“The awards honor former MGA board member Al Kessel, who passed away in 2012,” says MGA President and CEO Linda M. Gobler. “Al was the founder of Kessel Food Markets, which served Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and Corunna from 1981-2000. To reflect his generous spirit, the awards recognize the achievements of one outstanding retailer and one outstanding business partner. Winners were selected by a 12-member MGA committee.”
The 2015 Outstanding Retailer, McDonough’s Market, is a third-generation family-owned and -operated grocery store. As Beaver Island’s only full-service grocer, McDonough’s sells everything from food staples to gourmet food, to souvenirs and clothing, to hunting and fishing licenses. Known for its fresh-cut meats, year-round fresh produce, beer, wine and spirits selections and more, MGA says it is a “must-stop” location for island residents and tourists alike.
The McDonough family has owned the store since 1933, when grandparents Lloyd and Eva McDonough purchased it from the Beaver Island Lumber Co. Later, ownership passed to parents Bud and Skip McDonough, who oversaw many expansions and improvements. Today, Bud and Skip’s sons—Bill, Jim and Tim McDonough—own the store, along with Skip, and it continues to be operated as a true family venture; spouses and children are a large part of what makes the business successful.
MGA member SpartanNash of Grand Rapids nominated McDonough’s in part because the McDonough family demonstrates honesty and sincerity, a strong work ethic, kindheartedness and community-mindedness. SpartanNash notes that the McDonough family continually strives to improve the quality of life on Beaver Island in many ways, from working with fellow leaders on nearby islands to raising funds, to serving on the volunteer fire department. In fact, Bud McDonough was the island’s the first volunteer fire chief.
The 2015 Outstanding Business Partner, Koegel Meats, is an iconic Michigan family business. Nominated by MGA member Hollywood Markets of Troy, Koegel celebrates its 99th year in business and its 66th year as an MGA associate member this year.
“Koegel Meats is a model Made-in-Michigan food manufacturer,” says Gobler. “The company was known as a great ‘local’ business long before ‘local’ was cool. They are a reliable supplier of high quality variety meats, at times going to extraordinary lengths to make deliveries. In fact, John Koegel has been known to deliver cases of product in his private plane.”
John Koegel is president of Koegel Meats. His father, Chairman Albert Koegel, is the son of company founder Albert Koegel Sr.
Koegel Sr. emigrated from Germany, where he learned the sausage-making business. He opened a small retail meat market in Flint in 1916.
Today, Koegel produces about 35 different products. MGA says the company’s slogan, “Made Up To a Quality…Not Down to a Price,” says it all. The products are still made using traditional recipes and processes.
Recently, Koegel expanded its distribution far into Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. In addition, the company’s famous Coney Island chili topping, once exclusively a food service item for restaurants, now enjoys wide retail distribution.
“Both the McDonough and the Koegel families have made significant contributions to Michigan’s food industry,” says Gobler. “They are active in the association and have earned the respect and admiration of colleagues and customers throughout the state and beyond. The awards are well deserved recognition.”
The awards will be presented at the MGA Fall Conference, Sept. 20, at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel. It is the state’s premier food industry event.
Recognized as the leading advocate for eat-at-home food businesses in Michigan, the 117-year old MGA’s membership includes hundreds of retail locations from Detroit to DeTour, Essexville to Escanaba and Niles to Newberry.
MGA’s diverse retail membership is made up of conventional supermarkets and grocery stores, supercenters, gourmet stores, limited assortment stores, convenience stores, drug and pet food stores. MGA’s associate membership includes manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, sales agents, equipment companies and professional service providers of all types.