Central Michigan: Montcalm, Ionia & Barry | West Michigan Photo Project
Agriculture accounts for the second largest industry in Michigan. Included in that is not just folks who are “growing crops”. It also includes companies that take food crops and turn them into a finished product we all consume.
Away from the lake shore, the central counties of Montcalm, Ionia and Barry not only have agriculture, but manufacturers building parts for major automotive companies as well as outdoor furniture makers.
When opportunity and industry is married with “rural, small town Americana” and you end up with communities like Hastings, where you can work at a global manufacturing company (Hastings Fiberglass) and in a 10 minute drive be in the middle of nowhere.
These 3 counties accounted for 8 different locations for our West Michigan Photos Project and hopefully you’ll begin to see why so many families call this area “home”.
The city of Greenville, home of Meijer, is the commercial hub for the county that stretches almost to the middle of Michigan. Both manufacturing and agriculture meet in this rural community in a way that is not found in many other locations.
Ever wonder how your car goes from metal, to parts to an assembled vehicle that travels down the road? It’s because stamping dies bend and manipulate metal that become car parts.
Greenville Tool & Die is an employee owned company that has apprentice programs that begins as early as high school.
If you’re from Michigan, you know what a “pick your own” farm, market, gift shop, ice cream parlor, cider mill, and petting zoo is all about.
But many people have never visited places like Anderson and Girls Orchard because the idea is so “uniquely Michigan”.
Stop by and enjoy a freshly made donut, fresh apple cider and the petting zoo (one of the best in the middle of the state).
Do you remember the day when the most popular outdoor furniture was “rustic wood”?
You might even have a rustic outdoor swing at your cottage, in your backyard or you’ve seen one around town recently.
If so, it was probably made in Edmore, Michigan by Lakeland Mills.
Lakeland Mills now manufacturers both indoor and outdoor rustic furniture in a facility that is at the heart of the Edmore community.
If you’ve driven from Grand Rapids to Lansing (or vice versa) you’ve driven through Ionia County. The county is full of agricultural businesses that are well known in the community but not well known to those outside the area.
Ensuring large brands like Eggland’s Best have a regular supply of quality eggs is a full time job. Not only does Herbruck’s supply national brands, they also serve local retailers with their egg needs.
With millions of chickens in their care, their company motto is “Serve the Bird”, which their entire team does on a daily basis. They ensure quality of care for cage free birds throughout their facilities and prompt delivery of eggs as soon as they are laid.
Did you know that the world’s largest private company has a large prescene in the West Michigan area?
Cargill is involved in dozens of industries and one of those is production of food products for the foodservice industry.
The plant in Lake Odessa works specifically with egg products and applications for customers. Think about all the egg products found in your local grocery store (from big name brands). How about all the frozen eggs in different products?
Much of that comes from this plant in the sleepy town of Lake Odessa, Michigan.
Hastings and Gun Lake are seen as “Michigan Summer Destinations” but the families that live in the area continue to expand their reach both in Michigan and throughout the world with their manufacturing base.
Hastings Hot Line Tools & Equipment
When your power is out and a electrical company truck arrives, many times the staff pulls out a long yellow pole to work on power lines.
That’s what Hastings Fiberglass began manufacturing over 50 years ago and it continues to be a best seller in the power industry around the world.
Since the company began, staff has grown to over 100 employees, a catalog of products serving the entire electrical community and a new state of the art plant just 1 mile from historical downtown Hastings, Michigan.
Historical downtown Hastings is the seat for Barry County. It means the administration of the county happens out of the historical downtown office and courthouse.
In addition, the area features “mom and pop” style businesses in a “Main Street USA” setting.
One of those “mom and pop” places is Walldorff Brewpub and Bistro. Owned by Mike and Susan Barnaart, the two took a dilapidated building and renovated it into a thriving restaurant, bar and brewery.
This is part 4 of our 5 part series about the Michigan Pure Business Photo Project. To see learn more about the West Michigan Regional Photo Project, click the link below.