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Small Business Saturday - The Comedy Project

Good morning IheartGR friends!

We have a very fun business to introduce to you today as part of our Small Business Saturday series. Located on Leonard with an entrance and parking lot on Quarry, The Comedy Project is adding to the wonderful West Side business.

 
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Yep, that is correct. Sitting just across the street from Long Road Distillery and The Mitten Brewing and next to Two Scotts Barbecue, the odds are in your favor for a beautiful night out! They will also serve Two Scotts Barbecue in the venue so you can enjoy their much-loved delicacies as the entertainment rolls in!

Along with wonderful food, this venue also features a bar and will serve your beloved beverages to keep the good times coming.

 
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Shows are set to go on every Monday, Friday, and Saturday night with some other dates sprinkled in the mix as well! Check out their full schedule by clicking HERE. You won’t want to miss out on the many possibilities of entertainment! Between sketches, improv, and various other acts, they have the right show for you.

 
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The fun doesn’t stop there, though. If you have any interest in comedy whether it be acting, writing, or the art of improvisation, they host classes! To read more about the options available, click HERE.

This is also a great venue for a special event! The space holds 80-90 guests and is perfect for holding a meeting, a holiday party, or just a company outing! Want to learn more or send an inquiry? Click HERE.

 
 

The Comedy Project truly is a one-stop shop for a night of fun. This is the perfect venue for a night out with friends or a unique date night! In fact, while touring the venue I couldn’t help but think of all the friends I want to introduce to The Comedy Project!

Thanks for having us!

 
 

Small Business Saturday - Happy Cat Cafe

Happy happy Saturday, friends!

We hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far. What might make your weekend better you may ask? There are so many amazing and fun things to do in Grand Rapids and today we want to talk to you about Happy Cat Cafe!

 
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Happy Cat Cafe opened its doors on August 17, 2017 thanks to some very generous Kickstarter backers who raised $26,821 to turn this dream into a reality! And if all goes to plan, this is just the beginning with hopes to have a full-service coffee bar.

 
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So what’s the idea behind this beautiful place? It’s to help find homes for the most adorable, loving cats! These cats are brought from Carol’s Ferals to spend time interacting with people and bask in the sun, enjoying their days with around 11 other cats. In late summer during kitten season, you can see up to 25 kittens hanging out, an actual dream.

 
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Happy Cat Cafe has helped to triple the adoption rate since working with Carol’s Ferals, and have adopted out about 175 cats since opening.

 
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As they continue to add to that number, you can visit by the hour or half hour. When you pay to spend time with these beautiful animals you will also receive complimentary coffee and other beverages.

Along with the option of a relaxed visit, they also accommodate for events such as wine and canvas classes with the cats, seasonal events like egg painting, yoga with cats, and private parties.

 
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Check out their website HERE to learn more about the adventures happening at the Happy Cat Cafe or to inquire about booking a private event.

 
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Make sure to give the cats a pet for us when you go to visit, we already miss their sweet faces!

 
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Small Business Saturday - Treadstone Mortgage

Happy Saturday iheartGR followers!

We hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and enjoying the weather beginning to warm up a bit here.

This week we are in the wonderful neighborhood of Heartside and there is so much to discover! Between the restaurants, shops, and other businesses, there is so much to choose from when picking which business to spotlight.

 
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For Small Business Saturday this week, we have decided to talk about Treadstone Mortgage and for a few good reasons:

 
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Reason one: Locality

Treadstone is a local business and you all know how much we LOVE to support our local entrepreneurs. Treadstone was founded in 2003 by Brendan O’Driscoll and Kevin Polakovich and has committed to hiring ethical business people, practicing common sense lending, and creating an environment where people work hard and play hard. This is a kind of business we love to see!

 
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Reason two: Business

You all know we have a great appreciation for everything Grand Rapids and this includes the stunning homes from old to new. We recently introduced our passion for real estate and our wonderfully talented real estate professional, Molly Craft, on the iheartGR social platforms. Most of our team has been working in real estate for a bit now ranging from a year to over a decade. In this time we have worked with Treadstone personally and can tell you from an insiders perspective that this is a great company. We are continuously impressed with their customer service and open communication throughout transactions and appreciate their way of business.

 
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Reason three: Customer Care

When we sat down with some of the great people who work for Treadstone, they let us know of a great motto they like to keep in the workplace, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.” What an amazing way to work?! The world, and specifically the business place, needs great leaders and a one who appreciates their employees is well respected.

 
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Reason four: Dogs

Yep. That’s a perfectly logical reason to like a business. Upon sitting in the relaxing lounge area and chewing on a complimentary mint mentos, the cutest puppy named, wait for it… OTIS! Yes. The cutest pup with the cutest name came strutting in to say hello and greet us with the most wonderful of enthusiasm.

Also, if you head over to the Treadstone Instagram (click here) you will see that Mabel, a beautiful golden retriever, is the star of the show. Making both employees and clients happy as can be. A dog-friendly workplace is a very happy workplace.

 
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There are so many things that make Treadstone a great place to help you along your home buying journey. While these are just a few things that make Treadstone wonderful, we know that when you work with them, you will find many more!

“Our mission is to help people buy homes with less hassle and more enjoyment by developing genuine relationships, applying a team-based approach to customer care, and providing sound advice.” -Treadstone Mortgage

Visit their website for more information by clicking HERE.

Small Business Saturday - Grand Rapids Symphony

Good afternoon Grand Rapidians! I hope you are all having a great weekend.

This has been a very exciting week at IHEARTGR as we have been exploring the many amazing businesses in the Medical Mile neighborhood!

 
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I am so excited to announce our Small Business Saturday this week, your Grand Rapids Symphony!

Established in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony has been a huge part of our community for nearly 90 years! Between shows at the Devos Performance Hall to various community events and programs, the Symphony presents more than 400 performances each year. Some 200,000 people will experience the greatness that is the Grand Rapids Symphony and nearly half of them are reached through their amazing community service programs!

These programs include Symphony Scorecard holders which reach members of the community receiving financial assistance from the State of Michigan as well as Active, Guard, and Reserve Military households. Students also receive discounted tickets to certain shows getting them in for only $5!

 
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Now, to give you a little insight on the types of shows the Grand Rapids Symphony puts on we are going to break it down into two types: Hall and Community.

 
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Hall shows include classical and pop performances in which you can purchase tickets or subscriptions. There are over 40 shows under this category which include the Picnic Pops concert put on at Canonsburg each year!

The classical performances include concerts such as Beethoven - The Five Piano and Mahler’s “Resurrection.” You will also find special classical events like “Symphonie Fantastique” with Itzhak Perlman!

For a more family oriented option, the pop performances include movies like “Up,” “Home Alone,” and “Ghost Busters.” Movies are projected on a screen while our Tier 2 Orchestra performs live! Pops also include the annual Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops and the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops.


To find out which shows you might be interested in, you can click HERE for a full list!

 
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Now let’s move on to Community shows. Community shows can be put into four separate categories which include: School Programs, Young Musicians, Adults, and Children, Youth & Families. Each category serving a different purpose and reaching nearly 87,000 people total of various ages, diverse ethnicities, and economic backgrounds. Read more about these education and enrichment programs HERE.

 
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Your Grand Rapids Symphony works so hard to bring these amazing performances to life, and while tickets do cover parts of the cost, they also rely on donations and volunteers to continue growing. If you have any interest in making a monetary donation, you can click HERE for more information. Or, if you would like to volunteer your time you can click HERE to learn more about those opportunities.

Make sure to keep an eye on our stories for more about your Grand Rapids Symphony! We plan on attending shows and concerts and we will make sure to share the fun on our social media pages!

 
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Thank you so much to the Grand Rapids Symphony for taking time to talk with us and show us how much there is to what you do! There are so many great opportunities and performances they present to us. West Michigan is blessed to have you!

Small Business Saturday - Chamber of Commerce

Welcome to the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

Welcome to the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

Happy Saturday! This week has been a strange one with it SNOWING on the FIRST DAY OF SPRING! What in the world, Michigan?! While we await for the weather to actually feel like spring, we are going to continue uncovering the wonders (big and small) of the Medical Mile! In this, we have decided for our blog post today to be all about the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce! Woot woot!

Work space available.

Work space available.

If you are like me and have little knowledge of what the Chamber of Commerce is, I am going to explain it to you how Laura Traxler, Director of Membership, explained it to me. To do this, we are going to break it down into three main groups: Business Services, Advocacy, and Talent Development.

Create great wall.

Create great wall.

First, let’s jump into Business Services!

The Chamber has some awesome resources and tools to help you run your business successfully. When joining, your company is assigned an Ambassador to work with as a business consultant. This person will help you with a business plan, guide you to your goals, and expand your visibility to the Grand Rapids area. You can rely on your partner at the Chamber for help as part of your membership perks!

As well as relying on your Ambassador, there are also over 2,400 other businesses making up a massive network of fellow leaders and entrepreneurs for you to connect with. Whether you need a vendor, partner, or someone to bounce ideas off of, the resources are endless. The Chamber of Commerce hosts many events and programs to help connect you. Check out more about the Business Services available HERE.


Work space available.

Work space available.

Next, we want to address the topic of Advocacy.


While this is a great time and place to do business, we still need to make sure we focus some of our time on rules, requirements, paperwork, and permits. With help from the Chamber, the process becomes a little less stressful and you can trust that your business is being taken care of. They will make sure your voice is heard and work hard to shape policies, ideas, and opportunities to improve your experience.

The Chamber also works to provide events making your time with people and policymakers valuable. This includes events like “Breakfast with Legislators” or “Politics and Pints.” You can find out more about events and advocacy HERE.


Two of the board rooms without divider to make a larger room.

Two of the board rooms without divider to make a larger room.


The third and last group is Talent Development.

The Chamber of Commerce understands the importance of each person’s talents. The growth of our community is largely impacted by the diverse skills and workforce all around us. Focusing on developing our talents and creating a strong set of leaders will contribute to continuing prosperity among our community.

Many opportunities arise with the Chamber when one becomes a member including one-on-one consulting, leadership programs, and many networking events! Check our more on Talent Development and events involved HERE.

View from one of the board rooms.

View from one of the board rooms.


Becoming a member, you have many options and levels to choose from to ensure you get the right attention and package for you and your business. Levels are listed and explained HERE. With these packages, you will receive many perks including the use of their facilities to work in! Being only about a year old, this working space has a fresh and uplifting feel with plenty of space. Depending on your package, you will also have access to 3 different meeting rooms and the board room.

One of the smaller meeting rooms available.

One of the smaller meeting rooms available.

As you can see, the Chamber of Commerce provides many opportunities to better your business and the experiences you have that come along with it. To check out more events you may be interested in, click HERE. You will find events that help you launch your business, ways to network, workshops, and so much more.

They serve Ferris coffee in the work spaces!

They serve Ferris coffee in the work spaces!


The Chamber of Commerce is a great organization to be part of if you are looking to expand your business or knowledge! There are so many opportunities that come with a membership. I am personally thrilled to have the working space available to me! As someone who doesn’t work out of the office full time, this is a great space to be productive while still getting out of the house and into the world.


A huge thanks to Laura for sitting down with me to explain what the Chamber believes and offers!


Small Business Saturday - Linc Up

Hello and welcome back to a super awesome Small Business Saturday today!

As many of you may know, we are covering the Madison Square neighborhood and are finding some really awesome places!

Yesterday we posted about Rising Grinds Cafe, which is attached to the LINC UP building. How lucky are the staff there? I bet you I would be in that cafe nearly every day for a fresh cup of coffee or some lunch!

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Now, we come to tell you about LINC UP! An amazing non-profit located on the corner of Madison & Hall that works hard to bring community revitalization! They believe in expanding opportunities in a community to help people thrive while avoiding the idea that you have to pick up your life and move FOR opportunity. And how awesome is that?

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Part of how they do this is by hosting events to get people together and create a social network. Like their “First Friday” event that happens, you guessed it, on the first Friday of each month from 6 pm to 11 pm! This gives local professionals the time to *Linc Up* and network all while enjoying a blend of smooth music, local art, poetry, and the best food from Linc Up Soul Food Cafe.

Along with this, they also host the Rock the Block event which has held over 10,000 people in the last years! This event gives us all the chance to celebrate diversity and community while enjoying a variety of vendors, entertainment, cuisine, local art, and more! Check in on their Facebook page HERE to stay connected and up to date with what’s happening.

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Linc Up also has a great co-working space available that is open to anyone or any business! Open 24 hours with key card access, you can enjoy their clean and open workspace for whatever you may need. Click HERE for more information on the co-working space.

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Looking to volunteer some of your time? They have plenty of opportunity for you. Between canvasing, handing out flyers, and their large events, Linc Up has plenty of ways to help give back to the community. If you don’t have the time to give but still want to be part of this amazing non-profit and the mission they serve you can give a monetary donation online which we will link HERE.

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Now let’s chat a little about the motto #DoSomething. This hashtag is used to challenge one another to commit to playing a roll in advancements. It is a charge to actually go after the change we wish to see rather than relying on others to do it for us. Each voice counts and with each voice, we can become louder!

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Thank you so much to the Linc Up team for having us and allowing us to learn more about what you do! We love connecting with the people and businesses of Grand Rapids and the fact that you love to do the same is incredible. We love what you’re doing and hope to get out to one of your upcoming events real soon!

Read more about their mission on the website HERE.

Small Business Saturday - Ken's Fruit Market

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Happy Saturday, friends!

We are coming back for Small Business Saturday and bringing you a much-loved market in the Grand Rapids area.

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Ken’s Fruit Market has been the place to shop in Alger Heights since 2010 when they first opened their doors. Bringing to the neighborhood a local and genuine market for the people!

The owner, Ken Courts, used to shop in this same building as a kid. It has been a market for many years and when Ken took over he loved this location because of the neighborhood presence being so great! I think many would agree that the Alger Heights neighborhood is known around the area as quite desirable.  

Pictured above - Alex Courts

Pictured above - Alex Courts

Ken and his wife with the help of their son, Alex, have made sure the produce selection in this store is top notch. Bringing fresh produce with local selections and great prices. They work hard to make sure their customers have the best and most to choose from, which shows with the rows and rows of beautifully colored fruits and vegetables.

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They have also brought in partners to help run the meat portion of the store so as to give the best experience to shoppers! Meat is prepared daily by in-house butchers creating the best cuts and selections.

You will also be able to find unique items from smaller manufacturers around the Midwest as well as their own private label products. Isles are lined with spices, jams, candy, fruit, vegetables, and so much more.

Check out their website HERE for new updates as well as on Facebook and Instagram!

Something we at iheartGR love so much is the community we have in Grand Rapids. The idea that locals can thrive off of the love and support the community brings as well as the thoughtfulness these businesses have for their customers.

Support your local markets as they work to support you! :)

Thanks for checking out this week’s post and we hope you return for another Small Business Saturday next week!

Small Business Saturday - Martha's Vineyard

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Hello to you! We hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far and thank you for tuning in to yet another Small Business Saturday Blog!

Today we will be talking about the oh-so-magnificent Martha’s Vineyard, where all your dreams come true. That’s right folks, this is the place to be! Especially if you are in need of the basics. You know, like… wine! But also an assortment of bread, deli, jams, chocolate, ice cream, etc! You name it, they got it.

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Let’s pause at that wine section a minute though. The selection of wine at Martha’s Vineyard is extensive! The walls are lined and isles are full of different varieties, ensuring you will find something for your tastebuds and if you somehow can’t find what you are looking for, they will do their best to locate and order it for you! The knowledgeable staff is willing to go above and beyond to help you find the perfect match to your cravings. *Round of applause for the wine staff*

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Another super great feature about this shop is that although they have a large selection of fun and unique items, they like to keep an open mind about what they could carry! If there is a product you know of that you think may cozy up well on the shelves, feel free to make a suggestion and they may just start stocking the shelves with it. Martha’s Vineyard is always up for trying out new products, this means you will constantly find new items while shopping there.

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While walking the isles of this beautiful market you’ll find groceries that will expand your taste buds, some of them made locally! As I was there this week I recognized names like Founders, New Holland, Madcap, Rowster, and Cone Appétit.

This led me to think about how awesome it is that local markets, like Martha’s Vineyard, support our local businesses! We have so many great and talented people in Grand Rapids and their products earn a spot in markets all around town. How incredible that Martha’s Vineyard has made the decision to support these people?

If you are interested in shopping local, you can find stickers on the price tags throughout the market that indicate which products are from Michigan! How convenient is that?

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Among the market, you will also find a deli and pizza shop (which we talked a bit about on Thursday). Not only that, but the neighboring businesses are also connected! Nantucket Bakery, Lyon Street Cafe, Marcona on Lyon, all ready to serve you with the same unique and beautiful experiences.

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The owner, Kameel Chamelly, and his family have turned that corner of Lyon and Union into a place where the community can have it all. The shops are filled with wonderful smells of pizza and baked goods and coffee. Walking distance for many and a desirable drive from downtown, the community has come to love and embrace Martha’s Vineyard and the shops surrounding it.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us and tell us all about your business! We, as well as the people of Grand Rapids, have so much love for your sweet market.