The Flint Farmers Market Unveils Flint Food Works

  • By Chelsea Mills
  • 25 Jul, 2014

A culinary business incubator inside a century-old Flint tradition

Flint Farmers' Market
I’m sure you have heard about the new Flint Farmers’ Market which opened it’s doors on Saturday, June 21st. The facility is amazing and is the new home to over 50 year-round vendors as well as 50 additional seasonal vendors who set up outdoors. The market will keep the same schedule it had on its previous site, being open only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This allows the farmers and other vendors to be able to work their other jobs or farm and still be a part of the market.

Many of the vendors made the move to the new location, while some vendors retired… but their employees started new businesses to carry on the tradition of being in the market. There has also been expansion for other local Flint businesses. For example, Mark and Meghan Hoffman, who also are the proprietors of Hoffman’s Deco Deli & Café, located in downtown Flint, opened up two new businesses in the market: Hoffman’s Chop Shop, a butcher shop and Floradora Flower Shop. “For me, this has been a dream come true,” Meghan says. “I am overwhelmed by the support and love from my family, the community, my coworkers and friends! Much love…Flint ROCKS!”

What many of you don’t know is that the new Flint Farmers’ Market has several other offerings deep inside its walls that are available to help small businesses grow. “We brought the market closer to the people,” explains Chef Sean Gartland, Culinary Director. “No matter where you are, you can end up downtown because, right across the street from our parking
lot is the MTA Bus Station which gives easy access to everyone.” This easy accessibility is a sentiment echoed again and again. “The market is for everybody,” says Dick Ramsdell, manager of the new bazaar. “The new facility is going to allow us to accomplish so many good things in the city of Flint.”

Part of this movement is brought on by the fact that it is not easy to get fresh fruits and vegetables in Flint. Many
families can’t travel far to get to grocery stores in order to buy fresh produce, so they end up getting what they can at local convenience stores. Thus, in order to encourage the purchase of fresh produce by shoppers, the market has ‘Double- Up Food Bucks’ available to those with Bridge Cards. This program, funded by the Fair Food Network, allows residents to purchase staples (meat, cheese, milk) and receive up to $20/day in reward money which can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables. If they purchase Michigan produce, the residents actually will get double their produce money.

A stumbling block after the residents purchase the fresh produce is the fact that some do not know how to prepare it, which often results in much of the produce going to waste. So to combat this problem, Dort Federal Credit Union has sponsored the new demonstration kitchen inside the market atrium. This kitchen will have live demonstrations each week featuring different foods, techniques, styles and more. It will also allow guest chefs and market vendors the opportunity to showcase their products and talents. “I think it is important to note that we have four classically trained chefs with a permanent place in our market. In addition to those chefs, we have all the other market chefs who may not have classical training but have a natural skill and talent in the kitchen,” Karianne Martus, Media/ Public Relations and Market Manager states. “Our goal is to teach people how to prepare fresh food; we want to show them how to get the most out of their dollars and how to make healthy meals,” Martus further explains.

Chef Gartland has also been instrumental in the development of Flint Food Works, which is home to the Culinary Incubator Program within the walls of the new Flint Farmers’ Market. This program is a new resource for entrepreneurs who want to take the next steps in developing their food concepts into a viable business. It is also perfect for those entrepreneurs who already are operating under the small cottage industry food law in their homes, but who want to expand their businesses and have an opportunity to grow. “Business owners who are interested in being part of the Incubator Program will have the opportunity to practice their procedures with [me] before they are evaluated for their certifications by the Michigan Department of Agriculture,” Chef Gartland explains. “I will be able to help prevent many of the common mistakes [owners of] new food businesses make, hopefully making certification go smoother.” Flint Food Works provides low-cost, low-risk, full-service kitchens for local businesses to grow and establish operations. The participants in the program will be guided and coached along their way, and there are a variety of resources available to those in the program, including packaging, website, design, distribution and more.

One of the vendors in the market, Galloping Grocer, specializes in the distribution of locally-made and high quality products. With this vendor at the market, participants in the Culinary Incubator program will have a warm introduction to a possible distribution resource for their products. “This is the perfect spot for someone who has [the] dream of launching a food business,” Chef Gartland explains. “A person who works all day can put the kids to bed at night come into the kitchen for a few hours [later] to produce [his or her] product and be back home and in bed…[ to] wake up with the kids in the morning.” This new concept also allows participants to keep their day jobs while they launch a new business -- without missing a beat. Well, maybe they will miss just a little sleep.

To apply to the program and become a member, there are several steps to take, including application, insurance, certifications, licensing, packaging and going through a kitchen orientation. Sound overwhelming? There’s no need to worry, for Chef Gartland will guide people through the process and help them on their way to make their dreams a reality.

(810) 447-0714

Around The Town with Chelsea

By chelseajaie 20 Oct, 2017
Did you know………Every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. ( )
From 2000 through the first half of 2016, more than 600 people were killed in 213 active shooter events identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Unfortunately, this hits even closer to home. In 2016 two young women were fatally shot while at work in Genesee County. This seminar has been in the making since that terrible tragedy last year, unfortunately in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, this topic is all too relevant today.  
On Thursday, October 26, 2017, Behind Your Design will be hosting a seminar on Workplace Violence Safety. Please see the attached link and flyer to sign up. RSVP is necessary as seating is limited.
By chelseajaie 03 Oct, 2017

A t Bella Vita, exceeding the expectations of the residents is simply the beginning. Having a quality life in our later years is the least we all should expect. Bella Vita is committed to providing an environment that allows one to feel independent, with the assistance of its highly trained care group.  

By chelseajaie 02 Oct, 2017

Today family businesses have a competitive edge that could hardly be anticipated. As millennials continue to take up over one third of the workforce, many of these individuals are looking for more out of a career than a paycheck. In this new arena, family businesses have an edge in building a sustainable footprint because of the personal connection between the family and the community they serve. 

A textbook example of this is Peabody Insurance Agency, a company with a history of serving the community since 1919. In the last year Peabody Insurance has grown the team to include two new family hires, Grace and Brandon, and has completely remodeled its office.

“In order to thrive in today’s competitive environment, I believe it’s important for businesses to give the next generation a voice in how we should work and serve our customers,” explains Jim Peabody, partner of Peabody Insurance in Fenton. “Our team has developed a culture of collaboration, where insurance knowledge is fused with new ideas, processes and tools.”

Peabody Insurance is now one of the most capable independent agencies in the state, with the development of an interactive safety app, DocuSign, virtual meetings and a client portal. “Many of our features have the goal of saving our clients time and money. Customers have the ability to choose how they want to do business with us,” Jo Schofield, account executive, explains, “and our customers enjoy supporting local businesses because they know those dollars are going right back into their hometown.” 

By chelseajaie 29 Sep, 2017
Written by: Andrea Kehoe
By chelseajaie 23 Aug, 2017
Behind Your Design recently had the pleasure of designing a new responsive website for Image Flow Media. Image Flow is a full service commercial production company serving the metro Detroit Area. They are constantly pushing themselves, their equipment and their approach to the edge. Image Flow is a solutions-oriented team with a proven ability to get things done while managing multiple projects. They're experienced, passionate, motion graphics artists and video editors, looking to continue expanding their knowledge in all areas of production. 

 To see example of their work please click here  . Contact us at   Behind Your Design   to help you design your next website.

By chelseajaie 09 Aug, 2017

Starting a new business? Looking to give your current logo a 'refresh'? It can be easy to just think  'I need a logo!'  - what you are saying is that you want a graphic representation of your business to use on your marketing materials. What you  need however is a memorable overall ' brand' that will attract customers to your business. Luckily, at Behind Your Design, we can help you with all your needs, even the ones you don't know yet.

How do I create a brand? 

It's important to know your brand values and aspirations. Basically, your WHY? What made you start your business in the first place? What problem are you solving and what are your passions? Long term, where do you want to be in 2, 5, 10 years? The answers to those questions are the core of your brand. We want to give you the tools you need to reach your greatest potential.

Next, we'll work on the personality of your brand. What will your brand look like? Sound, feel, act like? Knowing your business' personality allows it to shine through everything we do. It also helps narrow down your target customer and decide how your business will interact with them. Appealing to a certain audience makes marketing efforts meaningful and effective.

Consistency is key. We work together to create an entire brand concept and easy guidelines to follow. Colors, fonts, patterns... Anything to make your look consistent will be part of your brand. Then, we use those elements across all platforms (website, social media, business cards, etc) to ensure your voice, mission and design flow fluidly and works together.

Once you've created this brand, it's time to go beyond that and uphold the reputation. Your customers have to truly believe in your brand, just like you do, and will, in turn, become loyal advocates of your business. Not only will they stay local to you but they'll also recommend you to others.

Your business is so much more than just a logo. We believe building a solid brand can become a company's greatest asset, so we cover every step:

  • Web Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Email Marketing
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Mobile App Design
  • Trade Show Booth Design
  • Custom Photo Gifts
  • Speaking Engagements
To view our design portfolio, click here.

By chelseajaie 25 Jul, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce the launch of JDLab's new responsive website and logo design. JDLab is a family owned business dedicated to delivering high quality work in every department. Founder J.D. Hicks’ goals in 1950 remain their goals today:  "Provide every professional photographer with the highest standard of quality and service, and to work as partners to help studios grow as successful businesses."   To learn more about what JDLab can do for you please click   here . Contact us at   Behind Your Design   to help you design your next website.
By chelseajaie 18 Jul, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce that we have created a new logo for Wayne Contracting Services, LLC. Wayne Contracting Services, LLC is a licensed and insured construction company providing a variety of construction and remodeling services to SE Michigan. Give them a call for all your contracting and remodeling needs! If you are in need of a new logo contact us at  Behind Your Design   today to get started!

By Chelsea Mills 18 Jul, 2017
Join the growing team at Behind Your Design at 100 S. Adelaide St. in Fenton, Michigan!

- 40 Hours A Week (Mon-Fri - 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM with working lunch)
- Paid Holidays
- Opportunity for 401k Retirement Matching
- Must be able to multi-task, delegate and prioritize jobs that come in
- Must be able to track time spent on projects
- Responsible for ordering from vendors
- Responsible for managing multiple tasks and keeping jobs moving forward by following up with clients and our designers
- Friendly pleasant personality
- Responsible to answer phones, greet customers, take messages and packages
- Team environment
- Time Management and Organizational Skills
- Matching expenses/orders with client billing
- Approximately 25% of the job will be coordinating photo booth jobs including contracts, graphics, staff, programming booths, posting photos, burning DVD’s and communicating with clients.

Technical skills needed, but not required to apply, we would train qualified applicants:
- HTML Email Blasts (Constant Contact, MailChimp)
- Website Building
- Basic Photoshop Skills
- Professional Email Skills
- Word, Excel
- Asana Task Management System
- Social Media Posting
- QuickBooks

Click Here to Apply

By Chelsea Mills 11 Jul, 2017
Behind Your Design recently had the pleasure of designing a new website for Bennett Communication Solutions. Bennett Communication Solutions is a local family company that opened its doors in 1945. They provide telephone answering services, remote receptionist services, voice mail, and other services to meet the needs of their business customers. While they maybe local they have clients nationwide. Their clientele includes health care services, property management and real estate, contractors and of course business professions. To learn more about their services please click here . Contact us at  Behind Your Design  to help you design your next website.
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