May 2015 ALAP Meeting Recap

In the midst of asparagus season and everything else great about Michigan in May, the ALAP gang gathered for our monthly potluck meeting.  This month included a double-feature session with two “early idea stage” presenters.  Starting us off was Roo Heins, a woman of many talents including several forms of martial arts and Japanese tea ceremony.  Roo shared her idea to develop a Traverse City Center for Asian Arts where local and invited instructors could share and teach students across a wide range of Asian disciplines such as Aikido, Tai Chi, Zen meditation and Asian cuisine.  As the center is still in the brain storm stage, our discussion was largely focused on some broad questions like structure (for-profit or non-profit), location (in town or more of a country setting), and potentially what other elements such a center might have (for example, could it feature a B and B offering or similar retreat like characteristics?).  Interest towards the idea seemed quite high, so we will look forward to following Roo’s progress.  For those interested in learning more, please contact Roo by email (

Our second presenter was David Gergenson who moved to the Cedar area several years ago when his family bought an old trout farm.  David founded Door to Door Organics and also owns several hospitality properties in Northwest Michigan.  He updated the group on an idea now in the works to form a co-op (or alternative model) that brings organic (and when possible local) produce and food to the Cedar area.  David and several others have been sketching out ideas for such a venture and hope to have something established in the next few years.  As several of the regular ALAP attendees hail from Leelanau, there was quite a lot of enthusiasm for the idea.  Anyone who would like to learn more is encouraged to connect with David (

During the brief “business” part of our meeting, we decided that we will target a June meeting (6/11) before taking the rest of the summer off.  Agenda and presenter(s) to be announced.  It was also announced that Cherry Capital Foods will host its grand opening celebration of its new facility Monday, May 18 from 2-7pm (1610 Barlow St).  This is one of the region’s greenest buildings, and it will house a variety of tenants including those at the new Grand Traverse Regional Food Shed Alliance.

That’s it for now.  Have a great few weeks and see you at our June meeting!  Although we won’t meet formally in July or August, we continue to build our pipeline of presenters and our growing list of ALAP members.  If you know of those interested in local, triple-bottom-line investing or companies seeking funding from such community members, please spread the word!