Market open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 7 p.m. Fans of Rockford’s fabulous farm market can visit more local vendors mid-week now that Plainfield Township Farmer’s Market is up and running. The market is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m. and offers plenty of opportunity for fresh, locally grown goods and produce, and more. The trend for locally grown produce has many towns opening farm markets and is not only an affordable way to purchase the freshest fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies and jerkies, but also a chance to learn about the people who are providing the products. A visit on Thursday, June 16 found the market busy and merchants having a good time talking with shoppers. Mike Kibler was on hand offering samples of jerky made from his wife’s family business, 20th Century Market. The business, in the third generation of owners, has been in the same location at 610 Bridge Street in downtown Grand Rapids since 1906. A picture shows the shop in the days of horse-drawn buggies and cable cars. Kibler said his wife makes the jerky and his father-in-law makes “everything else.” He said the market is one of few that make their products in-house, and specialties include Polish kielbasa, German wieners, and Kiscka, a product originally made with blood, not with synthetic blood. He said it is very difficult to find anywhere else. Among local merchants Rockford shoppers may already know was Christina Purvis of Old World Olive Press, who is normally found in her shop at 65 E. Bridge Street in downtown Rockford. Purvis said business was going well at the market, although the day was a little chilly. Purvis partners with other local businesses, such as Reds on the River, to provide classes on the many uses of the olive oils, vinegars and spices available at her shop. The versatile ingredients can be combined in amazing and unexpected ways, such as vinegar and ice cream for a truly unique and delicious dessert. Merill Post from Post Farms was offering lovely and aromatic peonies and delicious jams. Red raspberry, blueberry and honey were among the flavors offered. Post said the family farm originally numbered in the hundreds of acres and was first settled after sale of the […]
Reds on the River
Women just back from spring break vacation now have plenty of reasons to stick around town, at least on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16. If you are one of the out-of-towners who frequent the downtown shopping district, this is a great time to spend a few days here as well. The Heart of Rockford Business Association again this year is offering a Girlfriends StayCation with plenty of special offers and events. The StayCation kicks off April 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues April 16 during regular business hours. In addition to specials designed to spoil and pamper, one lucky winner will receive a Best of Rockford prize package plush with gift certificates, gifts, movie passes and more. According to organizer Christine Gault of A Charmed Life Nail Salon, the event is designed to highlight the many goods and services our little town has to offer. “This is a time of year when there isn’t a lot happening usually, but the weather is changing and it’s a great time for women to get out and celebrate that spring is coming,” Gault said. This is the event’s second year and last year resulted in a great turnout. With even more downtown shops participating, this year’s StayCation is even more exciting. Visitors to A Charmed Life Nail Salon can enjoy a free five-minute chair massage with the purchase of any service from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, a free hand paraffin with any specialty manicure, pedicure or shellac manicure. In addition the first 10 appointments booked will receive a Heart of Rockford shopping bag for future savings in downtown Rockford. At Baskets in the Belfry, enjoy 20% off your entire purchase and food-tastings (some exclusions may apply). On Saturday at 1 p.m. there will be a free demonstration on hand-tied bouquets at Rockford Flower Shop. At Great Northern Trading Company, join in their celebration of 34 years of serving Rockford and beyond. Everyone who enters the store will be allowed to choose a candy bar with a discount hidden under the label, ranging from 20 to 50 percent off the entire purchase. Dars Gems and Jewelry is offering 20 percent off one item and many in-store specials. […]
Crossing the back roads, beaches, and many of Michigan’s best kept secrets, Rockford resident and photographer Stacy Niedzwiecki snapped pictures. Lots of pictures, pictures of nature and peaceful places, pictures designed in her words to offer a “relaxing respite from a busy day.” As Niedzwiecki’s gallery grew, so did her following. She began selling her works throughout Michigan, and through one local suppler, she was introduced to a cancer survivor who thought the images would be very emotionally and mentally calming for others during their treatment. Niedzwiecki was then introduced to the art committee at Spectrum Health’s Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion and commissioned to supply 62 images for hanging throughout the Pavilion. Fast forward toward two years, and now the tranquil, reflective, healing nature of Niedzwiecki’s work has been extended beyond the walls of the Cancer Pavilion. In March 2010, the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion and Niedzwiecki co-published Healing Images, featuring all 62 of her photos from the Pavilion. There are incredible color images of gardens, beaches, light houses, bridges, farms, foliage…many from throughout West Michigan, including Grand Rapids, Lowell, Cannon and Spencer Townships, East Grand Rapids, Ada, Grand Haven, and Holland. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinaw and points in between are also featured.Niedzwiecki notes: “You won’t find images with people in them. This allows the viewer to place themselves into the photo without identifying with someone else. It allows the art to be more personal.” On Thursday, April 22, Niedzwiecki will be at Reds on the River in Rockford from 6:30 to 8 p.m. to meet guests and sign copies of Healing Images and Pure Michigan – Spring, a second recently-released book featuring many of her photographs. Reds is located on the banks of the Rogue River in picturesque Rockford—and has been the subject of her lens on more than one occasion. For additional information on the artist and both book, check out www.StacyN.com. Healing Images is also available at Spectrum Health’s Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion Specialty Shop in Grand Rapids.
Paul “Buzz” Goebel III has recently been hired as Reds on the River’s new manager. His hiring comes in on the heels of news that Reds’ assistant manager, Debbie Fennell, will be leaving to spend more time with her family. Executive Chef Glenn Forgie noted, “Debbie has been with us since we opened Reds in August 2006. Our staff and guests will miss her, but we are fortunate to have hired a top-notch, seasoned restaurant manager. Buzz Goebel was the former owner and manager of Woody’s in Northport, and he has also held management positions with Thousand Oaks, The B.O.B., and early in his career, Mountain Jacks.” Goebel will oversee front-of-the-house operations, ensuring the service and facilities exceed guests’ expectations. “I am thrilled to be working with Reds,” noted Goebel. “Chef Glenn and his staff create exceptional food, and their commitment to a true scratch kitchen, fresh fish flown in daily, aged hand-cut beef, and working with local, organic farmers is outstanding. Plus, Reds’ location and atmosphere are like no other in West Michigan. I am excited to help the restaurant grow and attract more guests to Rockford. It reminds me a lot of Vail, and the charm and town are a tremendous draw.” Goebel and his wife Lesley live in East Grand Rapids with their daughter. The Goebel family has been a familiar face on the West Michigan landscape. Goebel’s grandfather served as mayor of Grand Rapids, and his father founded The Goebel Group in downtown Grand Rapids.
Reds to partner with REF for Second City event Reds on the River is kicking off the New Year by partnering with the Rockford Education Foundation (REF) to help raise money for educational opportunities for persons of all ages in Rockford. Reds will be donating 10 percent of food sales for guests who present their tickets or ticket stubs for The Second City spectacular to be held at the Rockford High School Auditorium on January 23. The offer is valid from January 23 through February 28, 2010. Ticket stubs may be used for multiple visits to Reds during this designated time period. The donation applies only to the food bills of guests who present their Second City tickets or stubs. Sales will be coded and tracked by Reds’ computer system, and a check will be presented to REF the first week of March. Free bluegrass event to be held in Comstock Park The West Michigan Bluegrass Music Association (WMBMA) is hosting a free bluegrass event for players and spectators on Saturday, Jan. 16. A free open band showcase and jam session will begin at 7 p.m. at Fricano’s Pizza, 5808 Alpine NW, Comstock Park, and will continue for as long as the participants wish to play. Bands, groups or individuals wishing to showcase their talent will have an opportunity to perform on stage. A house band will be available for backup, if desired. Bluegrass musicians at all levels are welcome. This jam session is held in a large smoke-free room with food and beverages available for purchase, making it an ideal event for non-musical guests who enjoy listening to free bluegrass music. For more information on this event or the WMBMA organization, please call WMBMA President Dave Simmonds at (616) 897-6220 or visit www.wmbma.org.