Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce
Last week, the three of us at the chamber finally started to do the thing wehad all resolved to do start-ing in January — get outand start walking regularly along the Riverwalk.Our intent, of course, isto get more exercise. While we walked, we talked of course but we also really paid attention to the unique views of our community asthey appear from the van-tage point of river level.It’s funny, isn’t it, how easy it is sometimes to letthe demands of a busy lifetake over. Also last week,on one of our really warmdays, I got a ham andcheese Panini from Goody’sand drove to First Street beach and ate lunch with views of the lighthouse andLake Michigan. There weremaybe eight other carsdown there but given the beauty right outside ourdoor, I would have expected100 cars.This week, I proposethat all of us who live in thisunique and beautiful cornerof the world make a pointof being a tourist in ourown hometown and that weencourage our co-workers,employees and family todo the same. If you need it,here’s a compelling busi-ness reason to be a touristin Manistee this week — if
Stroll alongRiverwalk deliversunique views
up the inventory for the buildingseason. All of the lumber is stored underroof, which, Somsel said keeps thequality high.Somsel said they have a lot of interesting repeat business.“Through the 1950s and 1960sthere was a lot of cabin buildinggoing on, but by now most of thecabins have been converted tohomes, many of them retirementhomes occupied by the families’current generations,” Somsel said.Like most businesses, currenteconomic conditions haven’t beenparticularly kind.“We’ve had some real goodtimes, and some ugly ones,” Somselsaid. “We’re in an ugly one rightnow. This year, though, is betterthan the last two. We’re hoping fora slow but steady recovery.”Like most small-town business-s, Somsel appreciates his loyal,ocal customers.“When people shop their ownometowns, that’s a good thing,”e said. “During the last gasolinerunch we saw faces that we hadever seen before. That’s good forhe community as a whole. We’re aord-of-mouth business, and many f our customers believe in shop-ing locally.”Somsel enjoys talking abouthe heritage of his company and hehows it off in summertime parades y driving the 1927 Chevrolet truck is grandfather purchased for theusiness many years ago. The vehi-le was completely restored in 1999,omplete with a new truck bed andack made with oak lumber from aickson Township red oak tree.
Photos by Dave Yarnell/News Advocate
Somsel Lumber Company is a small-town busi-ness (AT LEFT) that carries a big variety of prod-ucts. Somsel Lumber Company’s roots go backto 1919 and it has been operating (BELOW) fromits location on Nine Mile Road in Kaleva since1962.
2 • WEST SHORE SHOPPERS GUIDE • Sunday, April 25, 2010
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