Success stories

DerMiner’s Parkside Market

Gaylord, Michigan

“We are very thankful for the financial and educational support provided to us by Northern Initiatives. Without their financial assistance, we may not have been able to open the store; and their educational support helped us to sharpen our administrative skills and stay on top of the marketing & financial side of the business.”

For many years, Brian and Robin DerMiner worked domestically and abroad in the real estate, automotive sales, and technology communications industries. In 2012, they were working in Afghanistan, and nearing the end of their employment contract. They wanted to buy a business in the U.S. upon their return, that’s when they learned about a grocery store/market in Gaylord, Michigan, near Brian’s parent’s Gaylord home. The building had been vacant for four years and was about to be sold at tax auction, so they had to make a decision and act fast to stop the auction. The location was promising because the building is located directly across the street from Otsego Lake State Park and on a heavily traveled snowmobile trail. They took the leap and purchased the building with the intention of renovating and re-opening the business as DerMiner’s Parkside Market.

They used personal assets to buy the building and renovate it, but the poor condition of the structure necessitated additional working capital. Through the SBA, Robin learned about Northern Initiatives. After seven long, hard months and several set-backs, the doors opened on May 13, 2013 in time to prepare for and capture Memorial Day traffic. Currently, the busy market offers pizza, deli sandwiches and salads, Michigan brewed beers, coffee, liquor, live bait, groceries and hand-dipped ice cream.

DerMiner’s Parkside Market Impacts:

  • Jobs Retained: 5 FTE during peak season
  • Many local workers were contracted during the restoration process
  • Several Made-In-Michigan brands and local products are offered in the store


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