Leelanau and surrounding area is on "must visit" and "must live" lists all over the country

With Thanksgiving just a couple short weeks away, thankfulness is on everyone’s minds. Those of us lucky enough to live in Leelanau and the surrounding areas are very grateful for everything this area has to offer us. MyNorth.com has a wonderful article highlighting many of these treasures that some of us may take for granted. Old Misson and Leelanau wines are gaining in popularity, and a big boost to the northern Michigan tourism and economy. MyNorth.com gives ideas on how to plan your own weekend in wine country.

They also highlight the many small businesses, that also have a conscience, such as Higher Ground Trading Company.

Give and you shall receive. It sounds like a woolly-headed notion, or something reserved for church, but Traverse attracts entrepreneurs who prove benevolence and principled ways help, not hinder, success. A favorite example: Higher Grounds Trading Company, a fair-trade coffee roaster and café based at Grand Traverse Commons.

Co-Owner Chris Treter did his master’s thesis on developing a fair trade organic coffee business connected to the growers in Chiapus, Mexico. Fair trade basically means cutting out the middleman so more money goes to the growers. And it means fresher, better coffee beans for Higher Grounds customers.

Founded in 2001, Higher Grounds’ formula of good heart and great coffee is still ramping up revenues at 30 percent a year. In the meantime, the company is raising funds to provide fresh water for Chiapus communities and is forming a new nonprofit to build a school for a community of Ethiopian growers. “Consumers want to believe in a product they are purchasing and vote with their dollars. Consumerism is a true form of democracy,” Treter says.

The rest of the article continues with the popularity of northern Michiganders desires to eat fresh, pointing out how popular the local farmer’s markets can be, our obsession with water, and even how the four letter word, snow, is not only important to us, but an integral part of life in northern Michigan.

Be sure to read the full article here.

Photo: LPVA’s Willow Vineyard, DSC_6236 by KARUNAPHOTO

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