Microbrewery plans a two-phase expansion

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP — North Pier Brewing Co. has grown fast since opening last year, enough so to merit an expansion at its Benton Township location.

The microbrewery at 670 North Shore Drive, adjacent to Hole 14 of the Golf Club at Harbor Shores and across the street from the North Shore Inn, was given approval by township trustees Tuesday for a 20,000-square-foot expansion that would be completed in two phases.

The expansion won’t be connected to the microbrewery’s current building, but create a separate facility across the street at the shared parking lot between North Shore Inn and North Pier.

Jay Fettig, owner of North Pier, said the expansion would be dedicated to cold storage, warehousing and bottling beer.

The first phase includes 7,500 square feet in cold storage and warehousing. The second phase will address the remaining 12,500 of the expansion for production, Fettig said.

The separate production building would be geared toward canning.

“We always had aspirations to expand. As things progressed and we figured out what was required, we quickly realized we needed to ramp up production now,” Fettig said. “We weren’t quite ready for a new brewhouse since we’re only a year old, but we needed some upgrades.”

The microbrewery at 670 North Shore Drive has a somewhat low barrel capacity, Fettig said. The expansion would alleviate the problem.

“We’ve been doing a small expansion in our current space and added new outdoor tanks that hold 45 barrels,” Fettig said. “What this will allow us to do is brew five times as much beer as we were doing. We will also get a canning line in April. With all that in mind and those upgrades going on in our current space, we needed space for everything else.”

Fettig told trustees Tuesday that they would like to begin work on the first phase as soon as possible.

The rest of the mitten

Part of what’s driving this expansion is North Pier’s effort to extend its beer to the rest of the state.

As a microbrewery, North Pier can sell beer in its own tavern or through retailers across Michigan.

Most of the beer made at the microbrewery is for distribution, which is limited to Berrien County and neighboring regions. After the expansion, Fettig said the microbrewery would end up producing enough to distribute to most of Michigan and northern Indiana.

“We would continue to sell about eight to 10 different beers locally,” he said. “Statewide, there would only be two flagship beers that would be distributed because of the amount of work it would take.”

The parking lot, which has 24 spaces, would be upgraded to reduce any traffic congestion along the three-way intersection. The production building Fettig hopes to see built would be directly behind the parking lot.

The land behind it has already been cleared for site preparation.

Fettig said the second phase would be done later on with no specific time frame in mind.

“Ideally, if things go well and we max out our current facility, the plan would be more space,” Fettig said. “A new brewhouse and larger fermenters would be nice. The additional 12,500 of the site plan is our way of planning ahead.”

The microbrewery has three full-time workers and seven part-time employees, but site documents provided to the township show the expansion is expected to eventually add five to 10 people.

North Pier Brewing Co. first opened last summer in time for the 2016 Senior PGA Tournament.

Fettig ended up reusing the building as well as its extension that was built in the 1950s. The building was renovated to accommodate seating and the tap room. The remaining structure, which dates to the mid-1920s, was the old Anderson Patterson Works.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on March 23, 2017)


Groceries meets politics: Scarbrough returns to public office to ‘make a difference’

qanda pic

Linda Scarbrough stands by the entryway of her grocery and feed store in Millburg on Wednesday. Scarbrough is the newest member of the Benton Township Board of Trustees. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP — In some way, shape or form, Linda Scarbrough has spent the last 30 years serving Benton Township residents.

She owns the Red & White Grocery & Feed Store in Millburg and represented the township as treasurer for four years.

With the election season in sight, it appeared the township’s Board of Trustees would have at least one new face among its panel. Scarbrough took the chance and made her return to the board in November.

Scarbrough sat down with Herald-Palladium staff writer Tony Wittkowski to talk about her store and what she hopes to see from the township in the next four years.

What made you want to run for the Board of Trustees?

I’ve been active with the township since the early 2000s in different capacities. Whether that be committees or boards. I’m interested in the growth of the township. I just want to be a part of what goes on and hope that I can make a difference.

You were a treasurer for four years. When was that?

It was in, I believe 2000. I was asked to do that. Paul Harvey, who was the supervisor at the time and Jack O’Brien, who was very active in the Democratic Party, came here to visit me as a small business owner. O’Brien was getting the supervisor acquainted with the area and there was a vacancy on the board of trustees.

They asked if I would be willing to fill the position. The next day Mr. O’Brien called me at home and asked for me to run for treasurer. I told him I would do my very best.

I know you were on the Planning Commission. What were some of the other committees?

I was on the Planning Commission. I was on the Property Committee when I was treasurer and I have been on the Board of Review, as well.

OK, how long have you been involved with the township, in any capacity?

Probably 30 years. The first time I participated was when I was working at the store and Jim Boothby called during the election and said, “I am short a person at one of the polling places. Can you fill in?” I was there within an hour and have been doing something ever since.

Have you lived here all your life?

No, I moved here in 1963 from Missouri.

What brought you to the area?

Jobs. We were farmers in Missouri, which is very seasonal. In the ’60s, Southwest Michigan was a booming place. It was a place to go and get a job. We moved during the Thanksgiving holiday and the following Monday, my husband applied to work at Modern Plastics and went to work that Tuesday. We came because we needed work.

How did you end up opening the Red & White Grocery Store?

That started out as a joke. During the gasoline crunch in late ’70s or early ’80s, Avian closed after being here in the area for so, so long. We had a small farm out here, 10 acres, it was a hobby farm. We had some livestock and bought our feed at this store.

We had heard this place was for sale. The guys that were here, had been here for 44 years. One of them built the mill that we still operate. My husband joked “we could buy you a job.” The more we talked about it, the more interested we became. We made them an offer and here we are 35 years later.

Where do you see the township going in the next few years? You’re on the board now and have a front row seat on what comes through the township.

I can only hope I see it going up. I would hope that we can have some magnet stores. The new strip mall that’s coming in over by the Secretary of State(’s office). When they get one vendor in there, it will hopefully be a magnet for another store. We as a township need to be the shining star that people want to come be a part of.

Benton Township has one of the larger footprints in the county. Being on the Property Committee helped me understand that as well as the business districts and where they overlap. I go out to the site and do my homework. I want to see what we’ll be talking about and what controversy we might face.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Feb. 20, 2017)

Beshires gets life in prison, no parole


Brandon Beshires, right, is pictured with attorney Donald Sappanos during a sentencing hearing Monday at the Berrien County Courthouse. Beshires was sentenced to life in prison without parole. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Brandon Beshires was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole for the 2016 death of a baby in Coloma.

Beshires, 31, was in court after having already pleaded guilty to first-degree premeditated murder on Dec. 12. His decision to forgo a trial for the death of 8-month-old Carter Donovan, who died of severe head injuries, was met with surprise at the time.

Beshires received the mandatory penalty for first-degree murder in Michigan.

Berrien County Trial Court Judge Arthur Cotter told Beshires that upon looking at Carter’s autopsy photo, he had never seen a child’s skull so fractured in his 30 years working in the criminal justice system.

“I hope when you are in prison, and lying in your cell and you close your eyes, that image of that photograph will haunt you,” Cotter told Beshires. “It should haunt you because you’re responsible for it. Today, there will be justice in this courtroom.”

Cotter also said the photo would haunt him as well, though for different reasons.

“When I look at your record, you had lots of resisting arrests, obstruction (of justice) … five domestic violences and a prior child abuse (charge) in the fourth degree,” Cotter said. “I am haunted by that picture, because I don’t understand how our system couldn’t protect that child from you.”

Carter Donovan died on Feb. 19 last year after he was left in Beshires’ care while his mother, Autumn Atchley, went to a doctor’s appointment. Beshires was Atchley’s boyfriend at the time.

Beshires, a Benton Harbor resident, told the court on Dec. 12 that he brought Carter to the Hot Spot restaurant in Coloma while he got something to eat.

In the process of trying to change the child’s diaper, Beshires said he slammed the boy on the floor because he was angry the baby wouldn’t stop crying.

Atchley and Beshires had taken Carter to Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph after Atchley was finished with her doctor’s appointment on Feb. 19. The baby was pronounced dead at Lakeland.

An autopsy showed he died of severe head injuries.

When asked if he wanted to say anything before he was sentenced, Beshires spoke of regret.

“I’m just really sorry. I’ve been thinking about this every day for a year and I’m sorry. I hope everyone can have peace,” he said.

Michelle Raday, Carter’s aunt, read a prepared statement for Cotter to consider before he handed down his sentence. Raday spoke about the last time she held Carter and what his death has done to her family.

“My son, at 15 years old, has nightmares because of you,” Raday said in the direction of Beshires. “He has no idea how to heal from the hole you have created in our lives. Just like the rest of us, he has been ripped open and is struggling to understand how such a coward can even exist in the world.”

Sean Donovan, Carter’s father, spoke last and directly to Beshires, when Donovan stood in front of the courtroom.

“You did me wrong. You did my family wrong. You did my son wrong,” he said. “You’re going to pay for that, and you know that. Carter was a good boy.”

Beshires’ lawyer, Donald Sappanos, said his client’s decision to enter a guilty plea was meant to end the suffering to Carter’s family.

“He did what he thought was right at that time, and that was to stop all the proceedings,” Sappanos said. “He didn’t want to put his family or the victim’s family through any more grief.”

The baby’s mother, Autumn Atchley, has pleaded no contest to a charge of being an accessory after the fact, a five-year felony. She had also been scheduled for sentencing by Cotter on Monday.

However, Atchley’s case was adjourned because she has a new attorney. A courthouse official confirmed she is due in court on Feb. 6.

Atchley was charged with being an accessory after the fact because police say she initially lied to police about who the baby had been with earlier.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 31, 2017)

No one injured in Chicken Coop fire


St. Joseph Township firefighters put out a fire at the Chicken Coop restaurant along Washington Avenue on Tuesday night. No one was injured from the fire. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — It took firefighters about 20 minutes to put out a fire that started at the Chicken Coop restaurant in St. Joseph Township.

Several fire trucks and police cars blocked traffic near the restaurant Tuesday night at 2062 Washington Ave. as smoke continued to billow after firefighters had hosed down the business.

St. Joseph Township Fire Chief Gary Maynard said it appears the fire started after a vent blower short circuited. However, authorities won’t know for sure until later in the week.

“The owner of the business indicated to us that he could smell something burning and his exhaust fans quit,” Maynard said. “At that time, he shut all of his fry vats down, but he could still smell something burning.”

The lone employee working in the building left uninjured.

Maynard could not estimate how much damage the building took, but said it was mostly just smoke damage.

“It’s not that bad, but there won’t be any chicken made for a while,” Maynard said.

Firefighters got the call around 6:30 p.m. when they were already out on another call for a structure fire.

Maynard said they used a saw in the attic of the restaurant to cut a hole in the ceiling to make sure there wasn’t any fire remaining. St. Joseph Township police and Medic 1 were also on scene for assistance.

Various people from Burger King and Chilli’s across the street made their way out to watch as firefighters put out the fire at the Chicken Coop.

Standing outside next door to the neighboring building was Dan Sandmann, an employee of Sandmann Barber Shop.

The Sandmann family owns a few of the buildings along Washington Avenue that house businesses, including the Chicken Coop.

Sandmann said his family leases the building to the owner of the Chicken Coop and was curious about what was taking place next to his workplace.

“A buddy of mine works across the street at Chili’s as a manager,” Sandmann said. “He was the one who texted me and told me the Chicken Coop was on fire. I walked out and saw this.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 11, 2017)

A reprieve from grief: Therapy dog joins Brown Funeral Home in Niles

pic 11

Brown Funeral Home director Tim Brown plays with Sir Winston Bailey Brown, the home’s therapy dog, on Monday in Niles. Sir Winston can regularly be seen beside Brown. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

NILES — Brown Funeral Home’s newest employee is furrier than most.

That’s because the Niles funeral home has a 4-month-old English retriever to help families cope with the loss of a loved one.

Known to many as Sir Winston Bailey Brown, the 50-pound pup is half grown and can regularly be seen walking side by side funeral home director Tim Brown.

Since joining Brown at the funeral home in late October, Sir Winston has met with at least three dozen families in their time of need during arrangement conferences, visitations and funerals.

In one of Sir Winston’s first visits, Brown recalled a child sitting on some steps inside the funeral home. Brown knew the grief-relieving dog would fit in well after Sir Winston came downstairs, sat next to the lone kid and gave him a lick on the face.

“The kid just grinned from ear to ear. Really, I think it made his day here at the funeral home much easier,” Brown said. “For a lot of kids, it’s an uncertain experience to be in a place like this. This is true even for adults. It’s not the most comfortable place to come. There’s something about having the dog around that makes it easier.”

Sir Winston can generally sense things well. During visitations, Sir Winston knows it’s time to work. This is especially true when Brown puts the blue and white bow tie around the dog’s neck.

Sir Winston is available at no additional cost to offer comfort to families and those who attend services at the funeral home. Therapy dogs have been used extensively in hospitals and nursing homes. Brown said several families took note of how therapy dogs helped their loved ones along the journey, which encouraged him to find one of his own.

Brown contacted a well-known breeder out of Fenton, whose dogs are generally bred for show. However, Brown was able to convince her to give them one for therapy.

Choosing a name for the helpful pup ended up going public, when Brown opened it up to the community. A committee, put together by Brown, took more than 400 responses and suggestions.

The dog’s first name would be inspired by the late British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Sir Winston Bailey Brown gets his middle name from Bailey Bennett, who died of cancer this year at the young age of 10. Given Bailey Bennett’s reputation in the community during his battle with cancer, the boy’s mother and others suggested Bailey as a name for Brown’s dog.

“His mother had suggested using his name,” Brown said. “The comfort dogs were a huge help for him while he was fighting cancer. It just felt like an honor to have his name and let his legacy live on.”

Sir Winston has been alongside Brown every hour of the day since he got him in October.

He sleeps next to Brown’s bed, comes to work with him everyday. He travels to and from home, with a kennel beside Brown’s office.

Brown said Sir Winston has acclimated quite well to his position after the first two months.

“Most times during visitations and funerals, he does come down and spends time with families,” Brown said. “He’s been a big hit. We thought the kids would love him, but we think the older crowd loves him just as much.”

Sensing emotions

The Niles funeral home is not the first one to introduce a therapy dog to its clients.

Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma still has its own therapy dog named Seger. The chocolate lab that presides in Coloma is now 8 years old.

Brown had been considering adding a therapy dog to its services for about a year before doing so. One of the local gentleman who helped Brown find the right dog was a man who runs the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame.

It was there that he introduced a dog to the Basilica. That dog would go on to become a sort of unofficial mascot for Notre Dame for many years, Brown said.

Going through puppy training now, Brown said Sir Winston’s therapy training hasn’t officially started yet. In addition to learning all things puppies need to know in their first few months, Sir Winston is being conditioned to people and how they react when in grief.

The rest of his training will help him sense emotions and how to respond to specific ones. For example, Brown said if a kid pokes him in the eye, he’ll learn how to respond to that in a positive way.

What’s surprised Brown the most since introducing Sir Winston to the community is how popular he’s become.

In addition to the nonstop visits from those familiar with the puppy, the funeral home has received an overwhelming amount of toys.

Initially, Brown and Sir Winston were getting so many toys and gifts that they donated a large portion of those to Pet Refuge in South Bend.

“The acknowledgement and support Sir Winston has gotten has been a welcome surprise,” Brown said. “I’m also surprised by the families’ response to him. We work very hard to make sure this is a very smooth and easy part of a journey for a family. We spend countless hours getting their loved ones ready and making videos. But what comes back in our ‘thank you’ notes are how fantastic it was that Winston was around.”

Once his training is finalized, Brown said they are hoping to use Sir Winston in the capacity of a service dog for shut-ins, hospitals and any place where he could be useful.

That includes being on scene to offer comfort if there is a large traumatic experience involving a mass fatality.

Until then, Sir Winston will continue to be a comfort to the funeral home’s guests and staff.

“He’s been as much a blessing to our staff as well as families,” Brown said. “Sometimes we forget that we carry a lot with us It’s not just another day at the office for us. There are a lot of emotions tied to this job. He’s acted as a relief valve to us.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 3, 2017)

A long-awaited return: Dino’s Restaurant & Pancake House opens in new location

dino pic 1

Dino Tripodis, center, speaks to Demosthenes Tripodis, Eden Dowell and Arianna Chaddock on Tuesday inside Dino’s Restaurant & Pancake House in St. Joseph Township. The three were employees at Dino’s former restaurant in St. Joseph. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff)

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Dino Tripodis didn’t think it would take two years to reopen his popular breakfast restaurant.

It in fact took a little more than two years to do so.

Many from the area have been celebrating the return of Dino’s Restaurant & Pancake House this week, as Tripodis opened the doors Monday to his business at 2939 Niles Ave. in St. Joseph Township.

Tripodis has seen a lot of familiar faces the last few days. He referred to it as a sort of family reunion.

On only their second day open, Tripodis spent a lot of his time swapping hugs and doling out handshakes with former customers who stopped in to get a look at the place.

“I’m in my element here,” he said Tuesday afternoon from a booth near the back of the restaurant. “This is where I need to be. This is it for me.

“I don’t think I have a better niche in the entire world than right here.”

Pancakes to wings

In the summer of 2013, a franchisee who owned more than 30 stores, approached Tripodis with the idea of buying the property of Dino’s former restaurant and turning it into a Buffalo Wild Wings.

At the time, Tripodis was already considering an extensive renovation of the building, which was built in the 1970s.

“We had been putting a lot of money into that facility just to keep it standing,” Tripodis said laughing. “With an expansion in mind, Buffalo Wild Wings came in with an offer that was so good, I could have built a new one. It took us about 15 minutes to make a deal.”

Tripodis originally opened his restaurant in March 2004. Exactly a decade later, Tripodis closed the doors to many goodbyes.

“I was surprised by how quick it took them to knock it down,” Tripodis said. “I guess they can come down pretty easy if you want them to. Literally, within a week it was gone.”

dinos 2

Dino’s Family Restaurant & Pancake House is pictured here in March of 2014, days before it closed. It would soon make way for Buffalo Wild Wings. (Don Campbell | HP Staff)

Demosthenes Tripodis, Dino’s son, recalled how surprising the sale was. Demosthenes, also known as “Demo” by many, began bussing tables for his father at the age of 9.

“We started out in Michigan City, Indiana. That was my grandfather who opened that up,” Demo said from inside his father’s new restaurant. “I was working at 9 years old. From there it went to dishwashing, to cooking and then to the front-of-the-house type stuff.”

Demo said he didn’t think his father would have sold the business initially, but was happy when he heard a year ago that his father was interested in opening another version of the breakfast joint.

However, that doesn’t mean Demo will be throwing on his apron back on. The closure in 2014 led to his departure from the restaurant industry as Demo now works at a staffing agency in Holland.

A lot of barriers

Tripodis’ plans to return to southern St. Joseph and open another restaurant were slowed after he sold the property and his former restaurant to Buffalo Wild Wings.

It took longer than anticipated because of the search for the right location.

The first spot Tripodis wanted was to go right across the street from the current location on Lydia and Niles (where Hilltop Road makes the cross). However, Tripodis said the township discouraged him because residents didn’t want a business there.

Tripodis said he and the owner of that property at one point had an agreement for the price of the land.

But because the parcel was zoned residential, Tripodis’ lawyers told him it would be a difficult and costly thing to do. So, he decided against it.

“I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers,” he said. “I had made a living in St. Joe and Southtown for years, and I didn’t want to hamper that memory.”

Tripodis also looked at an additional Niles Avenue property further south across from Nye’s Apple Barn near the I-94 bypass. However, interest soon ceased when he discovered there were no storm sewers established there at the time.

‘A grueling process’

After Tripodis opened Chicago Grill on the corner of Glenlord Road and Red Arrow Highway in Stevensville, he sold it after a year and turned another profit.

From there, Tripodis approached Shopping Plaza Inc. and bought the suite that used to house Honeybaked Ham. The only problem was the suite was about 2,400 square feet. Tripodis decided to buy the adjoining 1,000-square-foot suite and combine the two into what is now the restaurant.

“They wanted me in and gave me a lucrative enough deal to come in and also accounted for some of the outbuild as well,” Tripodis said of the building’s owners. “We did a total renovation to what the space allowed. They put out quite a bit of money for the sprinkler system.”

Tripodis signed the lease in mid-July and then hired Pearson Construction of Benton Harbor. Another six weeks and several permits later, construction began.

dinos 3

The new Dino’s Restaurant & Pancake House opened Monday in St. Joseph Township. (Tony Wittkowski | HP Staff Reporter)

Other than various pictures from the former restaurant, Tripodis only brought with him the same mirror he had on the back wall and a handful of paintings.

A few of the former employees came back to work for Tripodis and some of his family came out to help him get ready for the opening.

Hours of operation for Dino’s Restaurant & Pancake House were then set for 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. Tripodis said expanded hours are not out of the question as time goes on.

“I’m just relieved it’s over because after six months in, it got to that point where you just wanted to get it open,” Tripodis said. “It’s more exhausting getting it open than running it. It’s a grueling process for sure, but I’m glad I did it.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 28, 2016)

A rolling stone: Peacock Rocks brings minerals, fossils to Bridgman

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BRIDGMAN — Very few people understand what lays underneath their feet.

But Adrian Quint does.

For more than 40 years, Quint has spent time searching for rocks, minerals and fossils. After all that time, the Benton Harbor native decided to open a shop called Peacock Rocks that would sell those very items.

“Rocks are a great example of how you can’t judge a book by its cover. From the outside, geodes look to be ordinary. You would step on them and wouldn’t think about twice about it. But inside there’s so much more to it. It’s funny because people will spend thousands of dollars for a cut-faceted stone in a ring.”

The business opened at 9798 Red Arrow Highway in Bridgman on Oct. 3.

Each rock showcased has a slip of paper underneath or attached to it, highlighting the rock’s price, name and location it was found in.

In addition to the rocks, minerals and fossils, Peacock Rocks sells posters and jewelry that pertain to his other items. The largest rock sold at his establishment is a 280-pound geode that rests at the front corner of the store.

Quint, a Bridgman resident, said he became interested in rocks and other minerals through his parents.

The three of them would go on field trips out to a quarry, mountainside and beaches in search for rocks together. From there, it grew from a hobby into a lifestyle.

“My dad taught earth science. My mom came into it and learned to appreciate it,” he said. “He was the main one who went on rock collecting trips. I was brought along over the course of that.”

Quint earned a degree in geology and kept collecting until he hardly had any room left.

He began selling at various craft shows and “rock shows,” which don’t have anything to do with music. While he’s sold rocks for about two decades, Quint’s path toward opening Peacock Rocks has been a progressive one.

For his first craft shows, he only had a 6-foot table. Within a year Quint collected enough to sell for about 12 feet of table space. In the next five years he was selling between 20 and 30 feet worth of table space. Now he would have no trouble filling 80 feet of table space.

Instead, Quint fills an entire showroom of rocks and minerals.

“I do this to show the general public that there’s more out there than just the rocks you see on the beach,” he said. “Any rock can be special or significant or have that spark.”

Opening Peacock Rocks was a way of getting all his rocks in one location, Quint said. His plans will be to expand his operation and potentially add services that include polishing rocks.

Until then, he plans on focusing on getting more rocks and customers.

“My favorite part is seeing the kids’ expressions when they see a rock and go ‘Oh, wow!’ You see the light bulb click on and their eyes get really big,” Quint said. “Then I get to explain why the stone is that color or what features reveal where it came from. Even some of the adults do the same thing.”

Peacock Rocks is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and closed for Sunday and Tuesday. Quint said they are also open by appointment.

Anyone interested in learning more about the new business can visit the Bridgman location or call the shop at 269-277-8844 or Quint’s wife at 269-923-9410.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 25, 2016)