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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


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!


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.


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!


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!


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?


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.


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.


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.


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!


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


Happy Saturday, friends!

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


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.


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


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.


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*


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.

Small Business Saturday - Art of the Table


Welcome back, friends, to another blog post about the small businesses we LOVE in Grand Rapids! This week we toured around the Wealthy Heights neighborhood and sure enough, it did NOT disappoint.


As we thought about which business to highlight, Art of the Table was at the top of our minds. I mean, how cool is it that they were only the second store to open on Wealthy!? Having to rehab the building before moving in and taking over, it’s obvious there was a lot of work put into this project.


Art of the Table makes it easy for those who love food (most human beings, right?) and entertaining. And they make it fun! With wall to wall selections of food and drinks, the possibilities are endless. Which is something the owner, Amy Ruis, wants to show everyone! Food is fun and why not discover new tastes? She has a passion for people and making them happy, which shows in the way she talks about her store!


When we asked Amy what makes her passionate about her business, she responded with this: “I love to be that person on the front lines, making friends, helping people know that real people own these local stores around town and that we’re doing it because we love the variety of life, the ever-changing landscape of what we do, helping along other local businesses & creators through what we all do together.”

I wanted you, our readers, to read that sentence word for word as I did because you can feel the passion come through in the way Amy talks about her business.


Another really great thing about Art of the Table is that you can shop around and select items to personalize a beautiful gift and when you leave the amazing staff will wrap it up beautifully! They make creating gift baskets look like an art form, folks. I have been gifted one and trust me, they are gorgeous. Plus, the gift is all hand selected by the person who knows them best, that’s you!

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Art of the Table doesn’t stop there though! They also bartend for private parties. With a team of certified bartenders and wonderful options to select from, you can host and mingle at your events (personal or corporate) with ease.

Even if you just wanted to obtain alcohol (21+), look at the selection above! It is extensive and the picture doesn’t even show the entirety of what they have to offer.


While this is their only location at the moment you can also visit Aperitivo in the Downtown Market, which is a sister store to Art of the Table! When Art of the Table began to get too full of products they took the opportunity to bring cheese & charcuterie to Aperitivo, expanding the selection. This space in the market also allows them to hold classes and tastings, which you can imagine would be a magical experience.

Thank you to Art of the Table for bringing adventure and exploration of the taste buds to Grand Rapids!

Small Business Saturday - Rebel


Let me tell you about the cutest shop you ever did visit, located in Eastown!

Rebel Reclaimed (1555 Wealthy St SE) has been a neighborhood fave and IG inspiration for years.

It all began in a 400 sq ft space on E Fulton in 2010 and gradually grew in charm and space as it relocated in 2013 to a storefront on Robinson.

This is where I first stepped into Rebel.


I remember walking in seeing a sign that encouraged visitors to bring their pups in, which is kinda incredible- and there was the sweetest bulldog waddling around.

You know that feeling when you step into a place and you feel like you found your place?! Slowly, I walked around the store and was in awe.

Trinkets, prints, cards, mugs, and so much more. I read quotes that were encouraging and cards that were a little saucy. Everything in the store made me feel GOOD.


Last April, Rebel claimed its new space on Wealthy and grew into it quickly! The space is, quite honestly, filled top to bottom with eye-catching gifts, home goods, and all sorts of paper accessories.

I could easily spend an hour or more walking around reading funny quotes and admiring books and jewelry.


Speaking with co-owner Dann Boyles, was a joy, and you should plan a few extra minutes when you're there for a hearty convo.

Dann and Chip (co-owner) moved to Nashville from Grand Rapids during the recession, knowing they had every intention to move back.

They opened an antique shop and when they decided the time was right for them to come back they brought their ideas with them. Knowing Grand Rapids was missing something special in the home goods space, they brought to life a shop THEY would want to visit and a place to bring friends in a neighborhood that supports their businesses.

Dann and Chip are two guys from West Michigan who wanted to contribute to the community. They have a passion for the products they sell and use them in their personal lives as well, and it shows all over their shelves and in the countless repeat customers.

They find these items to be special and beautiful and want our community to experience them because Dann and Chip believe in them. Rebel presents you the chance to give luxurious items that have the potential to become a part of someone’s life to make their every day a little bit better.


As far as the future for Rebel, Dann and Chip are creatives who are always ready for the next step. What do we have to look forward to? Another new location? Online products? The response is, “Never say never.”

For now, make sure to keep visiting their shop since they get in new products all the time! Visit their website HERE.

Thank you, Dann and Chip for bringing a memorable shop and experience to Eastown.