March 2014 ALAP Meeting Recap

The ALAP crew met for our March 2014 potluck meeting and heard updates from two previous presenters.  Leading off was Bill Koucky who gave us an update (and samples galore) of his Grand Traverse Culinary Oil business.  Bill started production of his canola and sunflower oils last fall and is now getting ready to launch a series of infusion products featuring a variety of dried herbs. The locally produced, non-GMO canola and sunflower oils are finding shelf space at Oryana and Oleson’s, and food producers too are starting to show significant interest (including several local bakeries).  Bill and his crew are also exploring the deep fryer market as an additional regional opportunity.

Seemingly always multi-tasking, Bill shared several other projects he is currently working on, including a local wheat mill and a larger-scale bio-diesel production facility.  On this latter project, he mentioned a recently awarded grant which will help fund research into converting fruit waste for use in biodiesel production and a rather skinny deadline to raise matching funds.  For those interested in connecting with Bill and potentially learning about some of his funding needs, he can be reached at

Our second update came from Bruce Odom, whose Grand Rapids expansion continues to make great progress.  Now in the final stages of a commercial real estate transaction, Bruce is gearing up for what he hopes will be a May launch of the new store.  Bruce has secured funding for the expansion from a combo of traditional, family, and ALAP lenders and is working through applications for the new hires he plans to make in the weeks ahead.  

Keep an eye out for an upcoming article from Northern Express on ALAP and community investing.  Our next meeting is set for Thursday, April 10, 6-8pm.  We encourage business owners seeking local capital and investors interested in learning more about ALAP to join us.  If you’d like to be on our email distribution list or secure an upcoming speaking slot, please send an email to