Market Van Buren honors local businesses, announces new brand

Published 12:54 pm Thursday, June 6, 2024

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CASSOPOLIS — Market Van Buren recognized local businesses and leaders who have helped Cass and Van Buren Counties flourish during its annual awards ceremony Wednesday at Marion Magnolia Farms in Cassopolis.

The organization hosted its fourth annual Awards Event which brought together local business owners and municipal leaders from Cass and Van Buren counties to celebrate the organizations five-year anniversary, and culminated in the celebration of several outstanding businesses, the new Legacy  Award, a trailblazing municipality, and the announcement of a new brand for the team at Market Van Buren. 

Award winners recognized at the event had been selected following a nomination and application process. The following local organizations were honored with an award:  

  • Economic Pioneer of the Year – Midwest Energy & Communications in Cassopolis
    Legacy Award – James Crandall 
  • Community Champion of the Year – Charles River Laboratories, Mattawan  
  • Municipal Trailblazer of the Year – Village of Cassopolis 
  • Business Innovator of the Year – Special-Lite in Decatur 
  • Best New Business of the Year – Divine Dough Co. In Edwardsburg; Kitchen Tribes in South  Haven 

Divine Dough Co. produces a variety of doughnuts in-house at 25990 US-12, Edwardsburg made, which are made using family recipes. Chad Jankoviak, co-owner of Divine Dough Co., was honored to receive the award. 

“It was an honor,” he said. “We’re thankful that people love our products, it’s humbling.”

Since opening its doors last year in Edwardsburg, Divine Dough Co. has expanded to South Bend with its second location at 1724 N Ironwood Dr., Suite A.

“It’s been busy,” Jankoviak said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s fun.”

For Jankoviak and his team, the award symbolizes their hard work paying off.

It proves we are loved by the community,” he said. “People do like our business. Every time you start a business, you worry if you will be well-received and it has been so far.”

In recognition of their support for a better economic future and their investment in Market Van Buren, six municipalities and businesses were recognized as Torchbearer Investors. These investors include EQ  United, GrayMatter, Ranger Power or Steelhead Solar LLC (confirming name), Special-Lite, Village of Cassopolis, Village of Edwardsburg. The evening also included a keynote address by Zachary Anderson, Chief Operating Officer of Wolverine Power Cooperative. Mr. Anderson addressed the future of the energy grid, which is arguably at its most pivotal time since Edison was rivaling Tesla. He also spoke about their Power Purchase Agreement with the Palisades Nuclear Plant owner Holtec International. 

“Cass and Van Buren counties have businesses and municipalities who have incredible accomplishments and should be recognized for their outstanding contributions to growing the future of our communities. We were pleased to celebrate these five organizations as they stood out among their peers and embody the principles essential for a strong local economy,” said Zach Morris, Executive Director of Market Van Buren. 

Introducing: Market One

In addition to honoring the local community, Market Van Buren celebrated its fifth anniversary by unveiling its new brand: Market One. The new brand signifies the change from providing economic development services for just one county to now serving Cass and Van Buren counties. The change represents Market One as the center cog connecting

businesses and communities in Cass and Van Buren Counties to solutions and resources to enable growth. The “one” is the literal shape of the two counties, however the deeper symbolic meaning is the  two counties are now working as “one” to support long-term economic growth. 

“We are excited to share our new brand, Market One, with our community of supporters and  stakeholders. We would not be where we are today without the support of our Board of Directors,  investors, Kinexus Group, businesses, and communities, who over the last five years worked alongside  our team to create a more sustainable future for the generations to come,” added Morris. 

“Over six years ago, Mr. Morris approached me with a concept to bring together business and  community leaders to work as one for a better economic future. As a private sector company, I saw the  need for a unified approach to how we attract resources to support our businesses and communities. As  we celebrate our five-year anniversary, I am proud to say we made the right decision and are beginning  to reap the fruits of our labor. However, there is more work to be done.” said Luke Barber, Market One Board Chair.