DBusiness Daily Replace: Traverse City to Host New Comedy Festival at Five Venues Feb. 2-4, and More
Tom Papa is one of the national headliners appearing at the new Traverse City Comedy Fest Feb. 2-4. // Courtesy of Tom Papa
Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Traverse City to Host New Comedy Festival at Five Venues From Feb. 2-4
The Downtown Traverse City Association (DTCA) is hosting the inaugural Traverse City Comedy Fest from Feb. 2-4.
The event will feature more than 50 comedians at five different venues who will offer a mix of stand-up performances, improv, podcast tapings, and specialty shows.
National comedian headliners Tom Papa and Maria Bamford will appear in nearly 25 shows over the three-day festival. Performances will include a diverse mix of genres and styles, including both large mainstage performances and intimate smaller shows.
“We’re excited to welcome downstate and out of state visitors to Traverse City outside of the very busy summer months,” says Jean Derenzy, CEO of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, which is hosting the event. “In addition to getting in on tons of laughs, we know our guests will enjoy exploring their favorite Traverse City shops and restaurants without the big crowds.”
In addition, the event will offer opportunities for those interested in writing or performing comedy to honor their craft. Workshops will be conducted for aspiring and veteran comics, and nightly open mic sessions will be open to aspiring comics looking for stage time.
The full festival lineup, schedule, tickets, and more can be found at tccomedyfest.com.
Eastern Market Brewing Co. Launches Non-alcoholic Beer Line
Eastern Market Brewing Co. in Detroit is launching its non-alcoholic beer line just in time for Dry January. The Detroit-based brewery has been experimenting with draft versions of its NA beer for much of 2022, but this is the first time the near beer is available in cans to take home.
Non-Alcoholic Grapefruit Sour and Non-Alcoholic Tangerine Sour are the first two flavors to hit shelves this week including Busch’s, Total Wine, and independent retailers across metro Detroit. The four-pack of 12oz cans also will be available at the brewer’s Eastern Market taproom as well as its sister locations (Ferndale Project in Ferndale and Lincoln Tap in Royal Oak).
The non-alcoholic beer segment continues to show significant growth across the United States. In 2021, Eastern Market Brewing Co. made the decision to begin testing the NA market and partnered with Minnesota-based ABV Technology to install an Equalizer machine at its production facility.
The Equalizer It uses dual-stage vacuum separation to take one input, a beer with alcohol, and turn it into two outputs: a clear hard seltzer at the same ABV as the input product, and also, a near beer with most of the flavor of the input beer but with less than .5 percent alcohol by volume.
“When we began contemplating the NA market and learned about ABV Technology’s machine, my first reaction was that it sounded too good to be true,” says Dayne Bartcht, managing partner of Eastern Market Brewing Co. “We could take any of our beers, run it through the machine, and not only get an NA version of the beer, but also a hard seltzer output. So we loaded up a car with kegs, drove to Minnesota, and sure enough, it worked. It was the best NA beer I’ve tasted.”
As the team experimented with NA beers, it became clear that sours provided the most flavor and so the decision was to start with gose-style sours. Eastern Market Brewing Co. says it already had mastered this type of beer in an alcoholic form including its popular flagship, Raspberry Gose. The German-style beer is light-bodied, tart, and refreshing, making it approachable to most.
Eastern Market Brewing Co.’s campaign is titled “Get S _ _ t Done,” an ode to the fact that NA beers pack the same flavor customers have grown to love, but without the associated buzz.
“As January approached and we were confident in the quality of the NA beers coming out, it was important the product fit within our family of brands, but also had a unique personality,” says Pauline Knighton-Prueter, vice president of sales and marketing at Eastern Market Brewing. ‘Internally, our NA sours have become the go-to beer when we’re working late into the evening. That’s when it clicked. This is the beer for people that want to get s _ _ t done, but on their terms. People who love beer and expect that level of flavor, but have hobbies, passions, or work that they need to focus on.
“Detroit is a hard-working city made up of countless movers and shakers that always have to be ‘on.’ Through the campaign, we want to highlight these people. It is exciting to offer a new market-fresh beer that can be enjoyed by all, during any occasion.”
For more information, visit www.easternmarket.beer.
Stellex Capital Management Acquires G2, LCI, and Fintellix
An affiliate of New York-based Stellex Capital Management, which has an office in Detroit, has acquired G2 Web Services Inc., Lundquist Consulting Inc., and Fintellix India Private Ltd. from TransUnion. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The G2, LCI, and Fintellix combination are referred to as the Platform.
The Platform is comprised of leading and tenured businesses, focusing on deploying sophisticated data-driven solutions to provide mission-critical risk, fraud mitigation, and regulatory compliance services to their respective global clients within the financial and digital commerce sectors. An affiliate of Stellex will be investing in the platform’s people, technology, and products with the goal of continuing to enhance its value proposition to customers.
In conjunction with the transaction, Stellex named Brian Longe as chief executive officer of the newly formed Platform. Longe brings more than 30 years of experience growing technology and data services businesses in both private equity backed and public markets settings. Most recently, he served as the CEO of Sontiq, an identity theft protection provider to businesses and consumers.
“I am thrilled to lead the next phase of growth of these exceptional businesses. In partnership with Stellex and the Platform’s teams, we will strive to be bolder and at the forefront of innovation and providing the highest standard in quality and reliability for our customers,” Longe says. “As the digitalization of workflows, ecommerce growth, the rising cost of fraud, and increased continue to create more complex pain regulations for our clients, we will be working alongside them and delivering them leading solutions.”
Irina Krasik, managing director at Stellex, says: “We are excited about the acquisition of the Platform, which together will form Stellex’s data-centric digital risk and compliance platform. We believe these businesses are well poised for growth as they already hold commanding positions in their sectors and we will look to invest in their capabilities organically and through M&A.”
The transaction closed on Dec. 30, 2022.
Little Caesars Brings Back Slices-N-Sticks with Twist
Detroit-based Little Caesars is bringing back its Slices-N-Stix with an unexpected twist.
The newest addition to the Little Caesars menu brings pizza and Cheese Stix together with newly added jalapeño or bacon topping options for the included Cheese Stix.
Slices-N-Stix combines four pepperoni pizza slices and 8 Cheese Stix in one box, plus a side of Crazy Sauce. Starting today, Slices-N-Stix will be available for a limited time at Little Caesars restaurants nationwide for only $6.99 for pepperoni pizza and cheese breadsticks, or $7.99 with your choice of bacon or jalapeño breadsticks.
“What’s better than the iconic combination of delicious pepperoni pizza and cheesy breadsticks?” asks Greg Hamilton, chief marketing officer at Little Caesars. “We think the option of savory bacon or spicy jalapeño will really heat things up for pizza fans this winter.”
Customers can get the Slices-N-Stix deal by ordering on the Little Caesars app or at littlecaesars.com for delivery or pickup starting today or just walking in and purchasing the product hot and ready between 4 and 8 pm Bacon and jalapeño options are available for online ordering only.