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Blake Family of Companies puts $1 million into redevelopment, new venue

The Blake Family of Companies on Tuesday announced the completion of a $1 million redevelopment project that gives the brand a new, expanded multi-purpose, year-round retail and entertainment venue.

Blake’s Backyard, located at 5600 Van Dyke Ave. in Almont, is open daily and features a 10,000 square foot taproom that offers Blake’s Hard Cider, beer and wine, along with indoor and outdoor seating, according to company co-owner Paul Blake. The taproom, with indoor seating for 35 and outdoor space for 75 guests, offers lunch and dinner, including sharable and small-bite appetizers, salads and sandwiches.

Renovations were made to an existing greenhouse and nursery, according to a release, which offers a variety of plants. An array of fruit trees are available for purchase, including apple trees from Blake’s orchard, that range from small, five-gallon trees to mature apple trees that produce fruit in the first year. The 35-acre property, according to Blake, also houses a U-pick farm where patrons may pick their own fresh seasonal fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Revenues for Blake’s as a whole, along with projected revenues for the Backyard, were not disclosed. Blake’s Family of Companies President Andrew Blake earlier this year told Crain’s revenues in 2020 were about $30 million.

The site, similar to Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill in Armada, also features an expanded fresh market with a 35-patron capacity offering fast casual breakfast items, such as bagels, avocado toast and breakfast sandwiches, along with coffee and baked goods. A large selection of Blake’s retail goods includes honey and fresh produce from Blake’s Farm in Armada, jams, sauces, Blake’s Hard Cider and sweet cider, and cider mill donuts.

“We wanted Blake’s Backyard to be a different atmosphere for visitors than our other properties, a place that has a great farmhouse feel where our guests can shop for their home and garden and enjoy something to eat and drink at the same time,” said Blake’s Family of Companies President Andrew Blake, a 2020 Crain’s 40 Under 40 honoree, in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming current and new customers to enjoy the Blake’s Backyard experience.”

Blake’s each year employs 800 seasonal staffers. The Backyard will have a staff of 35.

Future plans for Blake’s Backyard include hosting events such as gardening workshops, happy hours and live music. The venue can also be rented for private events. A grand re-opening celebration is set for 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. The event, free to attend, includes live music from 5-8 p.m., $3 pints, half off appetizers and 10 percent off at the market and greenhouse. The re-opening also includes cornhole, giant Jenga, yard games and giveaways.

A Pups & Pints event is set for 2-7 p.m. Aug. 25 and allows patrons to bring their dogs for a gathering on the taproom patio.

Blake’s Backyard is open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. See the Blake Farm’s website for more information and a calendar of events. Blake’s is actively hiring at all of its properties.


Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on August 4, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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