Buchanan’s Hometown & Co. hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony

Published 4:51 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

BUCHANAN — A long-vacant Buchanan building has been brought back to life, much to the joy of the community.

The Hometown & Co., 101 Days Ave., Buchanan celebrated its Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon. The event included food, drinks, giveaways, live music and a Santa photo booth. 

The Hometown & Co. Mercantile and Food Market is operated as a small business incubator for emerging businesses in the food and retail sector and is managed by LiveBuchanan, a nonprofit formed this year with the mission of revitalizing Buchanan’s historic downtown. The Hometown & Co. and its first cohort of four diverse businesses opened in late November and have already seen immense community support.

The ceremony featured speakers including Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brandon DeJaynes, Rowland Property Group’s Michael Rowland, LiveBuchanan Director Ashley Regal and Rep. Brad Paquette, who delivered a proclamation from the State of Michigan commemorating the occasion. Mayor Sean Denison was also on hand to deliver a speech.

“I think the crowd size shows how important this is to our community,” said Mayor Sean Denison. “We have a lot of projects going on in town right now but I don’t think any of them are more important or have a bigger impact than what’s happening on this corner.”

These businesses include eateries Taqueria Don Chepe and Diana’s Kitchen, as well as farm store McBain Lane’s Mercantile and leather goods store, Goddess of the Moon Leatherworks.

“It’s been a really nice period of growth here in Buchanan,” said Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brandon DeJaynes. “We’ve had many ribbon cuttings over the past few months. And I know that this one has been highly anticipated just with the renovation and the repurposing of this business, not just the short term of filling a storefront. But with a long-term goal of building small businesses to succeed and thrive, and then retain them as part of our community.

“These are mom and pop shops in here. These are your neighbors. These are your friends, these are your family and it takes a community to support these businesses and to bring them to the success that we all want to see.”

The building was bought and renovated by the Rowland Property Group – owned by Michael and Elaine Rowland – which leased the space to LiveBuchanan. After being accepted into the business incubator, the businesses spend a year learning and growing together with the intention of finding long-term homes for their businesses in Buchanan at the end of the program. 

“It was something that we looked at each other and said, this is what we went for our kids,” Michael Rowland said. “We want our kids to be able to grow up in a thriving downtown just like we were able to grow up with. We put our money where our hearts were. We decided to invest in this building with everything we have into making this not only a successful project for our family but for all of your bands as well.”

LiveBuchanan provides a shared market/retail space, business training, one-on-one coaching  and connection to vital resources to help support these businesses on their journey. Each vendor selected for the program is required to attend trainings, be present during open hours and pay a monthly program fee.

“Our goal is to grow strong, local businesses for this next wave of development and Innovation in Buchanan,” Regal said. “We’ve been working on this project for about eight months now and we’re ecstatic to see it come into fruition. This project is only possible because of community partners that believe in Buchanan and want to see it thrive.”

The Hometown & Co. is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Learn more at livebuchanan.com.