A Look Back at 2012

The holidays are inevitably a time for reflecting back on the year that was. While it’s certainly no easy task for us to pick our favorite stories from this past year, you, dear readers, did the work for us! Here are some of Prosper’s top stories from 2012, and while they certainly run a wide range of topics, it’s pretty safe to say — you guys are hungry!

A Feast for the Eyes
After the recent recession, this year’s onslaught of restaurant openings was a breath of fresh air (or, more accurately, a taste of new beginnings). But it wasn’t just our mouths that got fed: new restaurants consistently demonstrated an emphasis on and passion for aesthetic appeal, and restaurant designer de rigueur Ron Rea of the Birmingham-based Ron & Roman architecture and design firm was very, very busy.

Nothing Small About Peteet’s Famous Cheesecakes
Cupcakes may be fashionable, but cheesecake cupcakes? That’s royalty! Patrick Peteet got into the business of baking as a second career, when a life spent in real estate was no longer sustainable. He had been baking as a hobby since childhood, and when the potential risk was equally as big as the personal reward he opened Peteet’s Famous Cheesecakes in Oak Park in September 2010. And now he’s the happiest (and busiest) he’s ever been.

Rags to Riches: Tawny Thieu’s success story is all about landing on her feet
Pink Pump is quickly becoming a metro Detroit power brand. Meet the powerhouse behind: the petite but exhaustively energetic self-made entrepreneur Tawny Thieu.

Oakland County’s MI Great Artist is a whole new kind of arts competition
In 2012 Oakland County, in conjunction with Southfield’s Park West Gallery, launched a brand-new arts competition: MIGreatArtist. The entire competition was held online and was open to all visual artists 18 years of age or older living, working or going to school in the six-county region of the Economic Growth Alliance.

“The Family Business:” Bon-A-Rose Home Style Foods
Bon-A-Rose Home Style Foods is 100 percent a family business. Following in the entrepreneurial footsteps of her parents, Anna Hoffman is making food from scratch using her grandmother’s recipes. Packaged items are now available in more than 75 retail stores across Michigan as well as dozens of Meijer locations, and Anna also caters private parties on the property where her mother once owned a restaurant. But despite the business’s growth, they still keep it all in the family.

DIY Street Fair: Ferndale-centric Fun for the Whole Family
After five years the DIY Street Fair is bigger and better than ever, but it still maintains its local roots.

Baconfest comes to the Royal Oak Farmers Market June 2
Did someone say BACON? The inaugural Baconfest was held on June 2, 2012, and was an instant hit (not to mention a sold-out crowd). There is no stopping the bacon train!

The Ballad of Ballard International
Ballard International is in the business of buying and selling large electronic equipment and acquiring industrial businesses for restructuring. What started as a side gig for Justin Ballard while he was in school earning a mechanical engineering degree has become a profitable business and full-time career.

Oakland County Workforce Development Seeks Employer Input on Advanced Manufacturing Job Vacancies
Oakland County SNAPs to it with the Skills Needs Assessment Project 2012 (SNAP), a survey designed to identify the gaps in knowledge, skills and abilities in the current workforce that prevents employers from filling advanced manufacturing jobs.

Global Oakland: Oakland County’s European Adventure
In March 2012, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and a team of representatives from the county traveled to Europe in order to build relationships with overseas companies and get them interested in investing in Oakland County. From automotive suppliers to medical and information technolgies to (when in Rome … or really anywhere in Italy) a winery, the team covered a lot of ground and developed some valuable relationships.