Niles Chamber Guide 2019

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2755 E. Napier Avenue 2 GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (269) 927-1000


1905 Foundation Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 695-1391

SOUTH HAVEN CAMPUS 125 Veterans Boulevard South Haven, MI 49090 (269) 637-7500






34 WHAT’S ON THE MENU IN NILES? Try tons of meals at our members restaurants

6 GOVERNMENT OVERVIEW Get to know our political overview

37 CUP RUNNETH OVER Relevant Church leaders open Atomic Bean Coffee

9 DEMOGRAPHICS What makes Niles, Niles?

39 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Meet On Base Productions owner Charles Nelson

10 BUSINESS IS BOOMING Local entrepreneurs are planting roots in Niles 12 MAP OF NILES The official map of the city of Four Flags TOURISM & ATTRACTIONS 14 CALENDAR OF EVENTS Plenty to do in the greater Niles area 16 ON THE TRAIL River Valley pathway connects Michiana

RETAIL 41 OH MY! Niles’ newest boutique focused on formal wear 43 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Meet East Main Gardens owner Mike Peters 44 ANTIQUES Lots of shopping opportunities in Niles and beyond HEALTH & WELLNESS

17 GOLF COURSES Hit the links at these locations in Michiana

47 WORKPLACE WELLNESS Organizations promote healthy professionals

19 PARKS & RECREATION Lots of spots for outdoor fun

49 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Meet LifePlan’s Cheri Gamble

21 HANDS ON LEARNING Michiana museums offer history, science lessons

50 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Meet C2 Your Health owner Cindy Cohen

COMMUNITY 23 10 REASONS TO VOLUNTEER Get out and give back in Niles EDUCATION 25 GRAPE TO GLASS LMC program trains next generation of wine makers 27 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Meet Brandywine’s Sarah Dye MANUFACTURING 28 WHY NILES? City experiencing significant industrial growth 4



PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 53 POWERING THROUGH Custom Computer Company thriving after flood 56 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Meet Halbritter-Wickens’ Steve Wickens RESIDENTIAL & CONSTRUCTION 62 DOWNTOWN LIVING Residents move in to Berkshire Niles 62 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Meet member Samantha Personette



Chamber of Commerce Chamber STAFF Jeff Rea, President and CEO Eileen Villanueva, Membership Coordinator Alexandria Kramer, Administrative Assistant BOARD OF DIRECTORS Ron Barger | Classic Communications Barbara Craig | Lake Michigan College Bill DeLuca | Teachers Credit Union Dave Eifler | Horizon Bank Steve Hicks | Bertrand Township Rick Huff | City of Niles Deb Johnson | Spectrum Health Lakeland Jim Keenan | Walter & Keenan Financial Consulting Co. Bill Marx | City of Buchanan Jeff Rea | South Bend Regional Chamber Larry Reichnadter | Garden City Products Sara Senica | Law Office of Sara Senica Scott Tyler | Tyler Automotive Mark Weber | YMCA of Southwest Michigan CONTACT US 333 N. 2nd Street, Suite 302 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1833 CONTRIBUTORS Caroline Blue Kelsey Hammon Ian Hassan Alexandria Kramer Ambrosia Neldon Emily Sobecki Eileen Villanueva ADVERTISING Lisa Oxender Phil Langer Donna Knight Seth Elliott This Centennial Anniversary Edition of the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce was produced in partnership with


Introducing the Greater Niles Chamber


want to welcome you to our new business directory. Our team has had a lot of fun putting this together. This is one of the most important projects the Greater Niles Chamber will undertake this year. We hope it helps raise the profile of your business and our community. Things are a little different for our organization this year. In January, the former Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce and the Southwest Michigan Economic Growth Alliance merged. What does that mean for you? It means a more efficient delivery of business, community, and economic development services through the combined strengths of the new team. That’s right, we’re combining business advocacy, educational programming, networking, community promotion, business and talent attraction, business retention and expansion, and start-up assistance all into a new

one-stop shop for businesses and the community. We hope you’ve started to notice a difference. Stay tuned, we have a lot more on the way throughout the year! OUR MISSION Serving business and our members by providing products, programs, and services that drive company and community growth. OUR VISION To be a trusted source of information, an effective resource, and an influential advocate for the business community in the Greater Niles Area. VALUES STATEMENT The Chamber is committed to providing visionary community leadership built on: • Excellence: We will deliver programs, services, and products of the highest quality that meet

or exceed the expectations of our members • Member Satisfaction: We will focus on the needs of our members and find ways to provide programs, services and benefits that are affordable, beneficial, and convenient • Community: We are committed to improving the quality of life of the residents of the Greater Niles Area by promoting initiatives that create a vibrant community. • Collaboration: We will build and enhance relationships with our members, the public sector, and other organizations within our community. • Integrity: We will be open, candid and fair, honor our commitments, and adhere to high ethical standards and objectives. • Leadership: We will be visionary and future oriented, while respectful of our history and past commitments in our thinking, decision making, and programming.




Niles: City council/city administrator Niles, Howard, Bertrand, Milton Townships: Township supervisor, township boards of commissioners Berrien and Cass County: Both counties have county administrators appointed by respective boards of commissioners.


Nick Shelton, Mayor of the City Niles

PUBLIC SAFETY Police personnel: City of Niles — 16 full-time police officers and 39 support personnel, including reserve officers. Niles is also serviced by Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Cass County Sheriff’s Department and Michigan State Police. Fire department: City of Niles — 12 full-time firefighters and 21 support personnel including reserve firefighters. Niles Township — six full-time firefighters and 19 support personnel. Howard and Bertrand Townships are served by their own fire departments.

Ric Huff, Niles City Administrator

NILES CHARTER TOWNSHIP CONTACT LAW ENFORCEMENT Michigan State Police: (269) 683-4411 1600 Silverbrook Ave., Niles, MI 49120 Niles City Police: (269) 683-1313 1600 Silverbrook Ave., Niles, MI 49120 Berrien County Sheriff: (269) 684-5274 1205 Front St., Niles, MI 49120 Cass County Sheriff: (269) 445-2481 321 N M-62 Hwy., Cassopolis, MI 49031

Jim Stover, Niles Charter Township Supervisor


HEALTH Lakeland Community Hospital, Niles, is part of Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit, community-owned health system that includes three hospitals, an outpatient surgery center, long-term care, rehabilitation, and home health services. An 89-bed facility serving Niles and southwestern Michigan with primary and specialty care services, the Niles location provides all general community hospital services, including obstetrics, surgery, emergency care, radiology, laboratory services and outpatient oncology. More than 450 primary and specialty care physicians and other licensed providers from all over the world practice medicine at Lakeland Health — Berrien County’s largest employer.

Bill Kasprzak, Howard Township Supervisor


Cass Family Clinic also serves Niles at a community health center on St. Joseph Avenue, and broke ground in 2018 on a new, state-of-the-art full community health center. The new facility, located at 1951 S. Oak St. in Niles Township, will include obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, behavioral health and an on-site pharmacy. Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service is a nonprofit governmental authority staffed by a full-time director and fully trained paramedics.



Steve Hicks, Bertrand Township Supervisor

THE HEART OF MICHIANA Niles (zip code 49120) is home to approximately 37,000 people. Niles is located in both Berrien and Cass counties, and is made up of the City of Niles, Niles Charter Township, Howard Township, Milton Township and Bertrand Township. Niles is approximately 30 minutes from Lake Michigan, 21 minutes from downtown South Bend, less than two hours from Chicago, one hour from Kalamazoo, and two hours from Grand Rapids and Lansing. Locals refer to the region encompassing southwest Michigan and northern Indaiana as “Michiana.” While different people describe the region differently, this region expands as far as Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties in Michigan, and St. Joseph, Elkhart, Kosciusko and Marshall counties in Indiana. Berrien County has 50 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, and is home to a variety of agriculture and food processing operations, as well as the Whirlpool Corporation. Cass County is home to hundreds of inland lakes — including Barron Lake in Niles’ Howard Township. It serves as a summer community for many regional residents. Cass County is rich in agriculture and industrial opportunities. St. Joseph County, Indiana immediately neighbors Niles, has roots in the automotive industry, and is home to the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University South Bend and three other major universities.





Stop by and see us in Niles at 1010 Moore Drive (across the street from Lowe’s)

Come Be Part of It! 8






GENDER 47.4%

Approximately 11,208 people live in Niles city limits, making up approximately 30 percent of the 37,000 people residing in the 49120 zip code, which includes Niles, Niles Township, Howard Township, Bertrand Township and Milton Township. The total population for Berrien County is approximately 154,259.


(2013-2017 5-YEAR EST)



(2013-2017 ACS 5-YEAR EST.)*

27% 11%










ECONOMY Unemployment rate Recent job growth Future job growth Sales tax Household income Family median income

Niles 4.60% 2.5% 40.3% 6.00% $31,844 $40,146

United States 5.20%

$53,482 $53,482

Data from


COMPANIES: 890 (As of 2012) TOTAL HOUSING: 5,310 (As of 2012) VETERANS: 839 (2013-2017 ACS 5-year Est) EDUCATION High school gradute or higher: 83.9% *All numbers based on households in the city limits and do not include neighboring townships.

Married 44%

Never married 39%

Divorced 16.6%

Data includes only residents 15 and older.



Laura and Howard Tuthill opened Iron Shoe Distillery in downtown Niles in April. The Tuthills are two of many entrepreneurs who have noted Niles’ potential and plan to open new businesses this year. (Photo by Wes Jerdon/Westley Leon Studios) 10


booming Business is

Several entrepreneurs planting roots in Niles in 2019


he greater Niles region is seeing comfort food that features gourmet the beginnings of several new burgers, hand cut fries, and a top-secret businesses in 2019. The greater family recipe macaroni and cheese. Niles area is becoming home to more Iron Shoe Distillery is just one of the and more new businesses every year, businesses opening in 2019. while also witnessing a surge in grand In addition to Iron Shoe Distillery, the reopenings as many businesses are greater Niles area became home to Oh investing in renovations, expansions MY, LLC in April, and will welcome Trap or new programming. House 24, and Gabrizio Some are even claiming Italian Café and Bakery COMING SOON 2019 as the time for Niles’ by summer 2019. • Trap House revitalization, stating that Desyree Alberganti, 24, a 24-hour gym, Niles is seeing a “business owner of Gabrizio Italian plans to open in late boom.” Café and Bakery, will be summer, in place of SLR Pilates, which “There’s so much new opening her shop inside relocated to the life and new energy,” Iron of the Grand LV off of former Signal Travel Shoe Distiller y owner Fourth Street. The café building. Laura Tuthill told Leader and bakery will feature • Gabrizio Italian Publications. “There’s a lot a diverse selection of Cafe and Bakery of interest in Niles and new pastries, sandwiches, plans to open inside the Grand LV on businesses are looking to coffees, and cakes for both Third Street. move in here, so we can kind individual purchase and of keep that momentum for catering purposes. going.” Alberganti boasts that Iron Shoe Distillery opened its doors Niles gave her goosebumps, as this to the greater Niles area on Wednesday, was the perfect place to open her store. April 10. Trap House 24 is a 24-hour gym set Iron Shoe Distillery is a family owned to open by the end of the 2019 summer and operated, small-batch distillery, season. The gym is intended to host cocktail bar and restaurant. Currently, a high-energy atmosphere that will Iron Shoe Distillery has bottled vodka, include space for Pilates, yoga and barre rum and limoncello available for sale, classes, and spin classes. but will look to release aged spirits as Stephanie Reno, owner of SLR they become available. Additionally, Pilates and soon-to-be Trap House the kitchen serves upscale American 24, discussed her experience in opening

up a business in Niles with Leader Publications, “When we opened this studio, we brought that big-city vibe into a small town… We have the best of the best. We have all the equipment that you would see in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, but it is in Niles.” Oh MY, LLC, is a formal attire retailer that offers bridal, prom, and pageant gowns, tuxedo rentals, full-service event planning, professional alterations, embroidery and customization services and more. Oh, MY, LLC is located in the heart of downtown Niles. Owner, Mica Yonker, describes the opening as a homecoming, claiming that the timing and the space were ideal for opening her shop. “Niles is my hometown. This is where I grew up. When I saw those windows were available, I had to jump at it,” Yonker said. “In the last 10 to 15 years, the area has definitely seen amazing improvement. The commerce does so much. The town does so much and getting the chance to be part of [Niles’] history, I absolutely jumped at it.” The Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to see continued business success and growth throughout the area. If one is interested in opening a business within Niles, please reach out to the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce at or (269) 683-1833.











MAY 25 & 26

MAY 27


Art & Wine Festival (Berrien Springs) — Taking place at Domaine Berrien Cellars, 398 E. Lemon Creek Road, Berrien Springs, this weekend festival is a two-day celebration of regional art, music, food and wine. Wine in hand, visitors will be able to explore different forms of art from pottery to painting, stained glass and more.

Memorial Day Parade (Niles) — Support local veterans this Memorial Day by attending Niles’ Memorial Day Parade. The parade lineup begins on State Street and proceeds down Main Street and to the historic Silverbrook Cemetery, where a brief ceremony will take place. The parade steps off at 9 a.m. on Memorial Day, May 27.

Bluegrass Festival (Niles) — Those who

JUNE 7-9

JUNE 15 & 16


Michiana Greek Festival (South Bend) — Michiana Greek Festival is a celebration of the beauty and hospitality of Greece. Taking place at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, 52455 Ironwood Road, South Bend, visitors will be able to sample authentic, tasty treats, experience cultural exhibits and traditional dances, play games and shop.

Leeper Park Art Fair (South Bend) — Sponsored by the St. Joe Valley Watercolor Society, this two-day fair in South Bend’s Leeper Park draws more than 1,000 artists from all across the country to sell their work. Live music and food vendors will accompany the fair, which has been continuously recognized as one of the best of its kind in the nation.

St. Joseph County 4-H Fair (South Bend) — From livestock showings to live music and monster truck rallies, visiting families will have a week’s worth of entertainment to choose from as the St. Joseph County 4-H Fair returns June 28 to July 6. The fair will take place at the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds, 5117 Ironwood Road, South Bend.

JULY 19 & 20



Summer in the City (Dowagiac) — Visitors to Dowagiac this June can enjoy more than 50 hours of entertainment at its annual Summer in the City festival. The family-friendly event, taking place on Front Street in downtown Dowagiac, will feature live music, sidewalk sales, community-wide worship service and a taste of Dowagiac’s culinary scene.

Cass County 4-H Fair (Cassopolis) — Cass County youth show off a year’s worth of hard work with livestock, produce, arts and crafts and various other projects at the Cass County Fair, located at 590 N. O’Keefe St., Cassopolis. In addition to 4-H activities, the fair features a parade, rodeo, demolition derby, tractor pull, rides, games, live music and more.

Vintage Blues Bash (Berrien Springs) — Lemon Creek Winery’s Vintage Blues Bash is an afternoon of nonstop summer fun. With live blues music, dancing, food and wine tasting, the event is every wine lover’s ideal summer party. The event is hosted at Lemon Creek Winery, which is at 533 E. Lemon Creek Road, Berrien Springs.


love the strum of a steel guitar will enjoy the Niles Bluegrass Festival at Riverfront Park, 310 Water St., Niles. In addition to showcasing regional and nationally known bluegrass artists, the three-day festival features a Kid Zone, where there will be rides, fair food and a petting zoo.



Sunburst Races (South Bend) — Run

for a cause at the annual Sunburst Races, starting at Four Winds Field in South Bend. At one of the largest races in Michiana, people of varying athletic levels can participate in everything from a 5K race to a half marathon. Proceeds benefit Beacon Children’s Hospital.

Lake Bluff Artisan Fair (St. Joseph) — This annual outdoor art fair features handcrafted goods such as home goods, clothing, jewelry, soaps and candles. Taking place in St. Joseph’s Lake Bluff Park, 301 State St., the event offers serene lakeside views for shoppers as they wade through the variety of vendors with Lake Michigan serving as the backdrop.

Taste of Michiana (South Bend) — The 29th annual Taste of Michiana offers the chance for visitors to taste the very best of food and drink from some of Michiana’s most popular restaurants. Taking place at South Bend’s Century Center Convention Center, 120 Doctor MLK Jr. Blvd., the event will feature a variety of cuisines to satisfy every palate.

JUNE 29 & 30



Pioneer Days (Cassopolis) — Broadway Street in downtown Cassopolis will come to life during its annual Pioneer Days Festival. The event will feature street vendors, artists, food vendors, a beer garden, live music, a talent competition and a corn hole tournament. There will also be a kids’ zone complete with bounce houses, a rock climbing wall and a dunk tank.

Niles Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular (Niles) — Looking for a spectacular way to celebrate our nation’s independence? Look no further than the Niles Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular. Taking place at the Apple Festival Grounds, 1740 Lake St., Niles, this family-friendly event is sure to wow with a top-rate firework display and a variety of concessions.

Redbud Motocross Championships (Buchanan) — Tucked away in the small town of Buchanan is one of the country’s best-known motocross tracks: Redbud. The trail is the centerpiece of the Lucas Oil Motocross Championship every year during July 4 weekend, which true motocross fans shouldn’t miss out on. Redbud is located at 13638 Red Bud Trail N., Buchanan.

AUGUST 12-17



Berrien County Youth Fair (Berrien Springs) — From youth 4-H showings from around the county to rides that are sure to thrill, there is something for everyone at the Berrien County Youth Fair. For the adults, The Eli Young Band will return to perform at the Grandstand. The fairgrounds are located at 9122 U.S. 31, Berrien Springs.

Four Flags Area Apple Festival (Niles) — Niles’ Four Flags Apple Festival is a celebration of all things apple, from cider to donuts to pies and cakes. Be sure to check out some of the festival’s more unique attractions like the Miss Apple Festival Pageant, the log cutting contest or the pie eating contest. The fairgrounds are located at 1740 Lake St., Niles.

Hunter Ice Festival (Niles) — Prepare to “ooh” and “aah” at the magnificent ice sculptures that will line the sidewalks of downtown Niles during the annual Hunter Ice Festival. In addition to the sculptures, the event features many attractions including an ice cream booth and Frigid 5K. If you get too cold, warm up with the event’s annual chili crawl.






RIVER-VALLEY TRAIL The Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail is a trail system that will soon span from the heart of Niles to the center of Mishawaka. Once complete, the trail will be 34 miles long and connect: • 4 universities and several schools • 4 downtown district (Niles, Roseland, South Bend and Mishawaka) • 16 parks and 2 YMCAs • 5 hospitals or major medical facilities • Several historical and cultural attractions • Countless businesses offering food, lodging and shopping The Friends of the River Valley Trail have worked hard for the better part of a decade to earn grant funding to connect these communities, and the majority of the trail is already complete. Cyclists, runners, walkers and hikers can enjoy several miles of paved trails that are maintained rigorously, creating a clean, free opportunity for people to get out and enjoy the natural amenities of Niles, South Bend and Mishawaka.

THE TRAIL IS GROWING! By fall 2019, the trail will have grown 1.2 miles longer, as engineers plan to spend summer 2019 connecting the state line to the Brandywine Nature Park, just north of U.S. 12 in Niles Township. The trail is also planned to join the city’s trail at Fort and Third streets. Find more information about the IndianaMichigan River Valley Trail, or on the Friends of River Valley Trail’s Facebook page. 16



GOLF COURSES BENTON HARBOR HARBOR SHORES GOLF CLUB 201 Graham Ave. (269) 927-4653 LAKE MICHIGAN HILLS GOLF CLUB 2520 Kerlikowske Road (269) 849-2722 BERRIEN HILLS GOLF CLUB 690 W. Napier Ave. (269) 925-9002 BLOSSOM TRAILS GOLF CLUB 1565 E. Britain Ave. (269) 925-4951

BUCHANAN BROOKWOOD 1339 Rynearson Road

SPRUCE RIDGE GOLF CLUB 26831 Dutch Settlement Road (269) 782-5827


2841 Niles-Buchanan Road

MISHAWAKA 801 N. State St.

PARK SHORE 610 Park Shore Drive


308 S. Byrkit Ave.

(269) 782-2540

(574) 217-0292





22786 U.S. 12

401 Marmont St.

(269) 699-5701

(269) 684-7331 SIGNAL POINT CLUB

25320 May St.

1475 W. River Road

(269) 663-6463

(269) 683-7073

(269) 445-3143






14770 Lindy Drive

110 Warren Golf Course

(574) 277-4653

(574) 631-4653

(269) 782-7476

ERSKINE PARK GOLF CLUB 4200 Miami St. (574) 291-3216 MORRIS PARK COUNTRY CLUB (574) 233-9474 SOUTH BEND COUNTRY CLUB (574) 282-2527 STUDEBAKER PARK 718 E. Calvert St. (574) 287-6634


(574) 271-9180

25800 Country Club Drive


26595 Auten Road


22041 M-60

(574) 237-9150 ELBEL GOLF COURSE



55839 Pine Road

(574) 255-5508

(269) 695-5722




16633 Baywood Lane (574) 227-1541


*This list is not exhaustive. It lists

6100 Nimtz Pkwy.

the most popular courses in the

(574) 232-4653

Michiana area.






PARKS & FISHING ARTHUR DODD MEMORIAL PARK 61437 Creek Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 445-4456 Fishing, playground, picnics, horseshoe pits, hiking, volleyball, canoe landing BATTELL PARK 301 W. Mishawaka Ave. Mishawaka, IN 46545 (574) 258-1664 Lighted tennis courts, playground, rock garden, gazebo

OUR BACKYARD Niles is home to Fernwood Botanical Garden, which is made up of 105 acres of cultivated and natural areas along the scenic St. Joseph River valley. Visitors are invited to several events throughout the year, or to simply wander the grounds and immerse themselves in nature. Afterwards, guests can enjoy lunch at the cafe. Visit fernwoodbotanical. org for more information!


(574) 2235-5888 ext. 3261

Buchanan, MI 49107

Rafting, kayaking

(269) 695-3844



7337 Thornton Drive

2626 S Gertrude St.

Stevensville, MI 49127

South Bend, IN 46614

(269) 426-4013

(574) 235-9455

Birding, hiking

Nature center, bird watching, biking and walking trails, picnic areas



Mishawaka, IN 46545

101 Broad St.

(574) 258-1664

St. Joseph, MI 49085

Fishing, riverwalk trail

(269) 982-0533 Swimming, beach volleyball, fishing,


concessions, kayaking, boarding

9292 Huckleberry Road Berrien Center, MI 49102


(269) 471-2617

50651 Laurel Road

Nature center, hiking, birding, biking

South Bend, IN 46637 (574) 277-4828


Scenic barns, hiking and biking trails, canoe rental, boat ramp

Softball field, pavilion, playground


3038 Adams Road


20379 Marcellus Highway

Niles, MI 49120

Decatur, MI 49047

(269) 683-8280



(269) 445-8611

Disc golf, hiking and biking trails,

12032 Red Arrow Hwy.

15122 Monkey Run St.

Equestrian trails, horseshoe

picnics, playground

Sawyer, MI 49125

Vandalia, MI 49095

pits, fishing, playground, picnics,

(269) 445-4456


Biking and hiking trails, horseshoe

(269) 426-4013 ROCKY GAP COUNTY PARK

Campgrounds, hiking trails,

1100 Rocky Gap Road


pits, fishing, playground, picnics,


Benton Harbor, MI 49022

volleyball, disc golf

17424 Red Arrow Hwy.

(269) 983-7111, ext. 8435


New Buffalo, MI 49117

Swimming, picnics, shaded areas

2605 S. Clover Road


(269) 983-7111, ext. 8435

Mishawaka, IN 46544

126 South Niles Ave.

Canopy walkway, marsh overlook

(574) 258-1707

South Bend, IN 46617

tower, boardwalk, fishing, hiking

Disc golf, tubing (winter)


MUD LAKE Creek Road Niles, MI 49120

ROUND LAKE E. Clear Lake Road Buchanan, MI 49107

BRANDYWINE CREEK 1739 S. Third St. Niles, MI 49120

DOWAGIAC RIVER M-139 Niles, MI 49120

MCCOY CREEK Bakertown Road Buchanan, MI 49107

ISLAND PARK 404 Parkway St. Niles, MI 49120

BUCHANAN DAM 15551 E. River Road Buchanan, MI 49107




Making The Past Come Alive The Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project is an ongoing, joint initiative of the city of Niles, MI and Western Michigan University to excavate, interpret, and preserve the material remains of Fort St. Joseph, a mission, garrison, and trading post occupied during the 17th and 18th centuries. This community-based project aims to preserve the rich history of Niles and share its findings through a variety of public outreach and education programs. for more information go to: Search for us at the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project on Facebook and FSJ Archaeology on Instagram



CHAMBER MEMBERS: Tourism & Attractions


HOTELS & LODGING Georgia Peach Bed & Breakfast 69444 Gumwood Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-8499

MORTON HOUSE MUSEUM 501 Territorial Road (269) 925-7011


Holiday Inn Express & Suites 1000 Moore Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-0300

BERRIEN COUNTY HISTORICAL Association 313 N. Cass St. (269) 471-1202 SIEGFRIED H. HORN MUSEUM 9047 US Hwy. 31 (269) 471-3273 museum/


PIONEER LOG CABIN MUSEUM 400 S. Broadway St. (269) 445-3759 pioneerlogcabinmuseum/


NORTH BERRIEN HISTORICAL MUSEUM 300 Coloma Ave. (269) 468-3330 MICHIGAN LIGHTS IN TIME GALLERY 177 S Paw Paw St. (269) 470-1244


DOWAGIAC AREA HISTORY MUSEUM 201 E. Railroad St. (269) 783-2560 HEDDON MUSEUM 414 West St. (269) 782-4068




EDWARDSBURG AREA HISTORICAL MUSEUM 26818 U.S. 12 (269) 663-3005 Edwardsburg-Area-HistoricalMuseum/ “TIME WAS” 125 S Main St . (574) 293-6005


HANNAH LINDAHL CHILDREN’S MUSEUM 1402 S. Main St. (574) 254-4540 MISHAWAKA SPORTS MUSEUM 109 Lincolnway E (574) 257-0039


NEW BUFFALO RAILROAD MUSEUM 530 S. Whittaker St. (269) 469-8010 new-buffalo-railroad-museum. org


NILES HISTORY CENTER 508 E. Main St. (269) 683-4700


HEALTHWORKS! 111 W. Jefferson Ave., Ste. 200 (574) 647-5437 THE HISTORY MUSEUM 808 W. Washington St. (574) 235-9664 SOUTH BEND MUSEUM OF ART 120 S. St Joseph St. (574) 235-9102 STUDEBAKER NATIONAL MUSEUM 201 Chapin St. (574) 235-9714


CURIOUS KIDS’ MUSEUM 415 Lake Blvd. (269) 983-2543 THE HERITAGE MUSEUM & CULTURAL CENTER 601 Main St. (269) 983-1191


Quality Inn & Suites 1265 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-3900 PARKS & RECREATION Doe-Wah-Jack’s Canoe Rental, Inc. 52963 M-51 Dowagiac, MI 49047 (269) 782-7410 Fernwood Botanical Garden 13988 Rangeline Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 695-6491 Niles Scream Park 101 S. Broadway St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 445-9184 Signal Point Club 1475 West River Road Niles, MI 49120 (574) 298-7779 South Bend Cubs Baseball P.O. Box 4218 South Bend, IN 46601 (574) 235-9988 Wonderland Cinema 402 Front St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1112

REGION OF THREE OAKS MUSEUM 5 Featherbone Ave. Three Oaks, MI 49128





10 reasons to

Volunteering is a powerful way to get involved in your community. The greater Niles area is full of opportunities to get out and volunteer. If you are looking for opportunities to get involved, contact the Chamber at to help get connected.

1 2

Make an impact: Volunteering gives you the opportunity to help craft the world that you would like to live in.


Learn new skills: Volunteering may improve a variety of soft skills such as teamwork, leadership, problem-solving or communication or people skills.


It’s good for you: Studies have shown that by volunteering, you are taking time to focus on the community or other people. This helps you take a break from your everyday stressors.


Real world experience: Volunteering provides the opportunity to gain real world experiences that help give one insight into different facets of a community.


Connect with new people: Becoming a volunteer can help people meet individuals from all walks of life that could become lifelong friends, mentors or future colleagues.


Be part of a community: Being part of a community means investing in your neighbors and your home to see the change and growth that you desire.


Empower others: Whether it is empowering the people you serve or inspiring others to volunteer, your efforts can make a difference in another’s life.

9 10

Bolster your career: Develop real world skills and experiences to draw upon in your future career. Volunteering allows you to grow your resume while also doing something good for the community.

Believe in a cause: What are you passionate about? Let your passions guide and inspire you to volunteer in an area that helps you feel fulfilled. It’s fun: Many volunteer opportunities help you meet new people, visit new places and enjoy new experiences, so have fun!

Andrea Burns, Niles District Library

Q: What makes Niles special? There is great art in the community. The art population is a good size and is talented. Q: What volunteer efforts and civic groups do you participate in? I am a part of the Art Association Board, the DDA Promotion, Niles Public Art Commission and I work in the 2-year-old classroom at my church, Summit Church. Q: Why is membership in the Chamber important? There are so many different organizations and you can collaborate and work together. Q: What is the most valuable benefit of the Chamber for you and your company? The collaboration and being able to work together. Eileen is very helpful with wanting to promote the community.

CHAMBER MEMBERS: Friends of the Community Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berrien & Cass, Inc. 19 S. 18th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-1100 Chapel Hill Arts & Crafts Show 9122 Old US-31 Berrien Springs, MI 49103 Child & Family Services of SWMI, Inc. 2450 M-139 Ste. A Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (269) 925-1725 Cornerstone Alliance 80 W. Main St. Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (269) 925-6100 Ferry Street Resource Center 620 Ferry St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-9860 GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE






CHAMBER MEMBERS: Friends of the Community First Response of Berrien County 1919 S. Michigan St. South Bend, IN 46613 (800) 909-5592

Mno-Bmadsen 415 E. Prairie Ronde St. Dowagiac, MI 49047 (269) 783-4111

Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project 1903 W. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49008 (269) 387-3981

NAACP Niles Branch P.O. Box 1202 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 357-4365

Gateway Services 1440 E. Empire Ave. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 471-2897 Hunter Foundation 211 West Washington Suite 2400 Berrien Springs, MI (574) 287-5977 Jam Central Basketball Eite 63 N. 5th St. P.O. Box 435 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 240-8876 Kinexus 330 W. Main St. Suite 110 Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (269) 927-1064 Ext. 1143 Meals on Wheels Niles-Buchanan 31 N. St. Joseph Ave. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-1462 Michiana Business Support PO Box 954 Niles, MI 49120 Michigan Economic Development Corporation (517) 282-8541 Michigan Gateway Community Foundation 111 Days Avenue Buchanan, MI 49107 (269) 695-3521

Niles District Library 620 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-8545

The Salvation Army 424 N. 15th St. P.O. Box 1150 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-2660

Niles Elks Lodge #1322 1322 Canal St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-0133

Toastmaster’s Club 58900 Cherry Grove Road Dowagiac, MI 49047 (606) 831-4180

Niles Family Festivals Niles, MI 49120

United Way of Southwest Michigan 2015 Lakeview Ave. St. Joseph, MI 49085 (269) 982-1700

Niles Noon Optimist Club P.O. Box 63 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-4205 Niles Service League P.O. Box 704 Niles, MI 49120 (574) 286-3469 South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce 101 North Michigan St., Suite 300 South Bend, IN 46601 (574) 234-0051 Southwest Michigan Chapter American Red Cross 5640 Venture Court Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 353-6180 Southwest Michigan First 261 E Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 (269) 553-9588 Spay Neuter Assistance Program of Michigan (269) 340-0330


The Greater Bridgman Area Chamber of Commerce and Growth Alliance 9765 Maple St. Bridgman, MI 49106 (269) 465-4413


Wood Foundation RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS Connect Church 1505 Sheridan Niles, MI 49120 Crystal Springs Camp & Retreat Center 33774 Crystal Springs St. Dowagiac, MI 49047 (269) 683-8918 crystal-springs/ First Church of Christ 2240 Yankee St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-3404 First Presbyterian Church 13 S. Fourth St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-7600

Life Action Ministries 2727 Niles-Buchanan Road Buchanan, MI 49107 (269) 697-8600 Michiana Christian Service Camp 7383 Steinbauer Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-4403 Mount Calvary Baptist Church 601 Ferry St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-0243 Relevant Community Church Niles, MI 49120 (269) 588-0096 St. Boniface Evangelical Lutheran Church (269) 683-5169 St. Mark Catholic Church 3 North 19th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-8650 St. Mary 219 S. State St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-5087 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church 1340 Sycamore St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-0771 Summit Church 1700 West River Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-9245 Trinity Episcopal Church 9 S. 4th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-6060 Wesley United Methodist Church 302 Cedar St. Niles, MI 49120


Grape to glass

LMC program preparing the next generation of wine makers, distributors Story by Caroline Blue


o matter where you are in Niles, you are not far from a glass of local wine, and one local community college has joined in on the fun. Michigan wine country is ranked within the top 10 in the nation for the state’s grape and wine production. The Michigan wine industry provides $1.8 billion in wages annually, 47,299 jobs, $853.6 million in annual taxes and $252.7 million in tourist spending.

Michigan’s wine and viticulture sector plays a critical role within the state’s tourism, community quality of life and economic development. Lake Michigan College’s mission is to bring quality wine and viticulture education to all who wish to develop their skills within this industry. At Lake Michigan College, students learn the process of making wine from grape to glass. The Wine and Viticulture program is designed for students to work in conjunction with local employers and farmers in the

southwest Michigan area in order to gain realistic experience in the field. Southwest Michigan is unique because of its ability to grow a variety of grapes to make an array of different wines. Because of the fertile soil and the proximity to the great lakes, Michigan has the potential to produce worldclass wine grapes. Students learn the science of wine from bush to bottle. Upon completion of the program, students receive an associate degree in Applied Science in Wine and Viticulture Technology. GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE


EDUCATION If a student has a college degree or some college credit, they can complete the program in as little as one year, plus a capstone co-op. Students take a variety of courses to prepare them for a career in wine, classes such as chemistry, plant biology and vineyard diseases and insects. Lake Michigan College’s program is unique because students work with local growers to learn the trade through hands-on learning. They go to the vineyards, learn how to prune the bushes, press the grapes and make the wine. “Lake Michigan College is a great place to get started in the wine industry,” said Michael Moyer, director of the Wine and Viticulture program at Lake Michigan College. “We have a rapidly growing wine industry in the state of Michigan with a tremendous amount of potential for making world class wine, and we teach you everything you need to know from growing quality wine grapes, to vineyard side selection, making the wine, taking care of the wine, and even marketing and selling the wine, and even some about the regulatory environment as well.” Lake Michigan College’s program goes beyond the process of making wine. 26



Students interested in enrolling in the wine and viticulture program should or contact Moyer by email or by phone (269) 927-8617. Classes such as Winery Hospitality, Winery Operations Management and Maintaining a Vineyard teach students everything they need to know about vineyard operations. Students also complete a capstone fall co-op that can be earned at any winery in the world. During this course, students spend a full semester immersing themselves in the industry and learning the art, science and business of winemaking. Students learn first hand by diving into the industry while still earning their degree. Lake Michigan College’s program stands out in this aspect, as they strive to provide southwest Michigan’s growing wine industry with the next generation of vintners. Moyer describes a valuable relationship between Michigan’s wine sector and

Lake Michigan College as this program has grown and evolved over the years. “We had tremendous support from a lot of the members of the local wine industry,” he said. “They have been instrumental in helping us get the program going, providing advice and guidance and even financial support.” These winemakers know that the future of their business depends on future winemakers. “They have been really supportive because they believe that this is a good way to move the region forward, to have a good quality education program where we can train the next generation — and the current generation — of winemakers and vineyard managers,” Moyer said. Working in close collaboration with Lake Michigan College, Lake Michigan Vintners is the Midwest’s only commercial teaching winery. In partnership with Lake Michigan Vintners, Lake Michigan College students have the opportunity to learn hands-on vineyard management, winemaking, wine analysis, and wine business and hospitality. Because of the partnership with the college, a portion of sales made by the

CHAMBER MEMBERS: Education Berrien RESA 711 St. Joseph Ave. Berrien Springs, MI 49103 (269) 471-7725 Brandywine Community Schools 2428 S. 13th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-7150

Indiana Tech 4215 Edison Lakes Pkwy., Suite 150 Mishawaka, IN 46545 (574) 232-8324 Ext. 5420 Lake Michigan College at Bertrand Crossing 1905 Foundation Dr. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 695-2792 campus/niles

Southwestern Michigan College 58900 Cherry Grove Road Dowagiac, MI 49047 (269) 782-1271

Lake Michigan College’s new wine center is currently under construction and is scheduled to open this summer with a ribbon cutting ceremony in late August. This will be the only facility of its kind in the Midwest. The new facility will not only draw aspiring viticulturists and vineyard owners to the unique program, but also draws experts to the program. Before joining Lake Michigan College, Moyer worked in Walla Walla, Washington, where he crafted wines for the Leonetti Label. He was also involved in establishing the Enology and Viticulture Program at Walla Walla Community College. Industry professionals set the Lake Michigan College Wine and Viticulture program apart from other programs. Students not only get hands-on experience with wine making and vineyard management, but also learn firsthand from those who have worked in the field. “I’m passionate about wine, and I am passionate about quality wine and I want to share that information with others,” Moyer said. “I am a believer in the quality and the potential for making world-class wines here, and that is why I am passionate about it, because I see the tremendous potential.” Students interested in enrolling in this program should, or contact Moyer by email or by phone at (269) 927-8617.

Southwestern Michigan College Niles Campus 33890 US-12 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-1600 Trine University 3454 Douglas Road Ste. 300 South Bend, IN 46635 (574) 243-0500


winery help to support the academic program at Lake Michigan College. Located at 8972 1st St. in Baroda, members of the community can visit Lake Michigan Vintners’ tasting room and sample the different varieties of wine made and grown in Michigan from noon until 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday to support the students of the program. Upon completion of the program, graduates have a working knowledge of viticulture: grape growing, enology (the science of wine), and the business of wine. Most graduates from the program go on to work for regional wineries, but the program is also perfect for the person who wants to deepen their understanding of wine. The program currently has students working in Michigan, New York, Virginia, North Carolina and California. After students earn their degree, career opportunities include: • Vineyard management • Winemakers and enologists • Tasting room managers • Event coordinators • Equipment sales, barrels and other supplies • Equipment manufacturing and metal fabrication • Bulk wine sales and brokering • Warehousing and logistics • Restaurants, hotels, tourism

Niles Community Schools 111 Spruce St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-0732


Sarah Dye, Brandywine Community Schools

Q: What makes Niles special? It’s a small town with a big heart. Q: What volunteer efforts and civic groups do you participate in? I have a lot of titles at Brandywine and help the students try to get their foot in the door. Q: Why is membership in the Chamber important? It helps the students give back to their community. They can network and be a part of the community. Q: What is the most valuable benefit of the Chamber for you and your company? It gives students the opportunity to learn about business, talk to professionals and help each other.



Why Niles?

City experiencing significant industrial growth



he Four Flags area has been home to the original Dodge brothers, the Simplicity Pattern Company, the founders of Tyler Refrigeration and Clark Equipment, French Paper Company and many more industrial giants that have grown and flourished from their time within the greater Niles area. Fortune 500 companies are sweeping the region as manufacturers, warehouse and distribution companies, and various other corporate operations continue to expand and thrive. Inc. Magazine places the southwest Michigan corridor within the

Photography by Emily Sobecki 28


“top 50 mid-markets” in America. The National Association of Manufacturers claims that Michigan alone employs 13.78 percent of the manufacturing workforce. Southwest Michigan First boasts a skilled workforce of 64,000 currently employed individuals across sectors that include biopharmaceuticals, automotive, food processing and more. Southwest Michigan is a prosperous home to a diverse coalition of manufacturers and industry leaders that have chosen to plant their roots here as they continue to grow their empires. Additionally, the greater Niles

area is home to Bertrand Crossing Industrial Park, a burgeoning home for lead industrial corporations and manufacturers such as DSS Valves, Alro Steel, Mid-States Bolt & Screw and C&S Machine. “The Michiana region is growing into one of the leading areas in the country for manufacturing, technology and innovation,” said Brooke Kostielney, director of marketing and Company Culture at C&S Machine. “The area provides C&S Machine access to resources, partners, technology and a workforce that other parts of the country simply cannot offer.”





Delta Machining, which celebrated 40 years in 2018, prides itself in providing more and more jobs as the company evolves. C&S Machine is a leading contract manufacturer of ultra-precision components for a variety of industries including aerospace, defense, medical and power generation. Established in 1966 by co-founder Joseph Saratore in Buchanan, C&S Machine swiftly grew into a lead competitor within its field. In 2017, C&S Machine chose to move its operations from Buchanan to a 120,000square foot state-of-the-art facility within Bertrand Crossing. This move was a strategic development that allows for C&S Machine to excel in its mission of quickly responding to customer and market needs, delivering quality products on time and at a fair price, and providing support with prompt, reliable service. The southwest Michigan corridor is a central hub with easy and affordable access to major cities such as Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, South Bend, Toledo, Cleveland and more. This strategic location allows for a 600-mile delivery radius across 13 states. 30


“Niles offers great proximity to Lake Michigan and Chicago, major highways, the South Bend International Airport, the University of Notre Dame and many other outstanding colleges and universities that we can recruit from and partner with,� Kostielney said. The greater Niles area represents a diverse intersection for higher education, housing an array of schools, universities and technical education centers. More than 30 institutions inhabit the region, including the University of Notre Dame, Lake Michigan College, Southwestern Michigan College, Indiana University South Bend, Ivy Tech State College and more. These distinguished organizations provide a skilled workforce to southwest Michigan that helps drive the ongoing success of the industry. In addition to a strategic location for area manufacturers, the blooming workforce also displays exponential growth. Kinexus is a Michigan nonprofit that works to provide sustainable and systemic

solutions for the most pressing challenges facing the employer workforce today. In early 2019, Kinexus reported that the latest statewide numbers show the manufacturing industry grew by 5 percent over the previous year. According to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, Berrien County alone added approximately 600 jobs last year. Kinexus Group further stated that the manufacturing industry is expected to grow by 2.9 percent over the next five years. This would add an additional 500 jobs. This extreme growth in manufacturing demands marks a pivotal role for quality workforce while also demonstrating the crucial position that the manufacturing industry plays within southwest Michigan. Those interested in further information about the region’s manufacturing industry or looking for information about opening facility in the industrial park should contact the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce at info@greaternilesChamber. com or (269) 683-1833.


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Chamber MEMBERS: Manufacturing A-1 Telecom 3030 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-3870

Cross Aluminum Products 1770 Mayflower Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 697-8340

Innovative Products Unlimited, Inc. 2120 Industrial Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5050

NSG Pilkington 2121 West Chicago Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-2151

AACOA Extrusion, Inc. 2005 Mayflower Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 697-6063

D.A. Dodd, INC 1251 Paw Paw Ave. Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (269) 926-7873

Kruger Plastic Products 117 S. Grant St. Galien, MI 49113 (269) 545-3311

Paragon Tempered Glass 1830 Terminal Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5060

Delta Machining, Inc. 2361 Reum Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-7775

Lakeshore Die Cast, Inc. 8829 Stevensville-Baroda Road Baroda, MI 49101 (269) 422-1523

Alro Steel 1775 Foundation Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-4000 aspx?loc=NL American Aggregates, Inc. 2041 M-140 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-6160


Berrien County Manufacturers Council PO Box 895 Bridgman, MI 49106 Berrien Metal Products 460 Post Road Buchanan, MI 49107 (800) 978-5300 C & S Machine Products, Inc. 2929 Saratore Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 695-6859 CITGO Petroleum Corporation 2233 S. Third St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-3420 Communication Company 5320 S. Main St. South Bend , IN 46614 (574) 299-0020



DPI Technologies, Inc. 2241 Lake St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-2259 DSS Valves 1760 Mayflower Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 409-6080 FAPCO, Inc. 216 Post Road Buchanan, MI 49107 (269) 695-6889 French Paper Co. P.O. Box 398 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1100 Garden City Products 833 Carberry Road, PO Box 967 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-2011 city_products.htm Innovation Machining Corporation 1461 South Third St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-3343

Merritt Engineering, Inc. 4568 Red Arrow Hwy. Stevensville, MI 49127 (269) 428-4424 Mid-States Bolt & Screw Co. 1755 Mayflower Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 695-0123 Mintech, Inc. 2190 Industrial Dr., PO Box 428 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-4551 Modineer Company 2190 Industrial Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-2550 ext 308 NCP Coatings 225 Fort St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-3377 New Products Corporation 448 N Shore Drive Benton Harbor, MI 49022 Niles Aluminum Products, Inc. 1434 S. 9th St., P.O. Box 607 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1191 Niles Steel Tank Co. 1701 A Terminal Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1910

R & M Manufacturing Co., Inc. 2424 N. Fifth St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-9550 Ramer Products, Inc. 1840 Terminal Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-7710 Specialty Products & Polymers, Inc. 2100 Progressive Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5931 Toefco Engineered Coating Systems, Inc. 1220 N. 14th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-0188 Treadstone LLC 1720 Terminal Road Bldg. E Niles, MI 49120 (269) 591-7950 Vickers Engineering, Inc. 3604 Glendora Road New Troy, MI 49119 (269) 426-8545 ext. 228 Weir Delta Industrial Valves, Inc. 2101 Industrial Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-6020 Worldwide Diesel 1515 N. Old U.S. 31 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 462-9260






What’s on the


Dining out? Try hundreds of delicious meals at our member restaurants!

FRONT STREET PIZZA PUB 510 N. Front St. – Front Street Pizza Pub is the perfect location to relax and escape the stressors of the workweek. The pub features an array of brews and spirits to accompany its handcrafted menu that includes homemade sauces, hearty subs, salads, burgers, appetizers and, most notably, both traditional and deep-dish style pizza. Front Street Pizza Pub is the perfect weekend hot spot as the riverside pub provides the best local bands to rock the stage.

HARVEST CAFÉ 2726 S. 11th St. – Harvest Café is a locally sourced, family owned and operated café that provides visitors and residents with a garden-fresh menu featuring American classic comfort food. Visit the café for breakfast or lunch to revel in a modern, cozy atmosphere while enjoying a cup of handground, Ethiopian coffee or an array of teas and lemonades. Indulge in a burger, sandwich, house-made coleslaw, fresh, hand-cut French fries or freshly-made potato chips.

IRON SHOE DISTILLERY 3 N. Third St. Iron Shoe Distillery is one of the newest additions to the City of Niles. The distillery is a family owned and operated, small-batch distillery, cocktail bar and restaurant. Currently, Iron Shoe Distillery has bottled vodka, rum and limoncello available for sale, but will look to release aged spirits as they become available. The kitchen serves upscale American comfort food that features gourmet burgers, hand-cut fries, and a top-secret family recipe macaroni and cheese.

JIM’S SMOKIN’ CAFÉ AT PARIS SODA COMPANY 220 E. Main St. – Jim’s Smokin’ Café at Paris Soda Company offers visitors a chance to relive the ‘50s with an array of old-fashioned soda favorites to accompany the café’s assortment of scrumptious entrees. From rich barbecue to homemade soups, guests are sure to enjoy a meal from Jim’s Smokin’ Café at Paris Soda Company. Try Jim’s brunch buffet on Sundays and his lunch buffet on Wednesdays, and don’t forget to round out the meal with a scoop of gourmet Palazzolo’s gelato. 34 GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

PIZZA TRANSIT 215 E. Main St. – For more than 30 years, Pizza Transit has been a staple in the greater Niles community, providing top-notch pizza, pasta, breadsticks and more to their customers. Pizza Transit’s family recipes for its sauce, dough and bread have produced a coveted slice of heaven that showcases their award-winning pizza to all who enter their vibrant and eclectic dining room. Each month, try a new take on pizza with the Pizza of the Month, featuring favorites like the Breakfast Pizza and Jalapeno Popper Pizza.

SMOKIN’ D BBQ 1668 E. Main St. – Smokin’ D BBQ is a true southern-style barbecue restaurant where the term “low and slow” is the perfect descriptor of how they smoke their meats. Smokin’ D BBQ consistently utilizes the same type of wood that gives their meat its delicious flavor, while cooking at low temperatures to ensure that the meat is exquisitely tender. Visit Smokin’ D BBQ to experience a family-friendly atmosphere, charming service and food sure to make you lick your fingers.

THE BRASS EYE 205 N. Second St. – The Brass Eye Cocktail Lounge boasts a quiet place to get away and enjoy a cocktail, craft beer or even a bottle of wine. Patrons can also enjoy a bowl of ramen to accompany their drink, bao buns, or one of The Brass Eye’s delicious small plates. Be sure to visit The Brass Eye on the third Thursday of every month to see what special event is in store, and check them out for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

THE NUGGETT DOWNTOWN GRILL 202 E. Main St. – Visit The Nuggett Downtown Grill for comfortable, old-school charm that accompanies a full-service bar and an assorted menu that showcases both land and sea selections, including the popular Reuben sandwich, a variety of healthier options and an array of Mexican cuisine. Be sure to check out The Nuggett’s daily specials orandask about their vegan menu. Finish off your meal with a homemade dessert!

THE TAVERN 417 Brookfield St. The Tavern is a hometown favorite, neighborhood bar with a burger voted best in town for the best price. The Tavern never fails to give guests a memorable evening with pool, a fast and friendly wait staff, and a menu that is bound to impress with its deep-fried cauliflower, onion rings and various sandwiches. This location is a cash-only establishment, but has an ATM available on site for guests.

WINGS, ETC. NILES 2008 S. 11th St. — Niles Township’s signature sports bar, the Niles Wings Etc. serves up the local chain’s popular bone-in and boneless wings with a variety of tasty sauces in a family-friendly environment. Not a wing fan? Try Wings Etc.’s burgers, salads, nachos, quesadillas and more. Pair it with an ice cold beer or cocktail and you will be ready to watch the big game on the pub’s HD TV screens. GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE


PRIME TABLE 1915 S. 11th St. – Named 2017 Business of the Year, Prime Table, is a great place to settle in with friends and family to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. The restaurant offers delicious food, a cozy atmosphere and a friendly and accommodating staff. Patrons can order favorites such as club sandwiches, burgers or pasta, or get a taste of the family’s heritage with their Greek menu items such as the gyros plate, Greek style pork chops, or the Greek style chicken.


Who says you can’t please

ev er yo ne ! • Hand Tossed Pizza • Subs • Calzones • Pasta Bakes • Breadsticks • Salads • Wings • & MORE!



215 E Main St. Niles• Home of the Pizza of the Month!



Relevant Church owner opens coffee shop to further mission of growing community


Cup runneth over

Story by Ian Hassan Photography by Emily Sobecki & Ambrosia Neldon


pon entering Atomic Bean Coffee, customers are immediately immersed in a peaceful ambiance. While the building itself is quaint, the lights are dim and natural sunlight peers in from the glass at the entrance. Light music plays in the background over the quiet chatter of friends, colleagues and family who have sought reprieve from their everyday hustle and bustle. Behind the bar, one can see and smell the fresh coffee beans, and the baristas are friendly and enthusiastic. At the far end of the cafÊ is a rack filled with board games that suggests patrons could spend an evening there making memories. The coffee itself is the definition of bittersweet, both invigorating and sweet, for a price that competes in today’s market. GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE



Atomic Bean Coffee opened its doors on Jan. 21, 2019, in place of Top Heavy Coffee, a café owned and operated by Eric and Wendy Halder. Taking up the mantle in their place is Muta Mwenya, a local pastor at Relevant Church, who was disappointed to see the establishment close its doors. To Mwenya, it was a “third space,” one that offered a reprieve from work and home and fulfilled a basic human need for social interaction and inner peace. From this, Atomic Bean Coffee was born to continue Top Heavy’s tradition of providing quality coffee in a friendly atmosphere. Atomic Bean Coffee’s mission goes further yet. A conversation with Mwenya highlights two key characteristics: his love of people, and his passion for Niles as a community. “All of these organizations that I’m a part of, whether it’s the church or the coffee shop, they are designed to serve the community and so being heavily involved in those things helps me be a catalyst to spearhead initiatives that will move on, serve and give back to the community,” Mwenya said. Surrounded by other small independently owned businesses in downtown Niles, Atomic Bean Coffee has a vision of keeping money local and partnering with other institutions for the good of the people who

reside in Niles. One such institution is Jobs for Life, a faith-based program geared towards fighting the unemployment problem in the United States by helping people find stepping stones to return to the workforce. Additionally, Atomic Bean Coffee also aspires to partner with the local high schools and surrounding universities to employ young people and teach them the skills needed to be a strong member of the workforce. For those in the Niles area currently

seeking employment, Mwenya assures that they are always looking for talented and hardworking individuals. One can apply by visiting the coffee shop’s website,, and clicking the link that says “apply.” Atomic Bean Coffee’s menu will provide patrons with a variety of delicious choices during their visit. The secret to their signature drink is Madcap coffee, a brewer and distributor out of Grand Rapids that was also the staple of Top Heavy’s menu. Fans of tea will also be pleased to see that

CHAMBER MEMBERS: Dining and Entertainment Bud Distributing M-51 N. Dowagiac, MI 49047 (269) 782-3141

Dairy Queen - Stateline 3145 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-0202

Coffee Time/ Water Time 2525 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 262-4795

Elephant Ears 810 Woodside South Bend, IN 46614 (574) 292-4076

Dairy Queen - Oak St. 1445 Oak St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-5852 38

Front Street Pizza Pub 510 N. Front St. Niles, MI 49120


Harvest Café 2726 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 262-0201 Iron Shoe Distillery 3 N. 3rd St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 262-0454 IronShoeDistillery/ Katharos Catering (574) 344-0250

KFC 1295 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1530 Lemon Creek Fruit Farm & Winery 533 E. Lemon Creek Road Berrien Springs, MI 49103 (269) 471-1321 Mi Nutrition 1221 S 11th St. Suite 104 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 362-2714

in partnering with Atomic Bean may visit The atmosphere of Atomic Bean Coffee is one geared toward all the staples of a great business: customer service, product quality, and reinvestment in the community. “We’re not in the coffee business,” Mwenya said. “We’re in the people business.” Mwenya sees Niles as a canvas, one that is being painted by the small business owners that are helping it grow into an even healthier marketplace. “I think people are seizing the opportunity as people are coming into town,” he said. “We see the Grand LV and Iron Shoe and the bakery, Healthy Habits and all these different places that are saying, ‘hey. There is something special here. I want to plant in here.’ That’s the reason we opened the coffee shop.” Mwenya said the “small town” is blossoming into a cultural hub at the heart of southwest Michigan, and he believes Atomic Bean Coffee is a beautiful addition to downtown. He invites other entrepreneurs to take advantage of this up and coming community while they can. “We believe this area is on the cusp,” Mwenya said. “So get in before you can’t get in at all.”

CHAMBER MEMBERS: Dining and Entertainment Paris Soda Company 220 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 449-8144

Smokin’ D BBQ 1668 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 845-5478

Pizza Transit 215 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-6600

The Brass Eye 205 N. Second St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 635-3595

Prime Table Restaurant 1915 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-2112

The Mark III Restaurant & Lounge 4179 M-139 St. Joseph, MI 49085 (269) 429-2941

The Nuggett Downtown Grill 202 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-8788 The Tavern Inc. 417 Brookfield St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1888 Wings Etc., Grill & Pub 2008 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-9464

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Charles Nelson, On Base Productions

Q: What makes Niles special? I think what makes Niles special, especially now in the last five years, is the sense of the community downtown. There is a lot of younger business owners coming in and new business owners even and they want to be here and they want to work together. It’s that sense of community and connectedness to help the downtown grow. Q: What volunteer efforts and civic groups do you participate in? I’m on the Niles Public Art Commission but that’s the only one I believe I’m formally a part of. I help out with the Niles Education Foundation — I donate time for them, I help out the YMCA, the History Center with video work and photography. At the library, I donate time for the Santa photos. Essentially anybody who comes and asks, I don’t say no often, especially to groups like those, community groups that are there to help kids and help make the community fun. I do stuff with the DDA. Q: Why is membership in the Chamber important? I think the Chamber provides that connectedness. It’s a resource. If I need some work done, I can go to the Chamber and say, “can you help me?” Or I have this idea, they can get the word out and see if anyone is interested. It’s a resource for business owners and the community to say what do we have available and who do we have available to help me with something or provide a service for me.


Atomic Bean offers a line of twelve different teas to accompany their coffee. Longtime Top Heavy patrons can expect the same beautifully crafted beverages with a few additions to the location in the future that will round out the experience. Mwenya says they have plans to implement a lunch menu that will feature paninis. They also want to continue working with the décor, adding artwork and some additional seating, including a small stand-up bar at the far end of the shop. Patrons can also expect to see charging stations for their electronics to accompany the already free WiFi. Arguably the most exciting news, however, is Atomic Bean Coffee’s goal to regularly host live music at their location. Music will include everything from acoustic players to four-piece bands from any number of genres and styles will be invited to perform. Prospective musicians and their representatives can send inquiries to hello@ Mwenya’s passion and commitment for the local community can be seen in a multitude of venues. Mwenya envisions Atomic Bean Coffee taking part in local fundraisers and events. The mission of both Relevant Church and Atomic Bean Coffee is to carry their work “outside the walls.” Those interested

Q: What is the most valuable benefit of the Chamber for you and your company? Being a part of the Chamber adds validity to a business because you are a part of this organization that’s been around as long as the community has been around essentially, and they help solidify the foundation of the businesses here. It also helps when people search online for business, being in that Chamber registry helps in the SEO world as well. I think the benefits certainly outweigh whatever the membership fee is every year. I’m happy to be a member and I’m going to continue to be a member for the foreseeable future.



1 1



Friday, January




19, 2017

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Emily Kozinsk staff joins the at Sam Adams


NOVAK By SCOTT ak@leade scott.nov ElemenatSam Adams Ever since , students renovated were encourtary was accepting the school that they may tending food parapplications aged to share need on any to eat or not want years, Page ticular day. past couple of Over the staff at Sam Adams chilthe kitchen that some of the food to has noticedusing that extra home. s to take dren were more backpack put in the watched it happen Principal As they began y, Sam Adams her staff frequentl Voss and DeeAnn the situation. that looking into discovered was getWhat theychildren were not the home, espesome of to eat at . So they ting enough food, the weekends cially on take that extra y decades to g three eventuall decided nt celebratin would which to good Restaura some of and put it thrown out, KELSEY HAMMON Byget on@leaderp use. kelsey.hamm page 2 might FOOD, See the late Mike Vogel a hit his Brandywine’s hirty years ago, just how big would be. not have imagined Slaughter in Pizza Transit, daughter Sarah restaurant, Vogel’s the spotlight pop years, 12 the mom and For the past to transform area, where Brittin has helped of the downtown her latest Page staple shop into a eager to sample customers are a spot. hungry reserve to creative pizzas. 445-3701 limit to the amount page 3 in for See piZZa, at the shelter, There is no can bring Feb. 18, Saturday, 323 M-62 N., Cassop- of dogs people with Meyerseveral difButts said. located at Michael Lampen, shots, offer y will Michael clinic, Veterinar of Niles By TED YOAKUM Lampen olis. Dr. during the rabies m@leade is’ Bergman rabies and shots Huff ted.yoaku Cassopol ferentFlossie a one-year for the clinic, will deliver to dogs, for who including prepared of Dowagiac for dogs ons flu d vaccinati intended While many by getting vaccinate other Spoke shot, well never been es and their $20 per shot. is open to anyone haveShirley winter season before, as of Buchan themselv Cass those “The service ,” said Animal against the virus shots for officers with Metzger r shot for y imaskthree-yea children, who is interested Ronald Butts. as a Reinholt Control are previousl of Niles vaccinat- Control Director have to be a that formerly have been County Animal ed to consider not even Robert McGregor ing locals family’s four-legg “You do munized. resident.” page 2 of Niles in bringing ing their two county interested as well. See RABIES, on are People members is hosting for vaccinati The agency in the coming their animals the clinic at (269) r’S note a.m. pubLiSHe rabies clinics place from 9 and asked to call Jan. 28 weeks, taking malfunction, Saturday, Due to a press of the Niles to 1 p.m. today’s edition printed in black CFP®, AAMS® Star was Papologize for Badur, AAMS® Daily Advisor Jon M CFP®, SHO Financial B Jon M Badur, BODY and white. We .

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143, Numbe

Sheriff ’s office considering upgrade to county 911 center By TED YOAKUM James Ward ted.yoakum@leaderpu steppin

Niles man gets probat ion for theft Heritage-Ch 00 269-471-27 Berrien Springs


Sheriffat CASABehnke is seeking Richard to have dispatchers with the county’s 911 call center working smarter instead of harder in the comingPage months. The sheriff SportS is hoping to move forSPOR By SCOTT ward with plans toTS enroll scott.nov NOVAK the national Smart 911 the county in ak@leade program, he nounced during Thursday’s meeting of As Edwardsb the Cass County Board urg Ambulanc of Administr ers. If implemented, the Commissione ator system would viewing and Dennis Closson Service provide county dispatchers was editing the cedure manual policy and reditional information about with adproWhat caught he noticed something contact emergency servicescallers who Closson’s . odd duty from celleye was that ambulanc phones, including their After more e lowed to home address than respond to personnel were aland pre-existing medical over as leader a quarter of cidents if the scene conditions. a century of the organizati they of an acThe sheriff told the of working Grice, who commissioners While that were properly equipped. with the on. Butts, stepped that there is no better Cass County down from pictured years ago, might have been time then nowphoto/TED YOAKUM) here, the position Animal Control, for the norm CassEddies Closson win County to after being takes over for former jump on board. Followburg ambulanc and the EdwardsRon Butts elected as animal ing Bronso has a recommendation e board agreed control director taken a county n invite by Michigan’s most recent commissio Mental crown Health and Wellness ner in NovemberMichael longer needs meeting that the at their Commispolicy no sion late last year, the . (Leader “It is being to exist. state is encouraging Public Page Service Answering Points only because removed from the manual to enroll in Smart 911 Closson said. it’s no longer by offering money “The board an issue,” that will cover the costs grant OBITU rather not obituarieS and I would the service forARIE community.” S of using 18 months. lieving the have it in the manual, service of page 3 Lester Skibbe volved.” the liability reDavid Cowe See toWer, Dowasgiac See diSpatCH, page inThe board of Niles 2 unanimou move the John Young policy from sly voted to reBeulah Carmine Niles “Respond the manual. By TED YOAKUM of Dowagiac al vehicle ing to a scene in Virginia ted.yoaku a personBarbara Weirs Bontrage m@leade “When it is very rare,” Closson By TED YOAKUM Dowagiac r of Benton Harbor said. years of probation during only by does happen, it’s ted.yoakum@leaderpu Butts encounte Mary Gardner coinciden his hearing sion occurred hile his college in Cass County court Jack Biek ce; such typically red a posting duty employee position April 20, when Edwardsbu Friday morning, liken as an off helping degree is happens for a part-time of Cassopolis ics, one on a charge and an accomplice broke Mil- rg by.” A Niles man will avoid to be driving in electron- County Animal clean the kennels glance at into a jail time for a building of breaking and entering garage owned Shelter breaking into a Cassopolis Edwardsb girlfriend as Carolyn Bernsen by with lies outsidehistory shows that Ronald Butts’ urg joins the unanimously joked it would— a job he took the Cass woman’s ordered Milliken intent. Herman also on Dailey Road the victim, located job western Michigan of Bay City, Texas garage last of City Council More than USPS 169080 likes in Jefferson Townafter his to pay $500 in resThe son the world of wires his calling in life The Buchanan approve the paintingspring — though he will titution 25 years be “right up his ship. The two stole several Communi of Southlance Service and microchi still be city’s taken over to the two to pay his Frank Butts,of longtime Dowagia Arthur alley.” later, Butts Monday to items from ty AmbuBishop the required voted debt to his Debra Martin, victim of his break-in, the premises as in Niles in personnel the Decatur has recently victim. c veterinarps. city logo onto and loaded them into “It is hard “top dog” of the his youth of Cassopolis discourag as well as of the from a redesigned a ian man spent departme is a render ing to believe of an accident responding to her insurance company, $813.36 to U-Haul truck, fleeing after helping pitching in around County Circuit Court nt. I have made much of Butts said, sitting towers. Pictured Cass Allstate. the pair Haroldwater photo) in a personal the scene Diehl care for Judge III was confronted by one his father’s (Submitted Milliken pleaded guilty Closson morning. it Mark Herman sentenced in througho the vehicle. of the victim’s of Dowagiac clinic, to the crime neighbors, “I still love his new office this far,” selected design. ut the area. beloved pets 32-year- during an will have said the change old Timothy Edward Herman said. Thursday appearance in court Nov. of families day I stop enjoying the job to While job-hunti no effect in policy Milliken to two 10. this day. “The employee on the service. — and According to the judge, it will be ng shortly from Southwe The I do not the intrumy last change, because s don’t even stern Michiganafter his graduatio soon.” see that See tHeFt, page 2 Timothy Edward Milliken happenin one here it is nothing notice a n to the daily College g anytime • NILES $6.25) noticeable in 1991, operations (269) 683-1112 (3D* $5.00) • Evening $5.00 (3D* The Edwardsb ,” he said. $4.00 urg Fire IRA’s Available! lance Boards (3D* $3.25) • Afternoon MoaNa BODY Before Noon $2.50Clark Chapel See DOG, meet at 7 and Ambu6:10p SHOP Tuesday Start one today and (PG) 9:50a, 12:30p, BODY page 2 p.m. of SING WarS Story SHOP February, each month. 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m By JOE KUHARIC joe.kuharic@ voted City Council The Buchanan week to approve the this on the unanimously to be painted Front and final logo design Caruso’s towers athost city’s two water ice-cream “BuchanMoccasin streets. which readseating competition was choThe new logo, Community,” an: A Promise the city’s commitment sen to reinforce students. Page awarded the to Buchanan previously its two The council exterior of Hastthe bid to repaint Fedewa Inc., of to of the water towers The approval to paint it ings, for $170,800. and the decision additional an new design, add will on each tower, to the cost of the bid, $3,000 per tower $176,800. for for a total of was budgeted The project alternate logos. the $210,000 with water towers is expected Work on the is an opto begin in spring. [the Promise] “That project benefit and a scholara portunity and be here forever. That is City that will ship Chieftains designed,” said beenedge that considthe way it has Marx. “With Bill Eddies that op74-73 Manager the fact that project, eration, and us apart from most other portunity, sets I thought it was appropri, communities Pageto do whatever we council] [the within our ate for that project can to promote




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Oh my! Boutique specializing in formal attire opens downtown Story and photography by Kelsey Hammon



ne morning in early May, the display window at Oh My LLC caught the attention of those traveling down Main Street and not just because of the colorful dresses in the display. Live models waved at those passing by and showed off the new Niles business’ formal wear in front of a backdrop of silver streamers. The models were part of a grand opening celebration hosted by the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce that took place that morning. Business owner Mica Yonker welcomed people to visit the store and commemorate the occasion. The Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce attended the event to conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Yonker’s opened the business on April 15 and said she was excited to be there for customers. Oh My LLC is a family-run business that specializes in an assortment of formal attire, from prom and pageants to bridal events. Some of the merchandise is new retail and some consignment, seeking to offer customer bargain rates.

Customers can also find shoes, purses, and jewelry. Yonker’s family members, who volunteer to help run the shop, also help her assist with flower arrangements, custom alterations and wedding planning services. Yonker grew up in Niles but currently lives in Edwardsburg. She is the former business owner of the Second Hand Rose in Edwardsburg. A “laundry list of issues” with the building forced the business to shut its doors in March and seek a new location. While passing through downtown Niles, Yonker was drawn to the big display windows on the recently closed Sentiments dress shop. “I drove by Marie’s shop (the owner of Sent i ments) a thousand times and go, ‘what I would give for those windows,’” Yonker said. “With this GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE




available, I was snatching it up as fast as I can. Just the sheer size [of them]. In Edwardsburg, we had tiny windows.” Those display windows now feature a whole lot of lace and a “Coming Soon” sign, enticing many a curious customer. “It’s already blown up here,” Yonkers said. “I’ve had people knocking on the door already, ‘can we come in?’” Yonker got started in the formal attire industry 10 years ago when her mother-in-law Kaye Wells made plans to open Second Hand Rose. However, before she opened the store, a job opportunity encouraged Wells to move out state. “She had signed a lease and everything. I was a stay at home mom and was like ‘I will do it,’” Yonkers said. “The next thing I know, I was buying her out, and it was a full-time job.” Yonkers said seeing customers find the perfect dress and experience that “Oh My” moment is the best part of her job. In addition,

Yonkers likes using her business to give back to the community. Almost every prom season, Yonkers has offered gift cards and tuxedo giveaways to high schoolers, helping them to be able to obtain attire for the occasion. This year, she was moving her business during the majority of prom season and was not able to do a giveaway. Next year, though, Yonkers plans to be back on track and resume giveaways. On the wedding planning side, she said she loves helping residents to design a customized wedding. She’s helped with some unique ones, including a fishing-themed wedding and Tim Burton-themed wedding. Yonkers still has some final details to hammer out, including what the business’ hours of operation will be. She advised customers to keep an eye on the Oh My Facebook page for updates. As she looks to the future, Yonkers said she most looks forward to opening her business’ doors.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Mike Peters, East Main Gardens

Q: What makes Niles special? The community is great. The quality of people is the best in the state. People care about businesses and schools. We wouldn’t be here if people didn’t care. Q: What volunteer efforts and civic groups do you participate in? Santa on the river. My dad started it in 1962 and we kept it going. People care, appreciate it and enjoy it. Q: Why is membership in the Chamber important? They help connect you with other businesses. We are all in this together. The Chamber is like a mothership. They help each other survive and let people know what’s going on. They support the community all day long. Q: What is the most valuable benefit of the Chamber for you and your company? You can only advertise so much locally. The Chamber is our ears out there and they let outside people know about your business by reaching out.

CHAMBER MEMBERS: Retail Camden Appliance 3108 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1500

Flags International 10845 McKinley Hwy. Osceola, IN 46561 (574) 674-5125

Crocker’s Party Store 1702 Broadway Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-0244 pages/category/ Specialty-Grocery-Store/CrockersParty-Store-161192407234574/

Flo-N-Grow 214 N. Second St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1877

East Main Gardens Florist & Greenhouse 1521 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-8000

Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Inc. 918 Silverbrook Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5452 Lowe’s 2055 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 691-3000

Sam’s Club 726 Indian Ridge Blvd. Mishawaka, IN 46545 (574) 243-8203

Main St. Antique Mall 109 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-9393

Shelton’s Wholesale Co. 1832 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-3230

Martin’s Super Market 720 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-2722

The Flower Cart, LLC 1124 N. Fifth St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-5454

Niles Wellcare Pharmacy 70 E Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 262-4343

Walmart Super Center 2107 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-2773


Crown Trophy 13576 McKinley Hwy. Mishawaka, IN 46545 (574) 255-2285

Four Flags Antique Mall 218 N. Second St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-6681

Lush Lighting, Inc. 1964 S 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 1-888-960-4533

Oh MY, LLC 307 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 262-4813




SHAWNEE ROAD ANTIQUES 638 E. Shawnee Road (269) 422-1382


URBAN GARAGE MARKET 408 W Main St., Suite 120 (601) 566-1774


ALAN ROBANDT ANTIQUE, VINTAGE, & MODERN 114 E. Front St. (312) 560-7482 DEAN ANTIQUES 203 Front St. (773) 505-9480

ANTIQUES & MORE BY FRETTA 1000 W. Beardsley Avenue ((574) 389-7600 ANTIQUES ON BEARDSLEY 816 W. Beardsley Avenue (574) 523-1955 HART CITY RESALE MALL 2301 S. Nappanee St. (574) 293-0133 HartCityResaleMall

GREAT LAKE ANTIQUE MALL 210 Ryno Road ((269) 468-3208

HEARTS DESIRE ANTIQUE MALL 3030 Old U.S. 20 (574) 294-6096 Hearts-Desire-Antique-




CABIN ANTIQUES 31941 Terry Drive (269) 591-9185 RUST 140 S. Front St. (269) 363-1302


CHICAGO ROAD ANTIQUES 26878 W. Main St. (269) 663-8303 IRON LACE ANTIQUES 20075 M-205 (269) 641-2171



THE BLACK CROW ON MAIN 224 S. Main St. ((574) 295-8000

820 ANTIQUES 820 N. Ward St. (574) 326-3355 THE AMISH MALL 1216 W. Bristol St. (574) 322-9210 BIRDS GOTTA FLY 916 N. Michigan St. ((574) 333-3104 birdsgottaflyvintage


A A ANTIQUE BUYERS 12131 Cheyenne Court (574) 271-1380 A -1 ANTIQUES BY DOROTHY 11219 Anderson Road (574) 272-1240


LAKESIDE ANTIQUES 14866 Red Arrow Hwy. (269) 469-4467


MISHAWAKA ANTIQUES 118 Lincolnway East (574) 252-5400 PAINTED CHAIR 3835 Lincolnway East (574) 993-5111


FOUR FLAGS ANTIQUE MALL 218 N. Second St. (269) 683-6681 Fourflagsantiquemall/


MAIN ST. ANTIQUE MALL 109 E. Main St. (269) 684-9393 MICHIANA ANTIQUE MALL 2423 S. 11th St. (269) 684-7001 PICKER’S PARADISE ANTIQUE MALL 2809 S. 11th St. (269) 683-6644 paradise.14/


LIBERTY & 33RD FURNITURE CO. 225 N. Lafayette Blvd. (574) 607-3031 ROCK THE HOUSE ANTIQUES 19238 Orchard Heights Dr. (574) 210-1000 Rock-The-House-Antiques COUNCIL OAK ANTIQUES 50981 IN-933 (574) 247-6983

LAKE ST. MARKET 1549 Lake St. (269) 470-2200

CLASSIC BOUTIQUES AND CONSIGNMENT 1636 Lincoln Way W. (574) 232-6360



RILEY’S RECYCLED RELICS 201 E. Main St. (269) 201-2525

ANVIL ANTIQUES 3439 Hollywood Road (269) 429-5132

MIDWEST REPLACEMENTS LLC 2423 S. 11th St. (800) 804-3417


ALCHEMY ANTIQUES 13696 Red Arrow Hwy. (269) 756-3404 DUNES ANTIQUE CENTER 13560 Red Arrow Hwy. (269) 449-4103 GO FISH 5870 Sawyer Road (269) 405-1174 HCM VINTAGE FINDS 12816 Red Arrow Hwy. (269) 326-0077 SAWYER ANTIQUE MALL 12825 Red Arrow Hwy. (269) 405-1063 STEWART JAMES ANTIQUES AND GALLERIA 12619 Red Arrow Hwy. (269) 426-3133

STATE ST. ANTIQUES 417 State St. (269) 983-7422

SHANNON ANTIQUES 2525 Niles Ave. (269) 985-0850 BLUE DELPHINIUM 1040 E. John Beers Road (269) 429-3182 ELEPHANT’S BREATH ANTIQUES 203 State St. (269) 982-5210


POPPY HILL VINTAGE 22 N. Elm St. (269) 548-8699 TRILOGY ANTIQUES & DESIGNS 19 S. Elm St. (269) 756-3300




1832 S. 11TH ST. NILES, MI 49120 RETAIL: (269) 684-0190 WHOLESALE: (269) 684-3230 SHELTONFARMS.COM




Inspired We’re

to Serve...

THE Y IS HERE FOR FAMILIES Fitness Classes Massage Therapy Nutrition Counseling Swim Lessons/Teams


Y-Club Child Care Youth Fitness Programs Childwatch & Preschool Sports & Family Events

Branches in Niles & St. Joseph, MI

Our new partnership with Spectrum Health means an expanded care team, additional specialties in our continuum of care, and new technology, for you and your family. We’re focused on improving the health care we provide, enhancing health in our communities, lowering the cost of care, and making Lakeland a great place to work.


Health care is constantly changing. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing the best care to southwest Michigan.




WORKPLACE wellness Michiana organizations promote healthy professionals Story by Eileen Villanueva


Any initiative that a company does that helps improve the health and wellness of their employees has a huge impact.” Cohen described this developing attention as a win-win-win situation, and explained that investing in workplace wellness initiatives helps businesses to thrive and offset hindering costs, helps employees enjoy happier and healthier lifestyles both in and out of the workplace, and helps the community by developing a thriving public that grows and builds one another up. “Communities build healthy individuals,” she said. “These individuals then spearhead healthy and fun things within our community.” In 2010, the Center for Disease Control estimated the amount an average American spent on sick care each year. Their results averaged $696 annually for doctor visits, $652 annually for GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE



n recent years, the business community has seen a growing trend of employer focus on workplace wellness. With employees spending an average of one-third of their life at work, it has become a growing need to ensure physical, mental and emotional health for individuals. Employers around the country have been moving to implement accessible health programs for employees that range from providing healthy snacks in the breakroom to building in-office gymnasiums for workers. Investing in various workplace wellness programs offers a variety of benefits for not just the individuals, but the businesses as well. Installation of these programs have a direct influence on employee recruitment and retention, employee quality of life, employee productivity,

amount of sick time utilized and more. More and more businesses are recognizing the need for change within their work environment to encourage and foster a heightened level of performance and success through their employees. Cindy Cohen, RN, is the owner of C2 Your Health, LLC and C2 Your Health Women’s Initiative. C2 Your Health is an individual health coaching, worksite and community wellness initiative that focuses on nutrition, lifestyle management and work-life balance. Cohen describes the change in workplace wellness trends over the last few years as a major shift in the community. “There is more of an awareness for the need to establish a healthy work environment,” Cohen said. “Employers are seeing an increase in cost of healthcare and insurance and also the number of days the employees miss from work. …


prescriptions, $600 annually for over the counter medications, and $1,200 in wages lost from missed workdays. The pursuit for solutions comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. One opportunity for employers within the greater Niles area is a partnership with Fernwood Botanical Garden. Fernwood allows for people, plants and nature to intersect in a tranquil environment. The organization offers a variety of activities and services that may diversify individual engagements in a new and relaxing environment. Such opportunities include retreat spaces for business teams, volunteer opportunities, community workshops, educational seminars and a public space to view and treasure natural flora and fauna. In an effort to promote workplace wellness within the greater Niles community, Fernwood is now offering businesses a discount on membership so that employees have the opportunity to engage in healthy behaviors in and out of work. “It breaks down to creating a balance 48



There is a wide range of opportunities to encourage healthy choices throughout the workday. Some suggestions include: • Ensure there is a healthy snack alternative. • Create a walking club. • Partner with gyms to provide employee discounts. between your personal wellbeing and being a successful employee,” said Laurie Bubala, member and donor relations coordinator at Fernwood. “Companies are recognizing the significance in a work environment where employees feel valued and supported both professionally and personally, and we just want to be a part of that.” Bubala stresses that aligning onsite wellness programs with memberships at Fernwood allows for employers to provide a collective impact to employees. This

investment showcases a heightened level of care that invests in an individual as a person as well as an employee. There are innovative solutions that cater to any type of business. The value is present so long as efforts are in place. “It’s important for employers to put the health of their workers and their workforce as a priority,” said director of Be Healthy Berrien Heather Cole. “People capital is becoming harder and harder to come by and so if you want to keep and retain your top employees, it is really important to make sure you are providing an environment that is supportive of their wellness.” Be Healthy Berrien is a countywide partnership between the Berrien County Health Department, Spectrum Health Lakeland, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, United Way of Southwest Michigan and YMCA of Southwest Michigan. These community leaders are working together to reduce obesity and chronic illness by addressing the policies, systems and environments

CHAMBER MEMBERS: Health & Wellness AuNOVA Home Care 20 N. Second St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-0004

Chalet of Niles 911 S. Third St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-4320

Beckermeyer, DD., Richard, L. 123 Marmont St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-6461

Forest Glen Assisted Living 29601 Amerihost Dr. Dowagiac, MI 49047 (269) 782-5300

Berrien County Cancer Service 3900 Hollywood Road St. Joseph, MI 49085 (269) 429-3281

Green Stem, LLC 1140 E. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (248) 231-1951

Beyond Zen Enterprises Inc. 318 Toscana Blvd. Granger, IN 46530 (574) 855-1405 Brentwood at Niles 1147 S. 3rd St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-9470 brentwood-at-niles/ C2 Your Health, LLC (800) 245-8917

Hospice at Home 4025 Health Park Lane Buchanan, MI 49107 (269) 429-7100 Inner Journey Healing Arts Center 109 N. Third St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-8865

significant time and energy. However, building a healthy community begins by engaging in everyday wellness. Cole continues to explain that the world around a person influences their choices. By devoting the workplace to a heightened standard of wellbeing, business leaders are also supporting positive growth across the entire community. Cole encourages employers to begin by starting a conversation within their business and continue being aware of the current environmental status. She encourages managers to pay attention

Cheri Gamble, LifePlan

Q: What makes Niles special? I think Niles is a very special place because it is a smaller community, but not too small, and there are a lot different opportunities. It seems like a lot of organizations and people come together to make it special. Q: What volunteer efforts and civic groups do you participate in? Most of what I do right now is tied up with this organization. I had been a volunteer at Life Plan before joining the staff. I did a lot of work with that. I’m also very heavily involved with my church, which is Fairland Christian Church. Q: Why is membership in the Chamber important? I think membership in the Chamber is important because it shows that you care about the community. We are not just here but we really want to be a part of it and get to know the other businesses and organizations. Working together to make the community a better place, I think that’s really important. Q: What is the most valuable benefit of the Chamber for you and your company? This past year it’s been connections that are able to be made through the Chamber. We have gone through a lot of changes here with the name change and another one opening up in Benton Harbor and to be able to use the connections that we have through the Chamber has been really helpful and also encouraging. I know that we did two different open houses that the Chamber helped us do and they were able to bring people in and really encourages us as we grow. Connections are really important.

to how much sick time is being utilized, the status of workplace productivity, the general mood of employees during the work day, and additional indicators that tell them there may be a need for change. These leaders in health care agree, understanding the needs of a workplace by listening to employees and generating a conversation is a wonderful way to begin enriching a business environment. Start the journey by visiting to view their free worksite wellness toolkit. GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE



that drive such. One area of focus for Be Healthy Berrien is that of the workplace. “Where Be Health Berrien tries to stand is really supporting healthy, systemic, environmental changes,” Cole said. “Worksite wellness isn’t just about giving people a 12-week program or a gym membership. It’s really about changing those environments and policies in worksites to build healthier environments all around us, to make sure that we are making healthy choices when we are able to.” Environmental change can take

Henderson Family Medical 24 N. St. Joseph Ave., Suite C2 Niles, MI 49120 Family-Medicine-Practice/ Henderson-Family-Medicine


CHAMBER MEMBERS: Health & Wellness Lakeland Care Network 3950 Hollywood Rd. #270 St. Joseph, MI 49085 (269) 983-0500

RX Optical 1421 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-1330

Lakeland Medical Practices (269) 687-1152

SLR Pilates 127 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 340-4990

LifePlan 527 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-6200 Michiana Home Care, Inc. (269) 687-2900 Niles-Buchanan YMCA 905 N. Front St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1552 Niles Community Health CenterCassopolis Family Clinic Network 24 N. St. Joseph Ave. Ste G Niles, MI 49120 (269) 262-4749 Niles Foot Clinic 201 N. 17th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1868 Niles Vision Clinic 9 S. St. Joseph Ave. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-4040 PACE of Southwest Michigan 2900 Lakeview Drive St. Joseph, MI 49085 (269) 408-4322


Riveridge Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center 1333 Wells St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-1111



South Bend Medical Foundation 530 N. Lafayette Blvd. South Bend, IN 46601 (574) 204-4132 Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service 2100 W. Chicago Rd. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-2170 Spectrum Community Services 1249 Lykins Ln. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 927-3472 Spectrum Health Lakeland 31 N. St. Joseph Ave. Niles, MI 49120 (800) 968-0115 Thompson Family Chiropractic 208 Grant St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-7822 Wellbrooke of South Bend 52565 Indiana State Road 933 South Bend, IN 46637 574.247.7044 West Woods of Niles 1211 State Line Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-2810 Woodland Terrace of Longmeadow 13 Longmeadow Village Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-7900

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Cindy Cohen, C2 Your Health

Q: What makes Niles special? I think it’s very friendly and people that live there are welcoming. Also, they are very inclusive and they bring you into the fold. Q: What volunteer efforts and civic groups do you participate in? I own a nonprofit organization, C2 Your Health Women’s Initiative, and we support women who are aspiring to be entrepreneurs or already entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow their business. We offer different education programs, mastermind meetings and support to women in our community who are looking to grow a business. I also volunteer for the Chamber and I am very active in my religious community. I also support other organizations such as domestic violence groups. Recently, I have connected with HOT, Hear Our Tears, which is a nonprofit organization that helps support women that are in domestic violence situations. I am the organizer for the Expo for Women. We support in general ten different local charities that would not normally be able to be in a big event. I am also an ambassador for the Niles Chamber. Q: Why is membership in the Chamber important? I think as a business owner, I would want to be involved in the Chamber and I am involved in the Chamber, to be more connected to my community, to know more about what’s going on, to raise a status of my business because I feel that companies that are members of the Chamber of Commerce are viewed in a difference status and are more trustworthy, more honest, more legit business. I also feel that the Niles Chamber gives new businesses and even businesses who’ve just joined a great opportunity to advertise their business. Q: What is the most valuable benefit of the Chamber for you and your company? My best experience has been through being an ambassador. With being an ambassador, you get to see all the new companies that are opening in town, you are more motivated to attend the grand openings. Also, you get to meet monthly in a more intimate setting with business owners and get to see what they are doing in their business. You get to help spread the word about the things that they are doing in the community. I think that being a part of the ambassador program it makes you feel more a part of what’s happening.








Powering through

Custom Computer Company overcomes obstacles to continue serving Niles Story by Eileen Villanueva Photos by Emily Sobecki


n February 2018, the Michiana area was struck by intense flooding that devastated many area homes and businesses. The St. Joseph River crested at 17.3 feet on Feb. 22 of that year, which exceeded advance warning and historical flooding references by more than 2 feet. The residents of the City of Niles have never seen anything like the flood of 2018 as models showed the flood zone beyond the 500-year flood mark. This natural disaster played a devastating role to area businesses and residents, many of whom were forced to shut their doors, some permanently. Michael Reed, owner

of Custom Computer Company, was one individual left to rebuild his business from the ground up in the wake of this disaster. Custom Computer Company is a locally owned and operated company that provides extensive computer services to both residential and commercial clients. Their services include PC cleanup and performance boosts, wireless and LAN network implementation, website design, online marketing, virus and malware removal, networking and internet security, video surveillance services and more. Their skilled staff has proven knowledgeable and accommodating to their clients’ individual needs, providing

exceptional service that has helped to establish flourishing roots within the greater Niles community. Additionally, Custom Computer Company provides a free, public computer lab available for community members that may not have regular access to computers, students looking for a place to do homework or school projects, or members of the gaming community looking for a space to socialize with those who share their passion. “The appeal is friendship,” Reed said. The computer lab is a continued essential component of Custom Computer Company that adds an unrivaled sense of comradery.






“These kids open up like crazy,” he said. “That little shy kid is growing his confidence level. … You’re able to branch out and meet new people that you don’t necessarily see at school. You have excitement to talk to these people and build relationships for later in life.” Reed found his own passion for computers in middle school when he built his first computer to better serve his own love for gaming. As a result, Reed fell in love with the process. He continued to help friends build their own computers throughout middle school and high school. Inspiration for Custom Computer Company began early on as Reed and long-time friend, Dakota Harding, envisioned a space for individuals to gather and share in their mutual interest of computers and gaming. The inception of this shared vision spawned from time spent at a former Niles business called Wired, a gaming hub that provided a safe space for individuals to socialize and game together. In combining a passion for video games, computers and the greater Niles

community, Custom Computer Company was conceptualized as a contemporary space for community members to visit for low to no cost. “We always used to call this ‘The Dream,’” Reed said. “I always knew I wanted to do this.” After high school, Reed attended college for small business entrepreneurship and completed online classes for IT work. In the following years his entrepreneurial spirit flourished. Reed not only owns Custom Computer Company, but also Reed’s Rentals and Renovations as well as a new business called Stamina Sticks. The dream for Custom Computer Company, however, continued after college when Reed began servicing computers out of his home and traveling to commercial clients to assist in their IT needs. In 2016, Custom Computer Company officially began work as a limited liability company. The business grew from side jobs that stemmed out of Reed’s basement to work throughout the area that ran out of the Custom Computer Company trailer.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Rickey Miller, Teachers Credit Union

Q: What makes Niles special? The close-knit community and people helping you promote. Q: What volunteer efforts and civic groups do you participate in? Youth YSB, South Bend alumni association which helps schools and gives out scholarships, South Bend alumni golf outing which helps fundraise the money for the scholarships, Niles Chamber ambassador, support for TCU and a freshman coach for Washington High School. Q: Why is membership in the Chamber important? The economic development. The Chamber offers goods and services and is able to give businesses the chance to show what they have to offer. Q: What is the most valuable benefit of the Chamber for you and your company? Exposure in the community. A lot of people think that TCU is just for teachers but it’s for everyone. It’s a membership and nonprofit.



PROFESSIONAL SERVICES In January 2017, Custom Computer Company opened its doors to the City of Niles and the greater Michiana area with a storefront at 603 N. Second St. in Niles. Just more than a year after opening, the 2018 flood ravaged the new storefront, leaving little to be salvaged. The night prior to the flood, it was all hands on deck as the Custom Computer Company team worked to prepare the site for the coming storm. Anticipating the flood to only raise a few inches, the majority of Custom Computer Company’s stock was lifted and stored approximately one to four feet above the ground. Early the next morning, Reed received a phone call urging him to get to his shop immediately. Custom Computer Company was approximately four feet under water. “It was to the point where the floor was floating and we had to dodge the floor,” Reed explains. “All of the shelves we had put stuff on floated and fell over. Everything we thought was going to be safe was not safe. … We were closed for two months. We rebuilt everything we possibly could, but we had so much help.” Much of the building and its contents were destroyed with an estimated $120,000 in damages to the building and another $100,000 in estimated damage to the content within that was not covered by insurance. These numbers were an



estimated cost, but could not fully cover the additional gaming setups from the community that were being housed within the business, the salvaged parts and material inventory, the in-progress customer projects that were stored at the facility, or the 250 unrepairable computers that were later disposed of. During this trying time, the community banded together to demonstrate support for the Reed family and their businesses. Volunteers gathered to not just restore the space, but renovate it to an even better business than before. Honor Credit Union donated 20 computers to Custom Computer Company to ensure that the community lab was still a viable space for those who visited. And the staff, their families, and their friends worked tirelessly to recreate the space of their dreams. Custom Computer Company reopened its doors in summer 2018, and now continues to prosper within the greater Niles area. For future entrepreneurs, or those facing difficulties in their business ventures, Reed has advice. “Don’t give up,” he said. “We built everything we had, and a flood took it out. Everyone thought I was insane for opening it back up and I still get that … but this is our spot. This is it.”

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Steve Wickens, Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home

Q: What makes Niles special? The people in Niles. There is great history, diverse group of people and wonderful people that care about families. Niles is coming back, there are a lot of parks and dog parks. Q: What volunteer efforts and civic groups do you participate in? We started a charity called “Coats of Caring.” We patterned with O’Keefe cleaners to distribute coats and clothes all year around. We are also a part of the Salvation Army, Chamber of Commerce and started a remembrance garden at Fernwood. We make a donation for each family for the garden. We also help out here and there when asked. Q: Why is membership in the Chamber important? There is different help and support from each other. Networking is huge, if there is a special request you can ask someone about it and they will help you. Comradery is good. I like the breakfast meetings and business after hours to learn more about other businesses in the area. Q: What is the most valuable benefit of the Chamber for you and your company? Networking. The help and support and opportunities that outside area people can give you.







269 .68 4.8 778

2439 S. 11th Street Niles, MI 49120








CHAMBER MEMBERS: Professional Services ATTORNEYS AND LEGAL SERVICES Bittner, Hyrns, Daly & Riemland 401 Sycamore St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 983-0551

Dave’s Garage 713 N. 13th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-7220

Tyler Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram 1102 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-8200

Chemical Bank - Niles Main 407 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-2010

Felden, Bill & Allene PO Box 37 Niles, MI 49120

Dexter’s Wayne St. Automotive, Inc. 515 Wayne St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-3727

USA 1 Auto Sales 2401 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 262-0124

Chicago Title Insurance Co. 401 Sycamore St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-2060

Howard & Howard 450 W. Fourth St. Royal Oak, MI 48067 (248) 723-0493 howardandhowaRoadcom/

LeValley Preowned 2401 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-2400

Kotz Sangster Wysocki P.C. 12 Longmeadow Village Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 591-6915

Marsh Auto Repair 2680 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 262-0756

Law Office of Sara A. Senica 12 Longmeadow Village Drive Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-1500

Miles Truck Services 823 Carberry Road Niles, MI 49120

Mollison Law Office 4 S. Lincoln Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-7600 Robert Landgraf, Jr., Lawyer 19 S. Third St., P.O. Box 1310 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-8300 AUTOMOTIVE Campbell Ford-Lincoln-Saleen 2801 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-8300 Clark’s Towing Niles 1833 Oak St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-8516

Millin Automotive Repair 705 N. Second St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-8400 Nick D’s Paint & Collision 33934 US-12 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-3445 Niles Pro Muffler II, Inc. 434 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-5988 Niles Tire Service 2530 N. 5th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 591-4190 Precision Auto & Body 32481 U.S. 12 East Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-7111 Tyler Chevrolet Cadillac Kia 1810 S. 11th St. (M-51) Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1710

Zolman Tire 1901 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-6465

Dana F. Cole & Company LLP 325 Woodruff Suite A Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-9480

FINANCIAL SERVICES 1st Source Bank 720 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-8244

Edgewater Bank 720 E. Front St. Buchanan, MI 49107 (269) 695-3884

1st Source Bank 306 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-1283

Edward Jones Becky Brown 213 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-6418 financial-advisor/index. html?CIRN=WjVS7qq%2Bm8DHeWMUVNgd9fKOOOMtYMopRo3fIvQ%2F1d8AHQD1WsbqGPCLv1993%2BGM

AAA Cindy McCall Insurance Agency 815 E. Main St., Ste A Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-6272 AAA Tom Rasler Insurance Agency, LLC 1914 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-6274 Andrews Tax X Accounting 18 N. Fourth St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-2829 Balanced Accounting & Tax Services 2325 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-6944 home

Edward Jones Jennifer Salmon 322 E. Main St., Suite 102 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-8282 financial-advisor/index. html?CIRN=GW2j3wrCWm4m0YYtk0UBOhSLFFtlSOYg0FNV89vt5aVh9hJRAEYq4IFlLpQARjoC Fifth Third Bank 322 Broadway Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-4539 niles/322-broadway.html






CHAMBER MEMBERS: Professional Services First American Title Insurance Co. 1221 S. 11th St., Suite 108 Niles , MI 49120 (269) 683-5500 Four Flags Area Credit Union 1012 S. 11th St. Niles , MI 49120 (269) 684-6512 Greater Niles Community Federal Credit Union 507 E. Main St. Niles , MI 49120 (269) 684-6005 Haslett & Gaynor PC 1 S. Fifth St., P.O. Box 730 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-7300 Honor Credit Union 1010 Moore Dr. Niles, MI 49120 (800) 442-2800 Insurance Management Service 214 N. Fourth St., P.O. Box 248 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-4900 John Scott Insurance Agency 118 Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 695-1200 Kemner-Iott Agency of Cass County 60267 Century Dr. Cassopolis, MI 49031 (269) 445-2425 Key Bank 19730 Darden Road S. Bend, IN 46637 (574) 247-2882 BRCH01010503/19730-darden-rd

Korhorn Financial Group, Inc. 2028 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-2560 Menchinger, Ziebart, & Koch, CPAs 314 State St. Suite 3 St. Joseph, MI 49085 Old National Bank 1903 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-5660 bank-branch/1903-s-11th-stniles-michigan Patrick Colburn Agency, Inc 92 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5145 PNC Bank 500 Momany Drive St. Joseph, MI 49085 (269) 983-9040 Rifenberg Life & Health Agency 721 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-7400 Scarpone & Co., P.C., CPAs 23 N. Second St., PO Box 1146 Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5100 TCU Insurance Agency 1500 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-6700 niles-insurance/ Teachers Credit Union 1500 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-6113

The Charter Group 527 Park Place Court, Suite 200 Mishawaka, IN 46545 United Federal Credit Union - S. 11th St. 2100 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-1151 United Federal Credit Union - Sycamore St. 123 Sycamore St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 982-1400 Walter- Keenan Financial Consulting Co. 202 S. Michigan St., Ste. 910 S. Bend, IN 46601 (574) 287-5977

MEDIA & ADVERTISING Adams Outdoor Advertising - Lakeshore Area 620 Broad St. St. Joseph, MI 49085 (269) 251-0170 Classic Communications 245 Bell Road Suite B Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-9128 Leader Publications 217 N. Fourth St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-7700 Midwest Family Broadcasting (269) 925-1111

FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services 521 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1155 Clark Chapel & Cremation Services 2650 Niles Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 782-2135

On Base Productions 227 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (574) 339-1253 Precept Partners 104 East Front St. Buchanan, MI 49107 (269) 697-4611 Specialty Connection 3230 North 5th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-0955

Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Services 615 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-3000

WNIT 300 W. Jefferson Blvd. S. Bend, IN 46601 (574) 675-9648

Swm Chapel - Starks Family Funeral Home 301 W. Front St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 556-9450

WSMK Radio 99.1 / WNIL Radio 107.5 210 S. Philip Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-4343




Samantha Personett, Silverbrook Manufactured Housing Community

Q: What makes Niles special? You get a sense of a small community feel but yet, Niles has a lot to offer. Q: What volunteer efforts and civic groups do you participate in? I grew up in Three Oaks and I’ve been a Sunday School teacher for 30 years at a church in Three Oaks. My heart is with the children. I am trying to do things in the community not just for adults. We got the Better World Books to come in and donate books. We are trying to promote reading with the youth. We are going to do a special day on July 27 with the arts, we are going to have the book mobile come out, different arts, singing and painting. I used to participate and help with the soup kitchen at the 11th Harvest Café with Kim Savage. Q: Why is membership in the Chamber important? It’s important for all of us to support each other so we know what kind of needs the community has and to encourage each other. Q: What is the most valuable benefit of the Chamber for you and your company? Getting the word out about our community because a lot of people hear the name “Silverbrook” but they don’t really know what we’re about, so I am trying to get that out more. A lot of people think we are a 55 plus community be we are not. We just need some help getting the word out about our community.



Downtown living Story by Eileen Villanueva

Niles welcomes new senior residential facility


string of new businesses have opened their doors to the greater Niles community in 2019. This swell of new business has been a wonderful showcase of growth and prosperity for the region that for many, marks the revitalization of the greater Niles area. One of Niles’ newest additions is Berkshire Niles, an active, independent senior community for residents 55 and better. Berkshire Niles boasts “luxury you can afford” as each apartment is professionally designed to meet the changing needs of today’s seniors. Each apartment includes a full kitchen with fullsize appliances, water saving fixturesand a high-efficiency furnace. Additionally, Berkshire Niles includes amenities such as a community table for social activities and events, WiFi in all common areas, surface and underground parking, and an ideal location that is walkable to downtown Niles. This facility is an affordable Low Income Housing Tax Credit Section 42 Program, meaning that those eligible may be offered a fixed rental rate. Berkshire Niles has been in the works for approximately four years, as the leadership team began looking for a project site in Niles in summer 2015. The Niles community was a great selection for a Berkshire Senior Community because of

the walkable downtown, access to shopping and amenities and lack of a similar housing opportunity within the area marketplace. Construction began in early 2018, and on Thursday, March 14, 2019, Berkshire Niles’ first resident moved in to the facility. Berkshire Niles is also consistently striving to provide an environment that encourages its residents to make friends, participate in fun activities and remain socially engaged. “We are building a resident advisory committee to have the residents have a few people they can turn to. They will plan events and trips and will help with a monthly calendar with things to do,” said Cindi Pennington, community manager. “We want to keep the residents active as much as possible.” In keeping an active and thriving community, Pennington and her team recognize the boundless opportunities that await in downtown Niles. She boasts that the reception of the downtown was warm and welcoming, and she looks forward to the opportunities that await. “As a new property, we seek ways to engage with the local community, be it for activities our residents can attend or maybe providing opportunities for our seniors to play a role in their larger community.” To learn more about making Berkshire Niles your home, call (269) 684-7000.

CHAMBER MEMBERS: Construction, Building & Home Services Home Builders Association of Southwestern Michigan 1300 E. Empire Avenue Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (269) 473-5035

Abonmarche Group PO Box 1088 Benton Harbor, MI 49023 (269) 926-4548

Howell Electric, LLC 2637 Detroit Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 262-0353

Scott A. Wilson Htg. & A/C Contractor, LLC 225 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-3550

J A Wagner Construction, Inc. 3325 Middlebury St. Elkhart, IN 46516 (574) 295-3761

Servpro of Berrien County 1562 Milton St. Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (269) 925-6841

Kenneth Smith, Inc./ Moose Lake Aggregates 2596 Detroit Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5960

Skinner Construction Co. 2220 Yankee St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5004

Advanced Irrigation 510 N. Second St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-6600 advancedirrigationofniles. com Advantage Plumbing, Inc. 2400 N. Fifth St. NIles, MI 49120 (269) 687-7192 All Pro Services 317 Post Road Buchanan, MI 49107 (269) 684-3609 B G Construction, Inc. PO Box 326 Buchanan, MI 49107 (269) 695-5825 Cut Above Wood Designs 2536 Detroit Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-7166 Electrical Maintenance & Construction, LLC 1441 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-9473

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate 68827 M-62 Edwardsburg, MI 49112 (269) 663-8585

Pioneer Construction 28326 White Stz Sturgis, MI 49091 (616) 389-8788

Berkshire Niles 10 N. Third St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-7000 berkshireseniorcommunities. com/niles/ Bradley Company 112 W. Jefferson Blvd. South Bend , IN 46601 (574) 237-6000

M.A.A.C. Property Services 2344 Yankee St. (269) 687-8845

Snyder’s Pool & Spa 2564 Coquillard Dr. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-8792

Majority Builders, Inc. 62900 US 31 North South Bend, IN 46614 (574) 291-2091

Weigand Construction Co. Inc. 24480 30 Mile Road Ray , MI 48096 2692644479

Michiana Heating & Air Conditioning 2439 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-8778

Welsh and Sons Electric 835 Carberry Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5544

Otto Land Surveying, LLC 11263 US Highway 31 Berrien Springs, MI 49103 (269) 635-0117 Owens-Ames-Kimball Co 161 E. Michigan Ave, Ste 102 Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Furkis Architectural Consulting 8013 Smith Road Berrien Center, MI 49102 269-240-7213

Pearson Construction Company, Inc. PO Box 128 Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (269) 926-7281

Ham’s Home Improvement 2212 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-3577

Peerless Electrical Contracting, LLC 1141 Fisk St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 591-1422

Wightman & Associates 2303 Pipestone Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 605-4289 Wolverine Electrical Contracting, Inc. 2700 Old US 31 North Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-4850 REAL ESTATE Arbor Trails Apartments 1615 N. Fifth St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-1850


2C Construction 7200 Old Pipestone Road Eau Claire, MI 49111 (269) 222-1568

Coldwell Banker Anchor 1400 W. Chicago Road Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-4507 coldwell-banker-anchor-real-estate-7107c/ niles-office-214079d Cressy & Everett Real Estate 1439 Oak St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-5355 Great Lakes Capital 112 W. Jefferson St. Suite 200 South Bend, IN 46601 (574) 251-4400 Griffin Estates 4040, 1721 Bond St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 687-1000 Integrity Real Estate Professionals 1501 S. 11th St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5030 Meridian Title Corp. 309 Broadway St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-0070



CHAMBER MEMBERS: Construction, Building & Home Services


Newmark Grubb/ Cressy & Everett 4100 Edison Lakes Parkway Suite 200 Mishawaka, IN 46545 (574) 485-1534 Newmark Grubb/ Cressy & Everett 4100 Edison Lakes Pkwy, Ste 350 Mishawaka, IN 46545 (574) 271-4060 North Niles Villa 1819 N. Fifth St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-5590 Re/Max Modern Realty, Inc. 603 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-2211



Sandalwood Trails Condominium Assoc 1327 Honeysuckle Ln. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 635-0942 Silverbrook Manufactured Housing Community 2300 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-7651 Southwest Michigan Landlord’s Association Stonecreek Development LLC 2240 High Meadow South Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-7179

Tanglewood Apartments 700 Platt St. Niles, MI 49120 (269) 684-4500

Village West Apartments 736 Colony Ct. –º Niles, MI 49120 (269) 683-6040




ADVERTISER INDEX 2 C Construction...............................................................64 AAA Cindy McCall............................................................58 Advantage Plumbing..........................................................8 All Pro Services .................................................................17 Berkshire – Niles................................................................65 Berkshire Hathaway .......................................................... 36 Berrien County Sheriff’s Department ...................................22 Brandywine Community Schools ..........................................45 Brentwood At Niles .......................................................... 20 Brown Funeral Home .......................................................... 58 Bunk & Biscuit ...................................................................60 Cassopolis Family Clinic Network .........................................46 City of Niles........................................................................ 33 Cut Above Wood Designs .....................................................40 East Main Gardens .......................................................... 40 Edward Jones ...................................................................60 Evolve @ Inner Journey .........................................................52 Fernwood Botanical ............................................................17 Fort St. Joseph Archaeology .................................................17 Four Flags Apartments ..........................................................65 Four Flags Area Apple Festival ............................................22 Freedom Realty ...............................................................20 Gateway Services ..............................................................8 Great Lakes Eye Care ..............................................................52 Greater Niles Community Federal Credit Union ....................60 Green Stem .......................................................................33 Griffin Estates ...................................................................65 Halbritter Wickens Funeral Services ....................................20 Holiday Inn Express .......................................................... 17 Honor Credit Union ...........................................................8 Indiana Tech .....................................................................31 Insurance Management Service ..........................................20 Kotz Sangster ....................................................................17 Lake Michigan College .......................................................... 2



Martins Supermarket .......................................................... 36 Meridian Title Corporation .....................................................57 Michiana Business Support ....................................................31 Michiana Heating & Air Conditioning ..................................57 Michiana Recycling & Disposal ...............................................8 Michigan Gateway Community Foundation ......................22 NAACP - Niles ..................................................................20 Niles Community Schools ......................................................68 Niles Steel Tank ................................................................31 Niles Vision Clinic .............................................................51 Niles-Buchanan Meals On Wheels ......................................22 Old National Bank .............................................................45 Pawating Village – Tanglewood ...........................................64 Peerless Electrical ............................................................31 Pizza Transit .....................................................................36 Prism Science & Technology ................................................31 Quality Inn ..........................................................................3 Richard L. Beckermeyer, D.D.S., PC ....................................51 Shelton’s Farm Market .......................................................... 45 Signal Travel & Tours, Inc. .....................................................58 Silverbrook Manufactured Housing Community...........65 SLR Pilates/Traphouse 24......................................................52 Spectrum Health ..............................................................46 Spring-Green ......................................................................8 Tans Down Under ............................................................36 TCU ....................................................................................67 The Grand LV ......................................................................7 TL Rasler LLC Insurance Agency ...........................................57 Trine University ..................................................................7 Tyler Automotive ..............................................................40 West Woods of Niles ...........................................................51 Wings Etc. ..........................................................................36 Wolverine Electrical Contracting .......................................33 YMCA .................................................................................46

Financial services for every milestone of life! Checking • Savings • Loans • Mortgages • Trust Services Business Services • Insurance Agency

1500 S. 11th Street • Niles • (269) 687-6113 •

Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government


National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency

©Teachers Credit Union. NMLS# 686706. Trust services provided by MEMBERS Trust Company are not federally insured, are not obligations of or guaranteed by the credit union or any affiliated entity, involve investment risks, including the possible loss of principle. MEMBERS Trust Company is a federal thrift regulated by the Office of the Comptroller or the Currency. TCU Insurance Agency, LLC is a subsidiary of TCU GREATER NILES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 67 Insurance products are offered through various approved carriers.



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