeing the most popular attractions when visiting new places.

The premise behind FindersKeepers is that people have a persona, or personality traits, that can be determined by taking a short test and that a more satisfying travel experience comes from finding the places that best fit your persona. FindersKeepers will match events and activities to the persona determined through test results.

FindersKeeper provides destinations for the Adventurer, Independent, Thinker and Partier.

"The result is travel plans are easier, less complicated, when they are keyed to your personality," Rumora said as he described the company he has spent the summer developing in WMU's venture accelerator, Starting Gate. Rumora talked about the company as part of Demo Day for the five companies that have been participating in the pilot program.

Rumora distributed a test to help people determine their travel type as part of his demonstration. When some members of the audience became confused with the instructions he said that when the test can be taken online it will be easier.

Rumora's work demonstrated one of the advantages of working in an environment like that of Starting Gate where he learned early on that his first idea for his business -- a Smartphone app which could be used to create new friendships via virtual-world game-like experiences -- was not feasible. He pivoted and came up with the travel plans to fit your personality idea.

Since then he has been doing a lot of research into personality tests and taking many trips with friends to Chicago to test out the accuracy of his travel recommendations based on personality types.

His presentation sparked many questions from the audience and the caution that what people say they like to do and what they actually do often do not match.

Others suggested finding a way to aggregate information from sources like Trip Advisor and 4Square that would show what people do compared to what they say they like to do and perhaps give a more accurate recommendation.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: WMU Starting Gate Demo Day


Michael Burgos joins Product Lifecycle Management team at Perrigo

Michael Burgos has been promoted as SAP Business Analyst for the SAP Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) team at Perrigo’s Water Street, Allegan, location.

Burgos will provide global SAP Application support for the Master Data, Quality Management, Regulatory Affairs and Sales & Marketing business groups.  

Burgos brings to the Product Lifecycle Management team more than 11 years of business process knowledge and experience at Perrigo.

In his current role, Burgos has served as subject matter expert on the Weigh & Dispense project focusing on Performix xMES software rollout and support.

Burgos earned a bachelor’s in computer information systems from Western Michigan University.  Burgos is from Martin, MI and currently resides in Plainwell.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Rebecca Herrington, Perrigo

Red Mango, new spot for frozen yogurt, opens in Portage

Frozen yogurt and smoothie fans have a new place to tempt their taste buds. Red Mango has opened at 6118 S. Westnedge Ave. in Portage.

The location, operated by Lori and Scott Hornick of Paw Paw, is the 250th for Red Mango and the fourth for Paul Hornick. The Red Mango store in Portage follows three successful stores that Paul Hornick owns in the Rockford-Illinois area.

The Dallas-based franchise company is quickly growing and expects to have 30 locations in the Chicago area by the end of 2013. The company says the local store store furthers its aggressive growth objectives.

The Portage location is 2,300 square feet and has 12 employees. The complete menu of frozen yogurt, smoothies, parfaits, and more is here.

After more than 20 years as a commercial pilot with more than 6,000 hours of flight time to his resume, Paul Hornick made the move to an all new career when discovered Red Mango. His wife, a registered dietitian (RD) with a master's degree in clinical nutrition, researched the healthy menu and award-winning yogurt behind the brand and validated Hornick's interest in becoming a franchisee.

"We tasted it. And we liked it," Hornick says.

That's when he entered the world of franchising. They recently celebrated the grand opening of the Portage store with free yogurt for those who turned out.

Red Mango opened its first U.S. store in July 2007. It has since celebrated more than 250 store openings across the U.S., and more than 10 international store openings across Mexico, El Salvador and Uruguay. Red Mango is now one of the fastest-growing retailers of all-natural nonfat and low fat frozen yogurt and fresh fruit smoothies.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Red Mango

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