January 23, 2012: Meijer, Michigan State University Product Center promote Meijer small businesses with launch of Made in Michigan initiative this month


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CONTACT:    Frank Guglielmi, 734-844-2781




Meijer, Michigan State University Product Center promote Meijer small businesses with launch of Made in Michigan initiative this month


Select Meijer stores statewide to prominently feature 49 new Michigan made products



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Jan. 23, 2012) – Meijer and the Michigan State University Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources are teaming up to strengthen the state’s economy by supporting Michigan small businesses through a Made in Michigan initiative that is slated to launch in select Meijer stores later this month, Meijer Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hank Meijer announced today.


“Meijer is always pleased to support Michigan businesses,” Meijer said. “Also, there is tremendous interest from our customers to buy local and to support local businesses. That is why we continuously increase the amount of products we purchase from local suppliers and companies. This partnership with the MSU Product Center presents a great opportunity to enhance our selection of Michigan made products and produce, further making Meijer the place for one-stop shopping.”


The Made in Michigan initiative will launch the week of Jan. 29 when 49 new grocery items – including marinara sauce, blueberry butter, gluten free baking mixes and gourmet seasoning – fill designated areas within 33 Meijer stores from Grand Rapids to Metro Detroit, and Gaylord to Ann Arbor. These new items will join dozens of other Michigan products available throughout the store, including locally-grown produce.


The initiative is expected to be an ongoing feature within the supercenter chain retailer, and is expected to have a $400,000 economic impact statewide, said Matt Birbeck, High Impact Venture Action Team project manager for the MSU Product Center.

“We couldn’t be more excited about this program,” Birbeck said. “Working with Meijer to implement a dedicated Michigan section for its customers is a win-win situation for everybody. MSU Product Center clients have a unique opportunity to be seen on a larger scale and increasing the selection of fantastic Michigan products at Meijer. Customers can truly buy local in their neighborhood Meijer stores.”


Meijer worked with the MSU Product Center and its HI-VAT for about a year to bring the project to fruition. Meijer selected 22 Michigan vendors to participate in the inaugural launch with the help from the center to ensure all the suppliers had the right food protocols and supply chain procedures. The items are expected to remain on the shelves for a year, and will have an opportunity to branch out chain-wide. The Michigan items will further be promoted to Meijer customers in weekly ads.


The opportunity to work with Meijer fits the mission at Food for Thought, said Tim Young, president and chef. Meijer will carry the Honor, Mich.-based business’s organic line of low sugar premium Tart Cherry and Cherry Raspberry Preserves, Organic Cherry Honey Mustard, salsas and organic fruit juice.


“Our mission requires us to source, produce and distribute locally first,” Young said. “Therefore, the Meijer commitment to offer more shelf space to Michigan-made products opens up an opportunity for small food artisans like myself.”


About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 197 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.


About the MSU Product Center: The MSU Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) was established in Spring 2003 with funds from the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and Michigan State University Extension to improve economic opportunities in the Michigan agriculture, food and natural resource sectors. The Product Center can help you develop and commercialize high value, consumer-responsive products and businesses in the agriculture and natural resource sectors. Whether you are a budding entrepreneur or an established company, the Center is your key to the front door of MSU’s vast and varied technical expertise, research, outreach, and educational services. Chris Peterson, Nowlin Chair for Consumer-Response Agriculture in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University, is the Center’s director. The Center has offices located on Michigan State University’s campus in East Lansing.


Editorial Note: Please refer to the following page for a complete list of the selected businesses and Meijer stores.




Meijer Made in Michigan selected businesses

·         EasyPeasy, Troy

·         Achatz Handmade Pie Co., Chesterfield

·         The Blueberry Store, Grand Junction

·         BolaJoe, Williamsburg

·         Bon-A-Rose Catering Company, New Hudson

·         Dennett’s Gluten Free Creations, Buckley

·         DeYoungs Fore Seasonings, Hartland

·         Food For Thought, Honor

·         Good Life Granola, LLC, Holland

·         Herkners, Traverse City

·         Lac O’ Seasons Resort, Inc., Iron River

·         Lesley Elizabeth, Inc., Lapeer

·         Mandingo Pickles, Owosso

·         Mrs. DeVaney’s Foods, Jackson

·         Naturally Nutty Foods, Inc., Traverse City

·         Safie Specialty Foods Co., Chesterfield

·         Slabtown Coffee Caramel Corn, Traverse City

·         Sleeping Bear Honey, Beulah

·         Uncle Gene’s, Traverse City

·         Wee Bee Jammin’, Manistee

·         Westwind Milling Co., LLC, Linden

·         Wild Bills Root Beer, Williamsburg


Meijer Made in Michigan selected stores


Southwest Michigan

·         15000 U.S. 31, Grand Haven

·         3320 West Shore Dr., Holland

·         3700 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs

·         606 S. Greenville W. Dr., Greenville

·         5531 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids

·         1997 E. Beltline NE, Grand Rapids

·         2770 S. State Rd., Ionia

·         5800 Gull Rd., Kalamazoo

·         6660 W. Main St., Kalamazoo

·         2191 Columbia Ave. W., Battle Creek

Central Michigan

·         1350 W. Lake Lansing Rd., East Lansing

·         730 E. Saginaw Hwy, Grand Ledge

·         9515 Birch Run Rd., Birch Run

·         1555 DeMille Rd., Lapeer

·         2777 Airport Rd., Jackson


Northern Michigan

·         250 Meijer Dr., Gaylord

·         1015 Pickard St., Mt. Pleasant

·         7300 Eastman Rd., Midland

Southeast Michigan

·         3825 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti

·         8650 W. Grand River, Brighton

·         3145 Saline Rd., Ann Arbor

·         3883 E. Grand River, Howell

·         5465 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor

·         27255 23 Mile Rd., Chesterfield

·         800 Brown Rd., Auburn Hills

·         4200 Highland Rd., Waterford

·         1703 Haggerty Rd., Commerce

·         49900 Grand River Ave., Wixom

·         6001 Highland Rd., White Lake

·         29505 Mound Rd., Warren

·         5150 Coolidge Hwy, Royal Oak

·         37201 Warren Rd., Westland

·         16300 Fort St., Southgate