Small business celebrating 20 years

NEGAUNEE — It’s National Small Business Week. A week designed to recognize the contributions of our entrepreneurs and small business owners. While it’s no easy task to maintain a small business, it can be done.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create nearly 2/3rd’s of new jobs throughout the country each year. While each small business holds a critical value to its local economy, the work necessary to maintain a small business can be treacherous.

Midtown Bakery and Cafe in downtown Negaunee is known for their “almost World Famous Cheesecake,” baked goods, sandwiches, soup, and salads. In June they will be celebrating their 20th anniversary. But in order to get to where they stand today from when they began in 1996 has held its challenges.

“When we first opened the business, because we lived upstairs; we actually had a baby monitor down here,” said Midtown Bakery & Cafe Owner Marybeth Kurtz, “so that we could hear when customers came in so we could just hang out upstairs all day. It was so slow. I have a staff of eight, that have thankfully weathered those a lot of those ups and downs with me.”

Now as they anticipate their 20th anniversary, Kurtz has added a promotion to give back to everyone who has supported her business over the past two decades.

“If you come in the month of May, we are giving away envelopes with every $5 purchase, and the envelope is guaranteed to have a prize in it. But the catch is that you cannot open the envelope until you come back in June, which is our actual anniversary.”

Then in June, customers who make another five dollar purchase can redeem their prize hidden within the envelope. In total there are over 1,000 prizes available. The prizes include but are not limited to: free cookies, sandwiches, and lunches, gift certificates, tumblers, and t–shirts.

Midtown has made incredible strides over the past 20 years and will continue their forward momentum with a renovation project that will allow more room for customer seating.

About the Author

Caleb Scanlon
Caleb M. Scanlon is a reporter for ABC 10 / CW 5 and joined the news team in 2015. He grew up in Negaunee, where he attended Negaunee High School. Caleb completed his Bachelor's degree in Media Production and New Technologies from Northern Michigan University with a minor in Communication Studies. Caleb interned with ABC 10 / CW 5 in the fall of 2014. During his free time, Caleb enjoys spending time with his wife Samantha, his kids Fred and Lucy, and his cats Scotty, Remus, and Fitzgerald. Caleb plays a multitude of musical instruments and performs in a band called Concord Through Keys. When there isn't snow on the ground, Caleb can often be found at Al-Quaal playing disc golf.