Focus On: Boxed Water is Better

In 2009, Ben Gott found himself noticing plastic everywhere – from the cafes he visited with friends to the consulting jobs he held. One such job included a water bottling plant where pallets of empty plastic bottles awaited shipment. So much plastic everywhere! Gott knew that 68 percent of all plastic is not recycled, and he also knew that an alternative was needed.

Focus On: Kalamazoo Candle Company

As he tells it, the creation of Kalamazoo Candle Company was a “happy accident” when he found himself with some free time around the holidays. McFarlin decided to search online for things he could make and sell for extra cash. He literally Googled, “things I can make,” and a list of 50 things popped up. As he browsed the list, candles caught his attention.

Focus On: Live Oak Coffeehouse

Live Oak Coffeehouse in Midland is the newest addition to a collection of community-based businesses in the Ashman Plaza. The 16,000-square-foot building is home to a wide-ranging collection of small local businesses that rely on each other and work together to cultivate their businesses.