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My Town GR: Downtown Market bakery moves into its own storefront

My Town GR: Downtown Market bakery moves into its own storefront

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A bakery that got its start in the Downtown Market now has its own storefront.

The owners of Scrumptious Cupcakes and Sweetery served up their first cupcake from their new shop on June 24. The store at 602 Lake Michigan Drive NW features a rotating selection of cupcakes as well as ice cream. 

Scrumptious Cupcakes and Sweetery will also continue to sell cupcakes at the Downtown Market’s incubator kitchen, located at 434 Ionia Ave. SW.  For more vendor information, visit  the Downtown Market’s website here.

My Town GR South: New restaurant opening inside Downtown Market

My Town GR South: New restaurant opening inside Downtown Market

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—With the start of a new month comes the start of a new restaurant at Grand Rapids Downtown Market.

Sushi Maki will open in Market Hall this month.  The casual bar will offer sushi, maki rolls, sashimi and seaweed salad made on site, as well as mocha and Japanese soda.

Shun Chen, owner of Fuji Yama on East Beltline, is a co-owner of Sushi Maki.  Co-owners Johnny Lin and Wen Wang will also serve as lead sushi chefs.

The sushi bar will be located near Fish Lads to promote potential collaborations between the two vendors. 

My Town: Job outlook for the area largely positive

My Town: Job outlook for the area largely positive

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Despite the harsh winter, businesses in West Michigan added 9,500 jobs during the first quarter of 2014.

That’s according to a newly released report by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Analysts found employment in West Michigan’s six metropolitan areas jumped 1.1 percent.    The biggest increases were reported in manufacturing and private service sectors.   

In the Grand Rapids-Wyoming area, employers added 7,200 jobs in the first quarter, driving down the area’s unemployment rate to 5.8 percent.   Analysts say there was solid growth across all sectors, and they expect the job market to remain strong in the coming months.

My Town: Army of volunteers create new play space for children

My Town: Army of volunteers create new play space for children

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hundreds of Grand Rapids children have a new place to play, thanks to an army of volunteers.

On June 13, more than 300 people from Amway,  Ellington Academy of Arts & Technology and KaBoom! pitched in to build a new playground at in front of the school, located at 600 Burton Street SE.  The volunteers spent several hours transforming children’s designs into a place to play. 

Dr. Marvin L. Sapp and other community leaders will celebrate the playground’s grand opening Tuesday, June 17 at 5 p.m., before officially welcoming children to play at the new site, which is the 16th of its kind built by Amway and KaBOOM.  

My Town: Local First offers family-friendly Local Treasure Hunts this June

My Town: Local First offers family-friendly Local Treasure Hunts this June

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Local First has put together Local Treasure Hunts for families to do this June.

Participants can choose from two hunts: one in Grand Rapids and one on the lakeshore. Hunters can enter to win prizes in each hunt by texting in codes at each location. The hunts started on June 1 and will conclude at 11:59 on June 30.

In Grand Rapids, participating businesses include:

  • Grand Rapids Children's Museum
  • Grand Rapids Bicycle Company
  • The Cheese Lady
  • Fulton Street Farmers Market
  • Hop Scotch Children's Store
  • Nantucket Baking Company
  • Romence Gardens & Greenhouses
  • Schuler Books
  • The Rapid Central Station
  • GoNuts

On the lakeshore, the following businesses are treasure hunt stops: 

My Town: Local First Street Party is ready to rock on June 7

My Town: Local First Street Party is ready to rock on June 7

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Local First will hold its 11th annual Street Party on Saturday, June 7 outside Bistro Bella Vita from 3 p.m. to midnight.

This year's event is presented by Founders Brewing Company with stage sponsor Celebration Cinema. Last year, more than 12,000 attendees attended the 10th anniversary Local First Street Party and enjoyed Founders beer, local food  and food trucks, family art  and sidewalk chalk art, interactive music, and a great music set. The Local First Street Party is free and open to all ages; there will be music and entertainment for everyone to enjoy at this event.

"The Street Party is one of the biggest highlights of our year. Local First puts on this event to showcase local businesses and talented individuals, celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of our community, and kick off the summer right!" said Elissa Hillary, executive director of Local First.

My Town: Gordmans to open in Wyoming July 17

My Town: Gordmans to open in Wyoming July 17

WYOMING, Mich.--  The date is set for the grand opening of Wyoming's newest store.

Gordmans will open its doors to customers at 9 a.m. on July 17.  The new 50,000-square-foot store sits next to The Home Depot in the Wilsontown Shopping Center, off Wilson Avenue.  The new retailer is expected to employ 100 people. Those interested may apply in person now through May 30 at Michigan Works, 121 Franklin SE, Suite 120 in Grand Rapids.

Gordmans will hold a grand opening celebration July 25-27. The Wyoming store is one of six Gordmans stores opening in the country this year. The discount department store opened its first West Michigan store in Norton Shores in March.