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Author: Travis Silvas

Downtown storefront a big step forward for PAE Plumbing

Family means everything to Charlotte business owner Tim Comer. His wife and three children have been the driving force behind decisions that have allowed PAE Plumbing to flourish since opening the business five years ago. Even the business name itself reflects the love he has for his children, Patrick, Anna, and Ella. When the opportunity to open a storefront in downtown Charlotte presented itself. Tim and wife, Natasha, knew it was the best decision for their family and the future of their business. “This is a big stepping stone,” Tim said from his new location at 119 S. Cochran Avenue in downtown Charlotte. “It’s nice to have everything in one location for our crews and out of my garage.” Tim and Natasha built the business from their Charlotte home, providing quality plumbing service locally. Now with six full-time crews servicing customers throughout the greater-Charlotte area. “We’re excited to have a spot in town,” Tim said. “I like the idea of having a place people can stop in and talk with us.” Tim said part of having a downtown location is the opportunity for a small showroom, which will allow the business to eventually add retail sales in the future. He said the plan is to set up small showcases that demonstrate the plumbing systems in a kitchen and bathroom. He said that all plumbing supplies his crews use on...

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Insty-Prints Downtown award-winning service extends to hometown

Since opening Insty-Prints Downtown Lansing in November of 1984, Mike and Annette Bruce have been committed to not only assisting their customers, but also being active members of their community. Though their business is based in Lansing, the Bruces often find a way to lend a hand in their hometown of Charlotte. Mike and Annette and their daughter, Jennifer, have been taking care of customers throughout the greater Lansing area for the last 34 years. They and their family give back, not only through their service at Insty-Prints Downtown, but also through their actions in the community. Annette, who manages the bookkeeping, is an active volunteer with the women’s auxiliary and The Gift basket at Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital. Jennifer Berkompas manages the store in addition to raising two sons. Mike has served on the Charlotte Public Schools Board of Education for 24 years. He is a member of the Charlotte Optimist Club, and sits on the Relevant Academy of Eaton County Board of Directors and the Charlotte Public Schools Education Foundation. All are active members of First Congregational Church in Charlotte. Insty-Prints is a family operated, full service printing and copying business. Insty-Prints Downtown, a franchise business, specializes in offset printing, digital color and black and white copying, complete design and typesetting. They offer other services as well, including laminating, faxing, blue print copying, posters and banners....

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Charlotte Brewing Company expands with outdoor seating

Somehow, Charlotte Brewing Company continues to be one of the city’s best-kept secrets. That’s about to change. Better known as Eaton Pub & Grille, Charlotte Brewing Company recently opened an outdoor patio or “beer garden,” providing an additional 40 seats to the already popular Charlotte restaurant. The stamped concrete patio is the first phase in a plan that will bring open-air dining to Cochran Avenue. The plan is to provide live music on warm evenings, and eventually overflow seating for popular DJ Trivia nights, which are held every Monday and Wednesday night at Charlotte Brewing Company. “I’m really trying to make this a destination location in this community,” said Terry Davis, owner of Charlotte Brewing Company. “The patio is always full, so it’s definitely popular.” Davis said the popularity will really take off once the second phase of the patio project is complete in 2019. The Davis family, which owns Eaton Place and Eaton Pub and Grille purchased the former Paul’s Gun Shop more than a year ago. Working with Mark Hughes, owner of Jerry’s Barber Shop, the barber shop was moved to the former gun shop location, making room for the Brewing Company’s expansion. Once fully constructed, the former barber shop location will feature glass garage-style doors that will be able to open to Cochran Avenue on the east end, and the patio on the west end. “I’m...

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Candy Ford has served the Sweetest Deals on Wheels for more than 40 years

Candy Ford in Charlotte has become a destination for shoppers throughout Mid-Michigan thanks to the dedication and leadership of the Dykstra family. Led by president John Dykstra (JD), Candy Ford opened its doors in Charlotte in 1977, beginning four decades of commitment to quality service to both customers and the community. The commitment has been passed down to the second generation as Dykstra’s children, John Dykstra, Jr. (JR), Stacy Gamet, Jason Dykstra and Brandon Dykstra have all played integral roles in the family dealership for a number of years. JR’s son, John Tyler (JT), who is currently attending Western Michigan University is the third generation to get involved at Candy Ford. Always innovative, this year, Candy Ford has sweetened options for customers with the creation of the Courtesy Transportation Program. “Customers have been taking advantage of some really great deals,” said sales manager John Dykstra, Jr. “They’ve been selling really quickly.” The program utilizes the dealership’s service center courtesy cars. The courtesy cars are brand new Ford vehicles that are taken out of rotation at 2,000 miles and offered for sale to customers with additional discounts. “The cars still qualify for new car incentives on top of additional incentives because they were used as courtesy cars,” Dykstra said. “We’ve had people put deposits down on courtesy cars they’ve used because they don’t become for sale until they hit the...

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Big Kid Tree Worx gets entire family involved

Justin Brummette’s goals were small when he started Big Kid Tree Worx nearly four years ago in Charlotte. Brummette, who had developed a passion for tree climbing over the past several years, felt he could turn that passion into an opportunity to further provide for his family. His initial plan was to secure one job per week while learning more about trees and their proper care. He said membership in arboriculture organizations such as the International Society of Arboriculture and the Arboriculture Society of Michigan sets his business apart from many other area tree services. Though not a certified arborist, Brummette has been studying trees intently and their proper care to ensure he provides customers with the highest level of care and expertise possible. While it’s important to take care of the hazards associated with falling limbs, Brummette said it’s also important to the homeowner to have the job done properly. “There are a lot of fly-by-night tree services out there,” he said. “I want to make sure customers are going to get someone who is going to do it right.” As his knowledge and skill has grown, so has his reputation for providing excellent service. “As word of mouth spread, many more jobs have resulted,” Brummette said. With the steady increase in work, Brummette often enlists the assistance of his wife and co-owner, Tobi, who is considered the...

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