Board Member Testifies to Congress
Tom Vear, Northern Initiatives Board member, small business owner (The Delft Bistro and Doncker’s in Marquette) and a Northern Initiatives loan recipient, testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry when it met in Lansing in May to hear Farm Bill perspectives from Michigan.
“Donckers and The Delft Bistro have both borrowed funds from NI to further develop our restaurant and our chocolate making,” Vear told the committee. “When we originally purchased Donckers, Fred, the 78-year-old grandson, agreed to stay on and teach us the fudge-making process, which was part of the business 100 years ago. We saw an opportunity in the chocolate business and for the past twelve years have been growing that part.
“Just this past week, with the help of a revolving loan from NI, we purchased a $50,000 candy coating machine. Last year, we made a half million of our signature hand-dipped sea salt caramels. Sample enclosed! We anticipate ﬁve to seven times that amount this year.”