Deal Signed on Vacant Long Lake School

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May 02, 2017
Grand Traverse Region to Benefit from Innovative New Food Hub/Production Facility!
Tamarack Holdings, a group of local and regional food enterprises (wholly owned by J.T. “Chip” Hoagland), has officially purchased the vacant Long Lake Elementary School building and surrounding grounds, located at 7738 N. Long Lake Rd., Traverse City, MI.   

With ground-breaking scheduled to occur in the next 30 days, efforts will begin to artfully re-purpose the building through a creative reconstruction effort, including a prioritized implementation of “green” building practices. The primary purpose of the project is to provide a new production facility for Food For Thought, an artisanal manufacturer of premium, small-batch preserves, sauces, condiments and other specialty foods, distributed and marketed under the Food For Thought (organic) and Esch Road (all natural) niche brands.

“We are incredibly enthusiastic about moving into a new production facility that will not only allow us to better meet growing consumer demand for our products, but will also position us to provide significant copack production services for other food brands - projects that are currently handled out-of-state for the most part.  In addition to keeping more food manufacturing business here in Michigan, we will also add both full and part time jobs to the area. This project is a win for the region, on a number of levels.” said Timothy Young, Founder/President, Food For Thought.

The facility will serve as a multi-use culinary campus for the Grand Traverse area - including a food hub for young and growing agri-business ventures, a retail store selling products that are manufactured on site to the general public, and office/educational lease space.

“A number of possible collaborations and unique users are being considered for the site, including potentially establishing a full teaching kitchen that could work in partnership with Northwest Michigan College, Munson Medical Center, and others - as well as being home to a variety of culinary events.” said Chip Hoagland, Owner, Tamarack Holdings.

Hoagland added, “We plan to offer an extensive a la carte menu of services to our tenants - from recipe development, warehousing, distribution, and freezer and cooler rental -- to critical business services such as sales and brokerage, strategic planning, marketing, accounting and food safety certification consultation.  Our vision is to offer a truly turnkey solution for food entrepreneurs, currently unavailable in our region. ”  

A primary addition is planned for the rear of the building which will bring the total square footage up from 36,527 sq. ft. to about 45,000 sq. feet.   The 10.49  acre site will also include hoop houses, a storage facility, outdoor crops, an open space, and access to hiking trails that lead to the adjacent Timbers Recreation Area. The crops produced on site are all intended for inclusion in products produced at the facility. Both energy efficiency and alternative energy components of the project are being explored with an expectation to work with SEEDS, USDA Rural Development, the Department of Energy, Consumers Power, DTE, and others.

Leasing efforts are already underway to fill the more than 12,000 square feet of available space.  The facility is expected to be renovated and fully operational by January, 2018.
Tamarack Holdings is a passionate group of professionals leading our family of businesses to successfully re-imagine the food and beverage business, one bite at a time. Our operating companies (Cherry Capital Foods, Earthy Delights, Michigan Group Gap Network, and others) are in the business of better food.  Our job is to understand, influence, and positively contribute to each of the communities we’re a part of, improving lives with everything we do.
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Timothy Young, Founder/President, Food for Thought