EPWA Current News
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  • Monday, April 18, 2011 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Gift Basket Classics20th Anniversary of Gift Basket Classics

    April 2011


    Contact: Carol Brandt
    Tel: 269/985-9000

    Carol Brandt is celebrating 20 years in her unique business with the unveiling of 2 newly re-designed websites. Both and now offer her clients the option and convenience of e-commerce through paypal. Both sites were redesigned by Michael Ostrander, a St. Joseph website consultant.

    Secrets to her longevity in the business are customization and great customer service. Going the extra mile for her clients has led to the design of some quite unique gift baskets by sourcing unusual containers and contents. One of the most popular is her "Dump Truck gift basket", where a toy dump truck is the container, and the contents include construction-related foods such as hammer-shaped chocolates and screwdriver cookies. Other special themes have included: Motorcycle, Music, Symphony, Tow Trucks, Fishing, Golfing, Boating, and Police.

    In April of 1991, in a small corner of her husband's bicycle shop in Stevensville, Carol first began selling gift baskets filled with gourmet goodies and gifts. Catering to both retail and corporate clients, her success prompted a move to a bigger location next door to the Cycle Path. Ten years later, because most of her clients place their orders via phone or e-mail, she was able to make another move to a home-based studio, where the business has been for five years. Carol's focus and passion has always been on sourcing and promoting Michigan-made gourmet foods for her gifts, and has thus found her unique niche.

    Carol's love for her home state is the inspiration for Michigan Gourmet Travels Specialty Foods, her line of Michigan-made gourmet foods which feature stories about Michigan landmarks on the labels of her products. Recognizing a need for an elegant gift that chronicled Michigan landmarks in a delicious gift idea, the line launched three years ago. The state is home to so many special locations, some found in her home city of St. Joseph, and she wanted to tell their stories. She offers a variety of pre-selected packs including the All-Michigan Collection, the New Buffalo Collection, the Buchanan Collection, and the St. Joseph Collection which includes Silver Beach Strawberry Jam, Lake Bluff Park Cherry Honey Mustard, and North Pier Lighthouse Cherry Salsa. The gifts are available on her website or ordered by calling (269) 985-9000.

    In addition to the website, the St. Joseph Collection is also available at Marie's Hallmark in downtown St. Joseph; the New Buffalo Collection is available at both Michigan Thyme in New Buffalo and at Sawyer Garden Center; and the Buchanan Collection is available at Slocum's Gifts in Buchanan.
  • Saturday, April 16, 2011 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    The Cleaning Authority Local Cleaning Business Wins Mark of Excellence Award


    Contact: Emilee Garber
    Tel: 410/740-1900

    COLUMBIA, MD April 16, 2010 - Ken & Julie Wuerfel of St. Joseph, MI, owner of a local residential cleaning franchise was honored with the Mark of Excellence Award by The Cleaning Authority. Ken & Julie received this recognition for customer service and cleaning quality. This award is bestowed only to top locations in The Cleaning Authority® franchise system. The award was accepted at the company's national convention in Salt Lake City, UT.

    Not your ordinary entrepreneur, Julie was a Marketing Manager for a local Fortune 100 company before she found herself purchasing a business. Julie proudly opened the doors in October of 2006 and services St. Joseph, Stevensville, Bridgman, Sawyer, New Buffalo, Niles, Coloma, Watervliet and Northern Indiana...

    The Wuerfel's office serves over 250 customers with 17 employees.

    For a free no obligation estimate, please call (269) 428-7110.

    ABOUT THE CLEANING AUTHORITY: Founded in 1989, The Cleaning Authority currently operates 185 residential cleaning franchise locations with over 64,000 customers and 4,000 employees nationwide. The company features a commitment to environmentally responsible housecleaning*, a unique Detail-Clean Rotation System®, proprietary operations software, national call center, and an extensive employee training program that is a model for the residential cleaning industry. The Cleaning Authority is privately held and headquartered in Columbia, MD.


    If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please contact Emilee Garber at 410/740-1900 or by email at
  • Sunday, April 03, 2011 3:57 PM | Deleted user

    Recently, the EPWA board of directors approved a new EPWA logo designed by Robin Maxon.  They also approved design work to be completed by Heather Shelby of Luxe Design Group in St. Joseph, MI.

    Luxe Design Group will update (refresh) the front page of our web site with adding area's such as, a join now button, new member area, and why would someone want to join our group.  What's in it for them. 

    Recently I changed the title page heading on EPWA web site to a lake background.  That is not our final look.  We were experimenting with changing up the look, so don't be alarmed. 

    All the work has to be done as a live site, so that is a challenge.  Stay tuned for a new look of our home page!  We hope to have it updated by the end of spring.   Regards, Karen Halleckson

  • Tuesday, September 01, 2009 8:39 PM | Anonymous
    We are pleased to announce the new full service membership website for EPWA! Members can now subscribe and pay for their memberships, meals & events online! Our new site also has a forum feature for members to keep in touch. Premium members are allowed to post and comment, while the public can view but not post. Also we have a new event calendar and news blog where we can keep you up to date on all newsworthy information! We hope you enjoy!
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