Category: Entrepreneurs

the front entrance of the Round About Caffe.

November 8, 2022

After serving her family and friends for years as a homemaker, Swapna Gorthi takes a chance on her own coffee-making and culinary skills, opening a shop with a unique menu. Coincidentally, it hasn’t been a direct path to establishing the Round About Caffe.

Sherri Brantley stands on the porch of her former restaurant/home in Kalamazoo's Vine Neighborhood

October 24, 2022

An unconventional chef and restaurateur had a dream of serving meals and her community. When the banks and management company sitting on a vacant property refused to respond to her attempts to buy or lease, she set up shop anyway.

Churu Yun speaks into a microphone to a group of people sitting in chairs

September 20, 2022

An education-to-employment infrastructure has brought businesses, kept workers, and made Kalamazoo a national hub for industrial design and related jobs.

Store employee and game master Asha Fernanders explains a game to patron Josh Cribbs.

August 3, 2022

Open for less than a year, the Voss Media Board Game Cafe in Galesburg is close to turning all the fun into a profitable business.

a group of mostly Black men sit at a conference table with laptops

July 15, 2022

A Kalamazoo city program is using business skills and licensing exam training to address the dearth of building contractors and upend a racial disparity in the trade.

dan and emmy kastner stand behind a counter at Factory Coffee

July 11, 2022

The Kalamazoo roastery and coffee shop’s third location, which opens July 21, adds a full menu, adult beverages, and later nights.

Twala Lockett-Jones sits at a table holding a copy of her book

June 30, 2022

Kalamazoo-based Realtor turns ideas about overcoming homeowner disparities into a children’s story about buying castles and breaking curses.

Daniel May stands at an unfished bar inside his cocktail lounge

June 20, 2022

The new Dabney & Co., named after a pioneering mixologist who was forced to buy his way out of slavery, will open in the former Civil House Coffee space in downtown Kalamazoo.

Lee Patton, Lee Patton Jr., and Markus Patton standing in front of an ice cream truck

June 17, 2022

A locally owned ice cream truck company has recently launched. It’s a combination of tastes and sounds that are nostalgic to some and strange to the younger crowd. But for everyone, it’s just in time for the heat wave.

Anaya Fernando stands behind a table covered in her bath and body products.

June 7, 2022

Teenage entrepreneur announces a retail deal for her eco- and body-friendly personal care products.