Business Beat

Ionia resident and home brew aficianado Evan Dembskey, left, begins the process of brewing a craft beer by mixing in the malted grains with hot water in a steel tub as Steele Street Brewery owner and brewmaster Pete Sanford looks on. The brewery opened in January and already has more than 300 “lifetime” members, including Dembskey. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

BUSINESS BEAT: Steele Street Brewery offers an enjoyable, savory community niche

Under Evan Dembskey’s handmade beer mug, it reads his name and “Member #53,” representing his membership to the newly established brewery in town, Steele Street Brewery.

Though he was merely the 53rd member (admitting he got to the grand opening “a little late”), the South African-native-now-Ionia-resident will argue he was one of the first people to support and “hound” Pete Sanford to open a brewery in town.

Dave Rinderknecht, owner of Greenville Food Express, left, and Dawn Norton of the Winter Inn in Greenville, celebrate the partnership between the Winter Inn and other local restaurants in a new food delivery service for Greenville, Belding and Gowen residents. (Daily News | Emilee Nielsen)

BUSINESS BEAT: Food delivery service open to Greenville, Belding, Gowen residents

Jimmy John’s, Pizza Hut, Jet’s, and now … Applebee’s? All of these restaurants have one thing in common — local residents can phone in their orders for delivery, thanks to new business Greenville Food Express.

From left, Club Phoenix staff members Clarissa Gerwig, maintenance worker Glenn Moore, Shirley Downer, owner Jon Bunce, resident trainer Alyssa Garner, and Jenna Ferguson celebrate the opening of the gym in Belding. A ribbon cutting will be held today at 3 p.m. at 240 Covered Village Mall. (Daily News | Cory Smith)

BUSINESS BEAT: Grand opening for Phoenix fitness center in Belding is today

For two years, Jon Bunce has clung to a property at the Covered Village Mall, hoping to one day realize his dream of opening the first and only fitness center in his hometown community. Today, that dream becomes a reality.

Pete McGowan owns Third Wave Coffee with his wife, Megan. They purchased the space in 2014. (Daily News | Emilee Nielsen)

BUSINESS BEAT: Belding’s Third Wave Coffee expanding

Third Wave Coffee has been providing citizens of Belding with their java fixes for two years, seeing success in offering the community an opportunity for in-house roasted coffee beans and excellent customer service. Soon the shop will be expanding its offerings to fresh and natural food options.

The Brews & Brushes sip-a-craft-beer-while-painting event is one of the newest and most fun events going on at Horse's Mouth Tavern in Belding. The next event is scheduled for Jan. 21, with Wine & Canvas artist Jim Moga guiding participants through his piece called “Go Fish,” a scenic painting of an ice shanty on a frozen lake.

BUSINESS BEAT: Horse’s Mouth hosts painting workshop Jan. 21

The flavor of the craft beer isn’t the only thing that is creative at Horse’s Mouth Tavern nowadays. With the addition of sip-and-paint workshops becoming popular at the location, patrons are getting crafty, too.

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JUST IN: Interim tag removed, Belding promotes Bruce Brown to City Manager

In a unanimous vote Tuesday evening, members of the Belding City Council elected to remove the interim tag and promote Bruce Brown as the community’s new city manager.

Though their new pub got off to a rough start during its grand opening, Horse’s Mouth owners Jennifer and Troy Palmer are optimistic for the future and are taking steps to improve service. The beautifully transformed bar features only local brews and a full menu. (Daily News | Mike Taylor)

Rough opening day points to better things ahead for Horse’s Mouth

Folks who once frequented the old Driftway Bar are not going to believe their eyes. The first thought coming through the doors of the recently-opened Horse’s Mouth will likely be, “Look what they’ve done to this place.”

Stephanie and Jayson Nemeth opened Aunt Stephie’s Cafe in Ionia last October and pride themselves on offering meals made from scratch.  (The Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

BUSINESS BEAT: Aunt Stephie’s Cafe offers home-cooked goodness

Dining at Aunt Stephie’s Cafe is a lot like eating at your grandmother’s house; the “down home” food is all made from scratch, there’s plenty of it and you feel as if you’re surrounded by friends and family.

After 14 years without a major remodeling project, John Leppink, owner of Leppink’s Food Center in Belding, thought it was about time. The store’s renovation brings an entirely new look to the market.

BUSINESS BEAT: Belding Leppink’s store gets new interior makeover

Shoppers who haven’t been to the Leppink’s store in a while may not recognize the place on their next visit. For the past several weeks, the venerable grocery — which recently celebrated its 85th anniversary — has been undergoing a complete makeover.

Jenny Bennett prepares her old-fashioned baked goods while her grandson, Daniel, looks on. On the menu today is homemade Cannonsville Road Caramel Nut Popcorn. “It takes over two hours, start to finish,” said Bennett, “but the results are so much better than store-bought.”

BUSINESS BEAT: Bennett opens new Blue Ribbon Bakery in Belding

Jenny Bennett has always had a flair for baking; she describes it not only as a hobby, but as “a way of life.” She’s happiest, she says, when she’s in the kitchen, the rich, sweet smells of yeast and sugar dusting the oven-warmed air.