Paddletek celebrates 10 years in business

Published 4:21 pm Friday, August 12, 2022

NILES CHARTER TOWNSHIP — A local business that has served as a beacon for pickleball enthusiasts is celebrating 10 years in business.

Guests from Niles, Michiana and beyond were on hand to celebrate Paddletek, 1990 S. 11th St. Suite 44, a pickleball paddle manufacturing company that opened in 2012.

Maggie Patterson of Doggie Drive-Thru, Wings Etc. Niles owner Jeremy Bayles and Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service director Brian Scribner were on hand to present Paddletek owners Curtis and Nanette Smith with gifts from local businesses. In addition, on behalf of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, South County Democratic Club Chair Karen Kemp presented the Smiths with a tribute proclamation commemorating Paddletek’s 10 years in business.

“Niles, Michigan is a small town that has a very long and rich history and interesting, productive people and innovations,” Kemp said. “Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist recognize the importance of small businesses, small towns and rural areas in Michigan.”

Paddletek has become one of the largest manufacturers of pickleball paddles in the country. For Curtis and Nanette, being honored by both local businesses and government officials means a lot.

“We are located in the Niles area because of the community, because the people here understand what it is to build something and they take pride in creating a quality product,” Curtis said. “We’re very prideful over the fact that we’re sourced and manufactured in the United States.

The Michiana area has become a pickleball hub in recent years. Both the City of Niles and Niles Charter Township have moved to upgrade their respective pickleball courts amid the growing popularity of the sports. 

“We couldn’t be happier or more prideful that the Niles community is supporting the sport,” Curtis said. “Bringing in the courts where people can play the Michiana Pickleball Association has done a great job in helping the sports world by getting the courts built and it really is a testament to the foresight of the leaders in the community to see this is going to happen. This is not just a fad; This is going to be a mass market sport and investing in the community to allow locals a place to play without having to drive, so I congratulate them on having the wisdom to see what’s happening right now.”