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Steeped-in-Detroit Eli Tea expands with tea bar in Birmingham

After a year of planting the seeds for a Detroit-based tea company that could lead Detroit -- and America -- to carve out its own distinctive tea culture, the founder of Eli Tea is opening the start-up's first tea bar in downtown Birmingham.

The 25-year-old company founder, Elias Majid, started Eli Tea with the help of a grant and advice from Wayne State University's Blackstone Launchpad. Eli Tea incubated and grew from Eastern Market Corp.'s Detroit Kitchen Connect, which pairs food start-ups with commercial kitchen space.

"I wanted to open up my own store to further the tea culture," he says. "Detroit is behind on the tea trend. There are tea shops on every corner in Chicago, D.C., Boston.

"It's a good market to be in for me…It attracts a health-conscious crowd, cultural creatives and everyone who wants something that's good for you and tastes good too."

The company philosophy is based on selling only natural teas, blended on site and never using syrups or artificial flavors.

During his start-up phase, Eli Teas moved into 20 metro Detroit shops and restaurants while Majid scouted a location of what he hopes will be the first of many Eli Tea's tea bars.

Majid picked a former Cold Stone Creamery on Woodward Avenue in downtown Birmingham for the first location and he expects to be fully open by Nov. 1.

"My competitors try to make English tea rooms or Chinese tea rooms," he says. "I really want to make an American tea room. I don't think that's been done yet."

He is transforming the 1000-square-foot space at 108 S. Old Woodward into a "sophisticated tea bar with an homage to Michigan, but without trying too hard," he says.

There will be a countertop made of pennies, a birch-tree stenciled wall, carved copper ceiling tiles and a tea wall featuring containers of loose leaf teas. The new store goes hand in hand with an overall expansion of Eli Tea products from 30 to 80.

"I'm trying to move past the doily culture," he says. "I want to see education, interaction with customers, and see people appreciating and loving tea the way I do."

Owning a tea company, "is no one's dream as a kid," he says, but he realized while studying and working with plants in a lab that a career in something like tea "was a way for me to interface with the public about plants and health…I'm going from laboratory to retail, and I'm able to give that unique point of view to the customers."

Source: Elias Majid, founder, Eli Tea
Writer: Kim North Shine

Friendship Factory's blend of social good and retail comes to Rochester

The Friendship Factory has added a second store in downtown Rochester, expanding from its Clinton Township location where crafting, parties and lessons in kindness have combined into a good business idea.

The newest Friendship Factory brought its bracelet makers, beads, stickers lanyards, and oodles of craft supplies to the former Avon Township Library at 210 West University in downtown Rochester. The crafts combine with the owners' wish to help girls weather storms of friendship and socializing.

Both stores, the one at Partridge Creek shopping center in Clinton Township, and the new one host birthday parties, Moms Night Out events, painting parties, holiday gatherings and have rotating themes such as the current Michigan-Michigan State rivalry.

Whether dropping in to craft or there for a party, the point of the interactive studio is to "connect friends and family and build friendships."

It also offers friendship-building workshops hosted by a licensed therapist. The owners want its target market, 8- to 14-year-old girls, to understand how relationships change and how to manage change with social skills that emphasize support and kindness.

Source: Friendship Factory
Writer: Kim North Shine

Warp 9 comics enters phase 2 with renovated shop in downtown Clawson

Warp 9 Comics and Collectibles has built a loyal customer following after 15 years in business, and now with a new owner and a renovated space it's time to put down the next panel in Warp 9's story.

The new owner, Trey Hunt, hosted a grand opening party Oct. 18. The store is located at 21 W. 14 Mile Road in downtown Clawson and attracts customers from across metro Detroit.

Comic book artists, costumes and comic idol cookies were part of the grand opening party. The store sells toys as well and also is an eBay dealer.

Besides painting, cleaning and re-organizing the store, where Hunt worked before buying it from the previous owner, the plan is to make Warp 9 a family-friendly shop and destination for comic art.

Source: Warp 9
Writer: Kim North Shine

Sweet Lorraine's Fabulous Mac n' Cheez! announces first Chicago franchisee

Chicagoland is about to get “cheezy” with the coming arrival of Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez!, a hot, new concept in fast casual dining specializing in unique, creative and inventive macaroni and cheese dishes, and offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free soups, salads, sandwich wraps, “Twisted” grilled cheese and 14 different kinds of vegetarian and meat-topped macaroni and cheese, all made-fresh-to-order.

This is not your mama’s mac n’ cheez! The recipes and concept for Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez! originated at the award winning Sweet Lorraine’s restaurants of Metro Detroit-based veteran restaurateur and chef, Lorraine Platman and her business partner and husband, Gary Sussman. And…award-winning chef Lorraine Platman is bubbling over with enthusiasm to announce the company’s first Chicagoland franchisees, entrepreneurs Jeff and Carolin Huh of Glenview, Ill.

The Huhs were in the process of investigating various franchise opportunities when they experienced Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez! during a visit to the restaurant’s Troy, Michigan location at the Somerset Collection. “We immediately fell in love with the concept and knew we had to bring it to the Chicago area,” recalls Jeff Huh.
Huh further explains, “We were attracted to the support and proven business models that accompany a franchise. We spent a year and a half in discussions with Mac n’ Cheez!, and immediately felt we were on to something special. Most of the other franchises we looked at seemed impersonal and gave us the impression that we would just be another cookie- cutter location number. When we first reached out to Mac n’ Cheez!, we were immediately welcomed. The organization is made up of amazing people who went out of their way to make us feel like we were part of the Mac n’ Cheez! family, an environment that we felt nurtured everyone in the organization from the top of the company down to its philosophy for dealing with customers.”
Platman said, “I’m delighted for the Huh’s to introduce the Chicago area to our concept of “peace, love and mac n’ cheez”. We give our guests the highest quality dining experience, which we call “Fresh, Fun and Delicious!”. We’ve created the ultimate ooey-gooey comfort food by allowing guests to create over a billion--and yes we’ve calculated them—combinations, using our 38 toppings!”
Lorraine likes to call the offerings at “Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez!”, “Twisted Comfort Food!”. Customers order and watch as servers assemble their cheesy, fresh, hot dishes. Soups, salads and sandwiches are also prepared in view of diners. She says, “When dining out, why not ‘Choose Fabulous? She continues, “one of our regular guests calls it, ‘Heaven in a bowl’!”
“Customers are looking for fun, high-quality food on the go and Lorraine has created the perfect menu for that lifestyle,” said Gary Sussman, Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez! president and CEO. “Franchise investors recognize that we’ve created a completely new category of fast casual restaurants with tremendous potential for growth.”

“We’re just getting started and already have two franchisees and are having franchise discussions in Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Canada and several other foreign countries” said Paul Bensman, Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez! director of franchising. “Additional corporate and franchise locations are scheduled to open in late 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, with plans to secure 10 – 12 more franchised locations in the next 18 months.”

The signing of a franchise agreement with the Huhs represents the beginning of Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez!’s immediate expansion outside of Michigan. With established locations in The Somerset Collection (Troy, Mich.) and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets Mall (Auburn Hills, Mich.), East Lansing, Michigan its first franchise set to open in Detroit’s Renaissance Center this Fall, a company-owned location set to open in Detroit’s midtown area near Wayne State University in January 2015; the company is growing fast with more franchise deals in the works with inquiries from all over the U.S. along with several international inquiries. The company is also looking at markets across the United States and internationally to open both company and franchised locations.
To inquire about franchises, please visit www.macncheez.com

About Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez!
Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez!, was founded in 2010 as an extension of popular Southeast Michigan restaurant Sweet Lorraine’s Café and Bar. Started by Chef/Proprietor Lorraine Platman with husband and business partner Gary Sussman, Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez!, currently has three locations in Auburn Hills at Great Lakes Crossing, East Lansing and at Troy’s Somerset Collection with two Detroit locations in the works, a forthcoming Chicago-area location and further expansion coming soon. The menu offers specialty macaroni and cheese dishes, along with salads, sandwiches, wraps and desserts. MacNCheez.com


B Spot Burgers Royal Oak now open

Iron Chef Michael Symon's popular B Spot burger joint has opened its new Royal Oak location today. This is the second B Spot location in metro Detroit; the first location in Rochester Hills opened earlier this year. 

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Michigan Seamless Tube acquires rights to produce Blue Diamond brand


Michigan Seamless Tube LLC, a manufacturer of carbon and alloy seamless cold-drawn tube and pipe, and Wheatland Tube, North America's leading standard and sprinkler pipe producer, announced that MST has acquired the exclusive rights to the prestigious Blue Diamond brand of A106 seamless pressure pipe from Wheatland Tube. As a result of this transaction, MST is now the sole domestic producer of this specialty pipe to the North American steel market.

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Civic theater inks agreement with licensing company


The Farmington City Council has approved an agreement between the city-owned Civic Theater and Tugg, Inc., a national company that licenses movies and special events.

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Botsford Hospital plans $160M expansion


Two months after agreeing to combine into eight-hospital Beaumont Health, the 330-bed Botsford Hospital has announced a $160 million expansion plan on its Farmington Hills campus.

Botsford Hospital CEO Paul LaCasse, D.O., said the osteopathic hospital plans to begin construction next summer after receiving expected certificate-of-need approval in the spring from the Michigan Department of Community Health.

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Met 13 - Royal Oak apartments rehabbed into "upscale urban flats"

A 1950's-era apartment building near Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak has been rehabbed into what the developer describes as "upscale urban flats."

Metropolitan 13, or Met13, is located at 4000 W. 13 Mile Road. The 40-unit project offers completely renovated two-bedroom units and services and amenities meant for urban professionals who don't spend much time at home but want a living space that feels fashionable and comfortable and is close to the places they work and play.

Met13 offers free Wi-Fi, an outdoor living room and round-the-clock services. For developer Jeffrey Kaftan, president of Kaftan Communities, the renovation represents a lifestyle- and design-focused way to see the leasing market.

"We really see the Metropolitan brand as a confluence of design and living," he says. "You can find a number of examples in the marketplace where design has been brought to products like cars and watches, but there are not many examples of that in rental housing. We’re trying to bring that to the forefront in the urban flat rental market in the metro Detroit area. Young professionals are asking for a living environment that gives them the opportunity to express their individual sense of style and the Metropolitan brand’s urban flats do that beautifully."

Kaftan is nephew to Sheldon Kaftan, who in 1960 moved into an apartment at what is now Met13. Kaftan Communities invests in and rehabs residential and commercial properties throughout metro Detroit.

Source: Sue Voyles, Logos Communication
Writer: Kim North Shine

Oakland U building first fire science lab in Midwest

Oakland University wants to build the first fire-science lab in the Midwest.

Manufacturers have already donated $275,000 of equipment that would go into the Fire Science Lab, which would be a classroom for OU's Occupational Safety & Health students, a training site for employees who work in fire and safety for private manufacturers, the government and a range of workplaces. It would also be a field-trip site for companies wanting to prepare their employees for fire emergencies.

Inside the lab, real fires can be set, sustained and extinguished for an up-close understanding and analysis of the operation and effectiveness of fire suppression equipment, devices and systems.

Fire code enforcement agencies, government agencies, safety consulting firms, insurance companies and a multitude of manufacturers large and small can use the laboratory to provide training, demonstrations and certifications.

While donations for equipment have been given, there is still a need for donations to build the lab, and OU is looking for sponsors. Once the construction costs are covered, the lab could be operational within four to six weeks, says Dr. Charles McGlothlin, special instructor and director of OU’s Occupational Safety and Health program. For more information on sponsorships, click here.

The lab would be the first of its kind in the Midwest and one of about a dozen nationwide, he says.

“The addition of the new Fire Safety Laboratory will give our graduates the advantage of experiencing first-hand the capabilities of various fire suppression systems and devices," he says.The training will also lead them to jobs that are in short supply in the fire safety industry.

"Today’s safety professionals play an essential role helping companies maintain profitability while ensuring safe, healthy workplaces and environments," he says. "We are driven to continuously improve, keeping pace with ever-changing needs of the market -- the future industries and employers of our graduates," McGlothlin says. "The Fire Safety Laboratory is a tremendous resource which we intend to put to use to benefit the greater community, state and region."

Source: Brian Bierley, spokesperson, Oakland University, and Dr. Charles McGlothlin, special instructor and director, Occupational Safety & Health program at Oakland University
Writer: Kim North Shine

New Kahve House brewing coffee in downtown Clawson

A stay-at-home mom is running a coffee shop in downtown Clawson that has locals celebrating it half-jokingly as a long-awaited alternative to 7-11.

Kahve House opened over the weekend at 22 South Main Street and has been serving a steady flow of customers since. It is filing the void in businesses that offer fresh roasted beans, specialty coffee drinks, straight quality java and various noshes. A recent enticement: Turkish coffee with baklava.

Ana and Denis Bureau own the shop and wanted to combine their love of good coffee and their hometown of Clawson by starting a business downtown.

They opened during the Great Pubkin Crawl over the weekend, an event of the Clawson Downtown Development Authority, and saw just how much interest there is in a business like theirs.

Source: Clawson Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

Chamberlain College of Nursing expands with first campus in Metro Detroit

Filling a critical and growing need for nursing education in the metro Detroit area, Chamberlain College of Nursing is opening a new campus in Troy, Michigan, and is now accepting applications for admission to spring semester classes, which begin Jan. 5, 2015. The Troy campus is Chamberlain’s first in Michigan and 16th in the nation.
“The city of Troy has good reason to be proud of its quality educational opportunities,” said Troy Mayor Dane Slater. “Chamberlain College of Nursing, moving into Troy, adds to this fine tradition, and we welcome Chamberlain’s nursing students. I am glad that Troy attracted a regionally-accredited college that educates students for a high-demand field, such as nursing.”
Michigan is one of many states currently facing an impending nursing shortage, with a projected shortfall of 18,000 nurses by 2015. Several factors are driving demand for primary care services: the rapidly growing population of baby boomers age 65 and older, who constitute 20 percent of the population and have more chronic healthcare needs; 1.5 million newly insured patients entering the healthcare marketplace by 2015; and the anticipated retirement of more than 40 percent of the state’s registered nurse (RN) workforce within 10 years.
“Healthcare is adding more jobs than any industry in Michigan to meet the shortage of health professionals in Detroit,” said Susan Groenwald, PhD, RN, ANEF, national president of Chamberlain College of Nursing. “Chamberlain looks forward to educating the future nursing leaders who can respond to the state’s healthcare needs and care for Michigan’s diverse and aging population.” 
Despite rising demand for healthcare services and personnel, 2,154 qualified applicants were turned away from Michigan nursing programs in 2013 due to insufficient capacity. In addition to helping fill this need, the new Chamberlain campus provides baccalaureate-level education opportunities for future nurses. The Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of nurses hold a bachelor’s degree by 2020. However, in Southeast Michigan, less than half of RNs hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Located 21 miles north of Detroit at  200 Kirts Blvd., Chamberlain’s new Troy campus offers an on-site Bachelor of Science in Nursing(BSN) degree program that can be completed in as few as three years of year-round study instead of the typical four years with summers off. The campus features Chamberlain’s SIMCARE CENTER™, which provides high-tech simulated patient care in clinical learning environments, and a Center for Academic Success, which delivers comprehensive academic resources and support for students. The education experience is grounded in Chamberlain Care, an approach that includes a unique student academic success model. Through extraordinary student care, students are empowered to achieve their career goals and to deliver exceptional patient care.
The campus dean, Jaime Sinutko, PhD(c), MSN, RN, has more than 14 years of experience as an RN and a decade of experience as a nurse educator. Sinutko was previously the inaugural director of nursing and an associate professor at Rochester College School of Nursing in Michigan. She earned BSN and Master of Science in Nursing degrees from Oakland University, where she is currently working on a Doctor of Philosophy degree in educational leadership.
Open houses for prospective students will be held at the Troy campus on Wednesday, Oct. 22 from 4-7 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 24 from 4-7 p.m. For more information about Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Troy campus or to RSVP, visit chamberlain.edu/troy.
About Chamberlain College of Nursing
For 125 years, Chamberlain College of Nursing has been at the forefront of excellence in nursing education. Chamberlain is increasing access to nursing education nationwide with campuses offering the three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program and flexible online programs such as the RN to BSN option, Master of Science in Nursing degree program, Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program and Graduate Certificates.
Chamberlain College of Nursing is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (ncahlc.org). HLC is one of the eight regional agencies that accredit U.S. colleges and universities at the institutional level. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program and the Master of Science in Nursing degree program at Chamberlain College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202.887.6791). The Associate Degree in Nursing program at the Columbus location is accredited with conditions by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404.975.5000). Accreditation provides assurance to the public and to prospective students that standards of quality have been met.
Program/program option availability varies by state/location. Chamberlain reserves the right to update information as it becomes available. Information is current at the time of posting. For the most updated accreditation information, visit chamberlain.edu/accreditation. Comprehensive consumer information is available at chamberlain.edu/studentconsumerinfo.
Chamberlain College of Nursing, LLC is a part of DeVry Education Group (NYSE: DV), a global provider of educational services. All rights reserved. chamberlain.edu.


Twisted Tavern puts twist in Ferndale's nightclub/restaurant scene

After a successful run as a go-to fun spot, Boogie Fever in Ferndale has been reinvented into a nightclub and restaurant that leaves behind a casual, disco feel and takes on a chic, upscale attitude.

Twist Night Club opened several weeks ago in the back of the space on Woodward Avenue, and earlier this month the food side of the business, the Twisted Tavern, opened in the front part of the building at 22901 Woodward.

The dance club is open on weekends. The tavern is open every night for dinner, and the menu created by executive chef Kyle Hanley means to compete with top restaurants by being more than bar- or late-night food.

Small plates such as cheddar cheese, red onion and pickled cabbage flatbread pizza, a salad of candy-striped beets, bibb lettuce, hazelnuts, chevre cheese and lemon vinaigrette, or Spanish chorizo with sherry cream, shiitake crisps, sliders, polenta fries and more are available. Finishes include a twisted ice cream sandwich made with maple ice cream, bacon and bourbon cookies, or a cinnamon snicker doodle sundae.

Source: The Twisted Tavern
Writer: Kim North Shine

T&M offers automotive and waste management expertise

T&M Associates, a leading national engineering, environmental services and consulting firm, announces the opening of a Michigan office with a focus on serving the automotive and waste management industries. Natalie Pryde, who specializes in regulatory compliance at the local, federal and global levels, will lead the office. She brings nearly 15 years of environmental, health and safety (EHS), and compliance experience with General Motors, Ford, FIAT Chrysler Automobiles and numerous public and private clients in the sector. 

T&M also appointed environmental geologist Nathan Hull as solid waste specialist, whose team will provide a broad portfolio of services to clients throughout the region. Mr. Hull comes from T&M Associates’ Ohio regional office and brings 18 years of experience in construction inspection, quality assurance and environmental investigation. 

“Natalie’s automotive and regulatory leadership, combined with Nathan’s environmental expertise, enables us to bring best-in-class services to Detroit and enhance our offerings in the greater Midwest market,” said Ihsan Al-Fayyomi, senior vice president and environmental services business unit leader at T&M. 

The new office is located at 39555 Orchard Hill Place, Novi, Michigan 48375. It will offer T&M Associates’ full portfolio of services, including EHS auditing and program development/implementation, regulatory compliance and permitting, site investigation and remediation, risk assessment, due diligence and transactional support, Underground Storage Tank (UST)/Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) evaluation and investigation, industrial hygiene, grants and funding, energy efficiency, transportation engineering, water resources, stormwater management and construction administration.
About T&M Associates
T&M Associates is an engineering consulting firm specializing in development, energy, environmental and transportation services.  Established in 1966 and headquartered in Middletown, NJ, the company has earned dozens of awards for project excellence and is consistently ranked in the top half of Engineering News Record’s list of the Top 500 Design Firms. T&M’s tagline, “Your Goals. Our Mission.,” encapsulates its commitment to develop effective, creative and timely strategies and solutions to achieve its public and private clients’ business objectives. T&M has nearly 400 employees and operates in 16 office locations throughout Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  For more information, visit http://www.tandmassociates.com/.

CASRO names Morpace as its 2014 Research Organization of the Year

Morpace is honored to be named as the recipient of the CASRO Research Organization of the Year Award. The award was presented at the CASRO Annual Conference held September 29 – October 2 in Denver.

The CASRO Research Organization of the Year Award honors a member company that has demonstrated leadership, overall consistency and excellence in the planning and execution of its research services. The winner is chosen by a panel of research industry leaders.

“This is an incredible achievement for our company. It is truly an honor to be recognized in such a way by our peers.” said Morpace Chairman and CEO Frank Ward. “Since the recession, our growth has been phenomenal. This recognition has required significant effort from every employee in the organization.” 

Among the fastest growing research companies, Morpace has more than doubled its revenue since 2009, nearly five times the industry average. Investments in the launch of a larger office in Shanghai, and the development of new approaches such as Claros CommunitiesTM, LiveDriveTM and my2CentsTM have been well received by its clients, said Morpace President and COO Duncan Lawrence.

“Our approach is fairly simple: know the industries you serve, hire and keep great people, and listen to your clients,” Lawrence said. “We are in an industry that demands quality, service and insights, and we excel in these areas. Our value to clients is helping them solve their business problems. The research industry has been undergoing tremendous change with an explosion of information, so we’ve had to change as well,” Lawrence added.

Market research is a ’people business,’ Lawrence said, so it is imperative for Morpace not only to keep its best people, but also blend that experienced team with a new generation of professionals. “This blend of talent makes us much stronger. It also keeps me very optimistic about the future of our company.”

About Morpace Inc.
Morpace Inc. is a full-service market research and consulting organization specializing in automotive, healthcare, financial services, retail and consumer goods, and technology. Morpace provides global expertise and proprietary solutions in three core areas: brand and communications; market and product development; and customer experience management. 

Established in 1941, Morpace was named the 2014 CASRO Research Organization of the Year. The company is listed in the Gold (formerly Honomichl) Top 50 report of largest U.S.-based market research firms as developed by Marketing News magazine. Morpace was also recognized by Ford Motor Company by receiving the 2012 Silver Word Excellence Award. Morpace is headquartered in Detroit with offices in Los Angeles, London, and Shanghai. Visit www.morpace.com for more information.

Founded in 1975, The Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) represents 330 research organizations in the U.S. and abroad, all of which annually reaffirm their adherence to the CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics, an internationally respected code of business and professional standards. CASRO’s member benefits include a strong government and public affairs program, industry surveys and superb staff training and networking opportunities at workshops and conferences held throughout the year. Visit www.casro.org for more information. 
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