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NWI Business Ins and Outs: New business openings include Lake Michigan sightseeing yacht charter, historic wedding venue, coffee shop and candy store
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NWI Business Ins and Outs

NWI Business Ins and Outs: New business openings include Lake Michigan sightseeing yacht charter, historic wedding venue, coffee shop and candy store

  • Updated
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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away on Lake Michigan.

A private yacht charter business has set sail in Northwest Indiana.

Janynne Henry, a lifelong Region resident and passionate boater, has launched Ahoy Adventure on the Michigan City lakefront. Customers can book private Lake Michigan cruises on a 42-foot yacht that seats up to 12 people and is docked at the Michigan City Yacht Club, near the Bartlett's Fish Camp restaurant.

Ahoy Adventure pitches itself as an opportunity for "a unique family adventure, a romantic day on the water or just a little staycation fun with a few friends."

"Whether you want to do a little sightseeing of the Indiana Dunes National Park, swim, cruise and dock for dinner in New Buffalo, enjoy a beautiful sunset on the water or just relax, Ahoy Adventures offers several cruise packages ranging from two hours to an all-day private charter excursion," the company said in a news release. "Guests should bring their own suntan lotion, swimsuits, towels, food and beverages (and yes, alcohol is allowed on board). Ahoy provides bottled water, soda and a cooler full of ice for your beverages. The yacht is also available for special occasions, including anniversaries, engagements and private parties."

For more information, call 219-771-8876 or visit www.ahoyadventurellc.com.

Open 

The new Uptown Social wedding and entertainment venue opens next month in the Uptown Arts District in downtown Michigan City.

Owners Tim Enright and Ashley LoMaglio bought a 153-year-old building at 907 Franklin St. formerly known as The Uptown Center, The Canterbury Theater and St. John's United Church of Christ. They've been extensively renovating the "true diamond in the rough" since last February.

"The new owners had a vision for a fully rehabilitated building that could become a beacon of hope in the community and serve as a platform for local artists to showcase their talent," Uptown Social Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Rossi said. "Prior to the new ownership, the building served as a premier wedding venue and saw its share of happy couples taking their first steps into the world as husband and wife. Aside form weddings, every public event that we host, we will donate a portion of the proceeds to a local charity."

The venue will host whimsical weddings in an "authentic and breathtaking ballroom with a dome ceiling that can be changed to any color a bride or groom desires."

"This fully customizable ballroom can truly make anyone's dreams come true," Rossi said.

For more information, call 219-809-9119 or find the business on Facebook.

Open

Lil Coffee Cabin is now perking up commuters to Chicago with the caffeine they need to start the day.

The local chain of coffee shops, typically either drive-thrus or in Meijer stores, opened at the South Shore Line train station at 5615 Indianapolis Blvd. in East Chicago.

Lil Coffee Cabin also has locations in Schererville, Merrillville, Hobart, Highland and Valparaiso.

The log cabin-themed local coffee chain opened its first location — similar to the drive-thru coffee stands that are popular in the Pacific Northwest — on U.S. 30 in Schererville in 2014 as an alternative to larger national chains. Emphasizing fast and friendly service, Lil Coffee Cabin offers small-batch air roasted coffee, espresso drinks and pastries.

The East Chicago location opened just before Indiana was shut down because of the coronavirus crisis. It reopened this summer. It's owned by the same franchisee who runs the Meijer location in Highland.

For more information, call 219-229-6012 or visit www.lilcoffeecabin.com.

Open 

Harvest Tyme Farm Park’s You-Pick Flower Fields have opened for the season at 17904 Grant St. in Lowell. 

“We are so excited to announce that our You-Pick Flower Fields are open,” owner Josh Sickinger said. "There are so many gorgeous flowers to pick now and even more to come.”

The 1.5-acre field includes varieties like Sunflowers, Zinnias, Cosmos, Marigolds, and Black Eyed Susans. The farm also has doughnuts on weekends and a four-acre wildflower meadow for photo opportunities.

“Stop by and see our gorgeous photo ops and absorb the fresh summer air,” Sickinger said. “We're encouraging all guests to bring their own scissors or garden pruners to pick flowers. Mason Jars will be available for purchase on site. Flowers are priced per bloom. Dates and hours are weather and crop reliant. Please check our Facebook page for the latest information on flower availabilities and dates.”

The farm is open to the public for flower picking through Sept. 6 and then offers pumpkins in the fall.

“We work hard year-round to make sure that every visitor to our farm has a memorable and enjoyable experience,” he said.

Harvest Tyme Farm Park is open 3-7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, visit www.harvesttymefun.com.

Coming soon

Greco Nut & Candy, a south suburban chain with locations in Lansing, Tinley Park and Oak Lawn, is coming to 2249A Wicker Blvd in Schererville.

The old school candy shop sells sweets like Reese's Pieces, Chocolate Starlights, Pecan Pralines, Gummi Frogs, Chocolate English Toffee, Butter Toffee Peanuts, Melon Slices, Strawberry Bon Bons and Chocolate Haystacks by the pound. It stocks a variety of nuts, jelly beans and hard candies. 

For more information, call 219-227-9500 or find Greco Nut & Candy Schererville on Facebook. 

If you would like your business to be included in a future column, email joseph.pete@nwi.com. 

If you've got tips about new stores or restaurants anywhere in the Region, or just wonder what's under construction somewhere, contact NWI Business Ins and Outs columnist Joseph S. Pete at joseph.pete@nwi.com or 219.933.3316.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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