Occasionally folks will make fun of the Village of Baroda by pointing out the fact that the community’s main thoroughfare through the central business district is a dead end street. Most members of the community long ago learned to shrug it off because they know that the tiny municipality is anything but a dead end community. In fact, a new book hot off the Andrews University Press provides an excellent snapshot of an impressive array of talented business people who comprise that community.
When Baroda was poised to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2015, a small cadre of locals launched a process in late 2014 to craft a book that would showcase the vitality of Baroda through photographs and the words of those who live and work in the community. A committee of several Baroda Area Business Association members kicked off the project and made great strides in the interview process, however, due to difficulties in coordinating schedules the project was eventually taken over by Bill & Greta Hurst who own and operate the Tabula Rasa Art Gallery. The took hold of the project to personally see it through to completion.
The result is the new book, “A Portrait of Baroda, Michigan Businesses.” The new book features more than 80 businesses in a broad range of business sectors from the light industrial tool & die artisans there to wineries, breweries, tasting rooms and beyond.
Bill Hurst was urged into the project by Jim Small who owns Outdoor Kitchen, and he was strongly encouraged by the Baroda Area Business Association and Tina Boehm of the Village of Baroda. The book includes a forward written by Kathy Shafer, author in her own right of “Baroda, The Story of a Small Place,” which is a history of the village. Shafer’s book provides a summary of Baroda’s history from its founding to the turn of the century.
The Hursts, Bill & Greta are co-owners of Tabula Rasa at 8918 First Street which exhibits Bill’s photographs and Greta’s mosaic glass art, as well as serving as Greta’s “Santosha Yoga for Life” yoga studio.
The new book about Baroda businesses features photographs of each business, with one business featured per page. Each photo was captured on-site at each Baroda business (with a few exceptions), and accompanying text which describes, in the words of the business owners themselves, what each business produces, why they chose Baroda to settle their business, and anything else they’d like readers to learn about their individual business.
The book is essentially a snapshot in time, during 2015, showcasing industry, agri-tourism, retail and service businesses in and around the village. It’s a brief, but colorful, historical snapshot of the Baroda business community and will also be used as a marketing tool for the community-at-large to showcase the diversity of the local business community while celebrating the grit and talent of the people who has established their business in the village.
Hurst and Jim Small both arranged for photo shoots at each business, which were then processed and laid out by Hurst. He and his wife self-published the book and had it printed at Andrews University.
A book signing event will take place this Saturday, December 31st from 11am until 1pm at Tabula Rasa Gallery at 8918 First Street in Baroda. If you aren’t able to make it, you can contact Hurst at 773-213-3402 to arrange to buy a copy of the new book.