Manistee Beverage Company to open next week

James and Betsy Beaudrie, of Manistee, will soon open their local business, the Manistee Beverage Company. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

James and Betsy Beaudrie, of Manistee, will soon open their local business, the Manistee Beverage Company. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee natives James and Betsy Beaudrie had a vision to open a new business and revive the old Manistee Drug Store, a historic building that sits at the corner of Maple and River streets in the downtown area.

Bringing that dream to life, the Beaudries will open the Manistee Beverage Company next week. The retail beverage store will supply craft beer, fine wines, spirits and even nonalcoholic beverages or snacks.

A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening is set for May 25.

“This corner was available, and it was a beautiful building,” said James. “When we went to purchase the building Love INC was still in here, so we didn’t really know what it looked like because it was full.”

Since purchasing the building in January, the two put a lot of work into renovations.

“We painted, added the 27-foot beer cooler, boxed in some beams and made up some new signs,” said James.

Betsy added that the building has a historical impact on the community, and a prime location downtown.

“It’s an iconic building,” she said. “We want to be the hub of activity, and this building is right on the corner of it.”

James said the Manistee Beverage Company will have something for everybody, whether it’s a tourist on vacation in Manistee or a lifelong resident, searching for a quality beverage.

MTK Fabricating recently created a custom wine shelf, to hold more than 1,000 bottles of fine wines. James said Lane King, with Memory Lane Detailing, is also helping the company to build a coffee collection, as well.

“We will have a variety of wine and beer. The wine and liquor is a curated selection,” said James. “These are going to be things that Betsy and I are both passionate about, in terms of wine, but we will have all flavor profiles and price ranges.”

The store will also focus on bringing a wise nonalcoholic beverage selection downtown, for those who are looking for a drink on a hot summer day or need a pick-me-up at lunch time.

“We have a huge selection of pop, and more of the single serve bottles, because we are kind of the only thing downtown for people that are working or visiting,” Betsy said. “We have grab and go snacks, too.”

James has a past of working in the beer and wine industry for nearly 20 years, while Betsy works as a certified public accountant taking on the business side of the operation. Both take pride in selecting the best beers and wines to share with the public.

“We definitely have an entrepreneurial spirit,” James said. “I am truly blessed to have a partner like Betsy because she brings a lot to the table. I would not have been able to do this without her.”

The Manistee Beverage Company has received plenty of local support already, especially from businesses in the downtown area. James said they plan on partnering with downtown businesses, like the North Channel Brewing Co. and many others.

“Through my interactions with the public, the amount of support we have received has been phenomenal,” said James. “(We have) local partners downtown; Lindsey Swidorski with TJ’s Pub is a friend, and we definitely plan on doing business with them. This is a benefit not only for us, but for the community, as well.”

As far as renovations go, James and Betsy said most of the interior work is complete — aside from stocking the shelves with new products. Ryan Newman with Northern Property Maintenance, James said, recently finished the carpentry work.

“We are almost ready to go,” James said.

Plenty of help came from local businesses; Premier Heating and Cooling installed the beer cooler, which is stocked with a wide selection of both Michigan made and non-local beers; Amor Sign Studios, Inc., installed the Manistee Beverage Company logo and signage; and SCP Painting, LCC, completed interior painting and will finish the exterior soon.

“We have a lot of help and a lot of support, but our family and parents have helped tremendously,” Betsy said, “far more than anyone has helped us, and more than we expected.”

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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