Bundles highlight goods made in Madison Heights

Boxes filled with local product went as far as the White House

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published February 22, 2013

MADISON HEIGHTS — Public servants at the local, county, state and national levels received boxes earlier this year filled with a variety of goods, representing the diverse array of businesses that form the backbone of Madison Heights.

Included in Madison Heights’ economic engine are industrial companies in the automotive, defense, aerospace and medical fields; established commercial businesses and small upstarts; and a wealth of restaurants offering a range of ethnic cuisines.

The boxes represent a portion of this, with product samples or branded merchandise representing different businesses. About a dozen such boxes were assembled at the end of last year and distributed last month; the boxes themselves were donated by local furniture company Primeway Inc.

The boxes went to officials including the Madison Heights City Council and Mayor Edward Swanson, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Gov. Rick Snyder and all elected officials representing Madison Heights, including congressional delegates Sander and Carl Levin.  

“And Sander Levin and his staff agreed to take one basket down to Washington, D.C., and deliver it personally to the president’s office, so one went to Obama for the inauguration,” said Linda Williams, the city’s economic development coordinator.

Among the items in the boxes were:

•  branded hats from Navistar Defense, a military contractor creating Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles for U.S. soldiers overseas;

• professional-grade diamond-based sanding sponges from Daima Screen, featuring cutting-edge tech that lasts 50 times longer than regular sandpaper;

• branded merchandise from Henkel Corp., as well as Dial soap and other items from their consumables division;

• themed decals and free passes to Modern Skate Park, the third largest indoor skate park in the country, located on the border of Madison Heights and Royal Oak;

• Sweet ‘n Salty Mix, a signature product of Kar’s Nuts, and Wholesome Medley, a signature product of Second Nature, a division of Kar’s Nuts;

• a gift certificate and sticker for Moosejaw, a trendy clothing company headquartered in Madison Heights;

• branded merchandise from St. John Hospital Macomb-Oakland, the single largest employer in Madison Heights; 

• special filtered water bottles from Power Bottle USA;

• an assortment of fresh-baked goods from Natalie’s Bakery, as well as cherry walnut bread and apple cinnamon bread, the signature products of Knickerbocker Bakery;

• a box representing Milton’s Chili;

• nuts and bolts, manufactured by Shannon Precision;

• gears, manufactured by Ka-Wood Gear & Machine;

• branded aluminum foil, made by Kasper Machine;

• railroad component samples, made by S&K Steel; and

• the Primeway boxes were branded by Brand-Burst, a division of Argon Tool.

“It initially began as a holiday gift for our elected officials, not only as a thank-you, but also as a nice PR marketing piece to place Madison Heights on the map, regarding products from businesses we are proud to have headquartered here,” Williams said. “It’s a very unique and diverse group of businesses that call Madison Heights home.”

Irene Spanos, director of economic development and community affairs for Oakland County, delivered one of the boxes to the county executive.

“(Patterson) was very appreciative for receiving the basket,” Spanos said in an email. “He shared the basket of goodies with everyone in (the department).

“I think it was a great idea,” she added. “We sometimes forget about the diversity of businesses that exist in Madison Heights and throughout Oakland County, from automotive to chili manufacturing to high-end outdoors clothes.”

Williams said the variety of businesses is a huge strength.

“They remain a cornerstone of our local economy, as well as the outstanding schools, a strong sense of community, and a good quality of life,” Williams said. “All of this equates to a vibrant and diverse pro-business community.”