Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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Mi Farm Market clicks with online marketing

None - August 19th, 2011  

Scotty Bruce and some of the products offered by Mi Farm Market in Ellsworth.

Scotty Bruce is one of those ubercreative guys who just seems born to be an entrepreneur.

His creative mind, coupled with a strong work ethic, thrives on generating moneymaking opportunities. At his 2004 Ellsworth High School graduation, much to the chagrin of school officials, Bruce sold advertising space on his graduation gown.

“I sold ad space to 15 businesses for $75 each and made over $1,000 that helped with tuition at Albion (College),” he recalls with a smile.

During summers from Albion, he peddled ice cream and other cool treats as the owner of “Mad Scotty’s Desserts.” He’s also been a designer and builder of web sites.

And now, along with family members, he’s turned his energies to a new venture – Mi Farm Market. Launched in October 2010,

Mi Farm Market compiles food products from more than 20 different Northern Michigan farms and orchards, mostly in Antrim County. These tasty items are then presented in attractive hand-crafted, custom wooden crates.


While many farms and orchards offer their own gift baskets and selections, Mi Farm Market enables buyers to choose their own favorites from a variety of vendors. For example, customers can enjoy six different jams, jellies and foods from different vendors, such as Brownwood acres, Cherry Republic, Rocky Top Farms, Friske Orchards, and many others. Mix and match is the name of the game.

Their top seller is the Mighty Mackinaw Brunch, featuring eight helpings of tasty breakfast items. It’s priced at $69.95. Another favorite is the Family BBQ Crate, with nine different BBQ taste delights. It’s $74.95.

Getting Mi Farm Market up and running took several months of planning and meeting with farm and orchard owners.

“Friske Orchards was the first vendor we approached and it couldn’t have gone better,” recalls Scotty’s father Ray Bruce. “Everyone we visited has been really nice. And now we have vendors calling us. But we’re going slow. It has to be the right product, the right fit for us.”

Right now the company operates from the Bruce family home in Ellsworth, but they’re planning a move to a larger location in the village. Scotty, along with his parents Ray and Patricia Bruce and sister-in-law Satin Bruce, own and operate the mostly online company.

But they’ve been so successful, that the family has been attending a few local events, including the National Cherry Festival in July.

“It was intense, those 13-hour days for eight straight days,” says Scotty Bruce. “But the cool thing was that so many of our customers were from out of town. At the festival we sold products from over 18 local growers, many of who wouldn’t normally have the resources to attend such a big show. We were able to give festival tourists a true representation of the diverse products offered from our region. The biggest comment we got from folks was ‘Wow, they’ve got everything right here.’”


At the Cherry Festival, they also passed out more than 500 brochures and visitor guides to the Ellsworth area, urging TC visitors to make the scenic drive up to Antrim County. Sales and feedback were so strong that the family decided it’s time to move the business from the family garage and into a larger facility in Ellsworth. But first they needed to raise about $12,000.

“We figured since this amount is far too small to be considered by angel investors, we would turn to our Northern Michigan community,” says Bruce. “We stumbled across a few web sites that facility a technology called ‘crowd funding,’ which allows businesses to raise capital for their businesses in the form of contributions as little as $1.”

Rather than try to find one or two financial backers, the Bruces decided to raise cash in small amounts from a larger group. “I even came across a story where a man used a web site to raise $21,000 for his brewery in the U.P.,” says Bruce.

So far the company has raised about one-third of the needed cash. Visitors to their website – www.mifarmmarket.com – can make a donation as small as $10 which will get their name listed as a contributor. There are a variety of funding levels:

• For $25, donors get their name listed on a wall at the new headquarters as “The People Who Started it All.”

• For $100 to $299, donors receive a maple cutting board and your name on the office wall.

• For $300 to $499, donors get a one-year membership to the Food Club and receive 8 to 10 food items each month.

• For $500 to $999, donors receive a store credit equal to the contribution, plus 25 percent. For example a $500 gift would enable the donor to buy $625 in store items – a great opportunity for business owners who provide gift baskets to clients and customers.

• And anyone giving $1,000 or more will have a gift basket named after them or their company. Mi Farm Market will work with the donor to customize the basket, tell the donor’s story and feature it on the company web site.

In less than a year since the operation began, Mi Farm Markets has already shipped Northern Michigan products to 38 states.

“Our overall goal is to utilize the latest technologies in the areas of ecommerce, social media, mobile, and search to provide a new avenue through which to sell Northern Michigan’s finest products,” says Bruce. “We’ve doubled our web site traffic since March and we expect to double it again come November.”


Back Draft Coffee
Brownwood Acres
Brownwood Farms
Cherry Republic
Cherry View Orchards
DeKorne Farm
First Fruits
Friske Orchards
Front Porch Café
Harwood Heritage Gold
King Orchards
LaVanway Farms
Lil Terror Hot Products
Old Beck Mustards
Rocky Top Farms
Royal Farms
Siegrest Farms
Sweet Asylum
Tom & Jerry’s Dog House
Traverse Bay Farms

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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