Petoskey Farms Vineyard & Winery receives Start Up to Watch Award from MSU Product Center
Tracie and Andy Roush received the award at the annual Making It In Michigan Conference and Marketplace Trade Show in Lansing.
Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery was awarded the Start Up to Watch Award on Nov. 13 at the Making It In Michigan Conference and Marketplace Trade Show in Lansing. The award is given annually at the conference to Product Center clients who demonstrate consistent excellence, innovation and growth within the past five years.
Owners Tracie and Andy Roush said their journey began when they were looking to move to the picturesque Petoskey area to begin a new career path in their favorite part of Michigan.
“We came to Petoskey for a number of reasons -- One, it’s just a beautiful area that I have been coming to since I was a child,” Andy said.
The Roushes knew they wanted to start the business but were looking for support when a friend of their gave them a business card for MSU Product Center Innovation Counselor Wendy Wieland.
“I remember it so clearly,” Tracie said. “She was on vacation that day and said she couldn’t wait to get back the next week to meet with us.”
That first meeting started a seven-year relationship that has continued to this day. They have collaborated on strategy sessions, market research analysis, navigating local regulations and more.
They opened their winery, located just three miles from downtown Petoskey, in 2014 and their passion and knowledge of the industry along with the assistance of the MSU Product Center, has seen sizable growth year after year.
“It’s been such a pleasure working with the Roushes, who are true leaders in their community and they are always eager to give back,” Wieland said.
That includes leadership roles with the Straits Area Grape Growers and petitioning the USDA in the formation of the newest American Viticulture Area – the Tip of the Mitt Wine Region.
“We’ve been at this for seven years now, but sometimes it feels like we’re still on that first rung” of the ladder to success, Andy said. “I’d definitely refer an entrepreneur to the Product Center. We’ve been working with them since day one. Five years later, we’re still working with the Product Center.”
The MSU Product Center has innovation counselors located throughout Michigan. In 2018-19, the Product Center held 4,690 counseling sessions throughout the state with 658 clients. Total capital formation, including owner investment, other capital investment and loans totaled more than $64 million in 2018-19.
For more information about the MSU Product Center, go to https://canr.msu.edu/productcenter.