by BETH ALTENA “There is nothing else like them,” said Floyd Havemeier of Herman’s Boy about the Big Green Egg. Havemeier donated a Big Green Egg prize package worth at least $1,250 to help the Rockford Area Historical Society raise funds for a new museum slated for the building that formerly housed the Rockford court. A few tickets remain of the only 200 to be offered with a $25 tax deductible donation to the museum fund. Enjoy a day of demonstrations about just what can be done with one of these unique cooking devices during the annual Grillapalooza at Herman’s Boy, located at 220 Northland Drive. Grillapalooza takes place Saturday, May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) beginning at 10 a.m. with Havemeier’s grandson Michael demonstrating “Breakfast on the Grill” with a Cinco de Mayo theme. Havemeier said Grillapalooza will be a fun event with all sorts of grilling demonstrations and tasting. The day’s highlights will include tastings of items cooked with a new line of spices developed by his son Brian. The coffee-based flavorings have been a work in process for years and a “secret” ingredient used at many fine-dining restaurants. This chef’s secret weapon makes a world of difference on beef, pork, chicken and seafood. The Big Green Egg prize includes the large-size Egg grill, the nest that holds it, an instructional DVD, accessories and free classes on grilling. “We’ve sold fourteen in the last ten days,” Havemeier said of the product. For more information or to donate to the museum fund, stop by Herman’s Boy during business hours.
Se habla español? Now everyone knows that Floyd Havemeier, of Rockford’s Herman’s Boy, likes to keep his thumb on the pulse of Rockford. (Huge understatement!) So it came to pass that Floyd and wife Sharon would not embark on a well-deserved two-month winter R&R hiatus to the Gulf coast of Florida unless the boys back at the store would promise to, each and every week, Express Mail a current edition of Rockford’s hometown newspaper, The Rockford Squire, to their vacation retreat. During the couple’s two-month absence (mid-January to mid-March) much occurred in Rockford. Wolverine World Wide did an about-face, Herman’s Boy was honored as the “2010 Business of the Year” by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Frenz Coffee House ended a four-year struggle by closing their doors, the Rockford City Council rejected the Rockford Area Historical Society’s proposal to relocate to the Rockford-owned and vacant 63rd District Court building, and a planning consultant for the City renamed the Northland Drive business corridor: “Mish-Mash Dr.” Reading of all of these issues in the Squire sent Floyd’s heart racing but, at the same time, he was consoled by a newfound friend “Jose.” It seems that Floyd’s host in Ft. Meyers had made Jose available to Floyd and Sharon as their personal butler during the duration of their visit. Floyd quickly took a special interest in the silent, smiling and ever-attentive Jose. When the time came to return home to Rockford, Floyd had become convinced that Jose would make a perfect addition to the Herman’s Boy team. Jose was a tough sell, however, and it wasn’t until the ever-persuasive Floyd told him that the 2010 Census had revealed a huge increase in the Hispanic population in the greater Grand Rapids area that Jose agreed to come on board. Now residing in Rockford, Jose has become the official greeter of customers as they enter the “one store worldwide” Herman’s Boy in Rockford. Entering the front door of the store, be sure to say “Buenos dias” and “welcome” to the diminutive sombrero-wearing hombre with a big heart. P.S. Grandson Mike Havemeier is perhaps the most thrilled of all by the addition of Jose, saying, “It’s fine with me. Now I’m not the low man on the totem pole!”
Children’s book author/illustrator Robb Johnston signs a copy of his new book “The Woodcutter and the Most Beautiful Tree” for Rockford resident and Northview School District third-grade teacher, Mary Lou Ohnsman. Last Saturday, Robb sold and autographed 70 copies of his book at a successful Herman’s Boy-hosted book-signing event. A limited number of books are still available for purchase at the store.
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL With Rockford-area businesses reporting strong sales during the Christmas shopping season, one local business stands out. Herman’s Boy is pleased to report yet another year of successive year-over-year increases. Boasting “one location worldwide,” Herman’s Boy is a distinctive destination in Rockford. One segment of the flourishing business is The Coffee Ranch that roasts and blends premium gourmet coffee. Established in 1901, the craft roaster is the oldest specialty roaster in the Midwest. Leading up to Christmas Day, the staff at Herman’s Boy worked 29 days in a row without a day off. During that period, the two beautiful stainless steel and enameled metal coffee roasters in the store’s roasting room hardly had time to cool off between batches. Who doesn’t love coffee? It is the beverage of choice at Christmas gatherings as well as a great gift item during the holiday season. Depending on the direction of the wind, we here in Rockford have the added plus of breathing the intoxicating aroma of coffee beans being freshly roasted on a daily basis. “Our two coffee roasters have roasted up to 800 pounds of coffee on many days leading up to Christmas,” said Andy Havemeier. “During the six days just prior to Christmas, we roasted 4,100 pounds of coffee.” This is all the more amazing when you consider the fact that the roastery only roasts in small batches of no more than 30 pounds of beans. They do this to ensure freshness by striving to only roast that which will be sold within 48 hours. “Pound for pound in retail sales, no one comes close to Herman’s Boy in West Michigan for freshness and quality of product,” added Havemeier. When one thinks of coffee, one thinks of Herman’s Boy. Over the years The Coffee Ranch has become famous for its distinctively blended coffees such as the iconic Pantlind Blend, Red’s Blend, and the Cherie Inn Blend, to name a few of dozens. Not to be forgotten are over 40 flavored coffee selections. Roasting only the finest varietal coffee beans from around the world, Herman’s Boy air-cools rather than water-cools their roasted beans. Thus, when you order a pound of coffee at The Coffee Ranch, you get a full pound measure of […]
Show open during Harvest Fest by Beth Altena Nate Brown always loved toys and admits he never really grew up, but early on in his collecting days he learned a valuable lesson: Don’t throw out the box. Brown has hundreds of antique toys on display at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive. He is out back in a barn that was once a pig sty and former “dog house” for the man of the home years ago, when his wife would occasionally lock him out, according to a long-time neighbor. “I was at an auction sale of antique toys in Lafayette, Indiana, and they held up a farm tractor and it went for $400,” Brown stated. “I had one just like it at home, so I was surprised. Then they held up the box and it went for $500.” Brown said boxes are often priced more highly than the items they once held because nobody keeps the boxes. “Did you ever keep the boxes your toys came in at Christmas?” he asked. Once a set is separated from the box, it is impossible to know if the set is complete or what is missing. Brown is a collector of toys, trains, coins, tools and lunchboxes, and he and Joyce, his wife of 49 years, are more than happy to share the efforts of years of collecting and research with those who stop in to visit. With hundreds of pieces on display at Herman’s Boy, Brown said the selection is just a drop in the bucket to his entire collection. He brought farm-related pieces for the most part to go along with the harvest theme of the annual festival which runs through October 10. Among the oldest toys on display is a handmade plow dating to the 1870s. Made by a father who farmed on Ten Mile Road in Ottawa County, it isn’t much to look at, but has a nice story. There are other nice stories go along with each of the toys in the collection. A blue Batmobile surprises fans of the show. “Everybody thinks the Batmobile is black, but in the original show it was blue,” Brown stated. Since the show aired in black and white, the fact is little known. Brown described “sleepers” […]