UNION PIER — The Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce staged two ribbon-cuttings in two days (Oct. 4 and 5) at Union Pier businesses.

On Friday, Oct. 5, a toast to the new pavilion at the St. Julian Winery Tasting Center, located at 9145 Union Pier Road (near I-94 Exit 6) in Union Pier led by St. Julian President John Braganini and his wife, Sarah, preceded the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The spacious outdoor addition (complete with fireplace) was constructed over the summer as part of a renovation of the adjacent wine tasting room.

Braganina said the Paw Paw-based winery (Michigan’s oldest, largest, and most awarded with the main winery/distillery located at 716 S Kalamazoo St in Paw Paw) also has retail establishments in communities such as Troy, Rockford, Dundee and Frankenmuth.

“We decided to do a makeover on all of our retail stores and all of our tasting rooms,” he said during the Oct. 5 ribbon-cutting event. “This is fruition — to be able to have a place for our Wine Club members and our visitors to be able to take a glass of wine, come out, sit down, (enjoy) the beauty of the Earth.”

Sherry Waddle-Cummings said she’s been blessed to be the retail manager for St. Julian’s Union Pier location for the past 8 years:

“I inherited a wonderful assistant manager, Linda Oman ... Linda has been with St. Julian for 18 years now. She’s kind of semi retired so I have a fabulous Assistant Manager Chris Padgette who’s been with us for about 7 years … John Demorrow (a supervisor) has been with us for about 6 years.”

She also praised others who work at the Tasting Room including “great Regional Manager Joel Szakaly” as “all good people who really take care of the customers.”

“We really could not have done all of this without our great friends and partners from Terra Lux, Gary Geist and Ron Lindsey,” Waddle-Cummings stated, adding that the architect was Bill McCollum.

“We look forward to hosting many an event out here,” she concluded.

Braganini said  St. Julian has been in his family since it was founded in 1921, and he is the fifth person from the family to be in charge.

Prior to making the toast (a “Salut!” to the Michigan wine industry) in the new pavilion, Braganini recalled the early years of his childhood.

“I can remember the growers bringing the grapes in the winery when I was 5 or 6 years old. Through the years I watched my grandfather transition this business over to my father, and then over to my brother. My brother ran this company for 42 years. We lost him two years ago. I had to step in in a difficult time in my life and decide whether or not to sell the company or continue it on.”

He decided to keep going and “embrace this company” including the people who work there, the growers and the community.

“It was the best decision I ever made in my life,” Braganini said, adding that he loved the wine business and seeing the grapes growing (he owns a vineyard in Coloma).

Chamber Member Services Manager Kim Wendt said St. Julian Winery is one of the organization’s originating members.

“That’s when we only had about 30. Now we’re almost at 500,” she noted.

“We are thrilled to see St. Julian Winery continue to expand and grow here in Union Pier. They are one of the true Michigan wineries. They produce wines only from (Michigan produce). They are the oldest and largest and most award-winning winery here,” Wendt said.

For more information on the Union Pier location, call (269) 469-3150 or visit www.stjulian.com/

The Oct. 4 ribbon-cutting took place at Empowered Self Care, 15972 Red Arrow Hwy., Union Pier.

Owner Susie Holzshuh was inspired to help others as she searched for healing solutions for her own cancer treatment and recovery from Epstein Barr.

Empowered Self Care enables people to live clean, full lives by using technology and frequency that helHolzshuh to expand from her original location (in the same building) to a larger space.

“I have an ionic foot bath, I have bemers, I have whole-body tuners, all having to do with allowing the body to heal itself. Giving it the right support and environment internally so you can have a higher quality of life and feel better inside and out,” she said.

Holzshuh explained that bemires are German-designed devices that can aid circulation and increase oxygen level intake. She added that whole-body tuners also “lift the vibration of the physical body so that things that are not supposed to be in it (having a lower vibration and frequency) will leave.”

“It’s very relaxing and very healing long term.”

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