March 12, 2018

Crain’s Michigan Business: Battle Creek

Battle Creek, the birthplace of Kellogg and Post, is rightfully proud of its cereal heritage. But there’s more to this West Michigan city than Corn Pops: it’s a manufacturing and aviation hub, too.

▪ Battle Creek makes more than cereal: At the Fort Custer Industrial Park, 80 companies, including 18 from Japan, employ over 13,000 people, on a sprawling 3,000-acre campus that used to be a WWI-era Army camp.
▪ Former Kellogg executive has plans to grow food businesses: After closing on a $2 million funding round for his startup Snackwerks, Battle Creek-based entrepreneur Jeff Grogg sets his sights on creating a venture capital fund for early stage food businesses across the country.
▪ To kickstart a comeback, couple builds on Battle Creek’s past: A startup is taking a page out of Detroit’s comeback playbook and fixing up downtown Battle Creek’s historic buildings.
▪ Western Michigan on the wing: Battle Creek is home to the second-largest operation of Lincoln, Neb.-based Duncan Aviation.  Paired with Western Michigan University’s nationally-renowned aviation program, the region is a surprising hub for flight.
▪ German auto supplier plans to expand workforce in Battle Creek: In 2013, BleiStahl GmbH got a grant of $475,000 from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and a property tax abatement worth $532,000 from the city of Battle Creek, based on the company’s promise to invest $11.5 million in a former warehouse facility and create 58 new jobs. That’s a total it has far surpassed.