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Date: June 12, 2013

(Livonia, June 12, 2012) – The Buy Michigan Now campaign has announced All American Torch as the Grand Prize winner of its “Up & Coming Entrepreneur Contest.”  The competition, in conjunction with the campaign’s 5th Annual festival in August, is designed to promote awareness of new products being made in Michigan and to give one business-owner a chance to win free marketing exposure worth more than $1,000.

The winner, All American Torch (Sterling Heights), is a new concept on tiki torches to light up customers’ backyards. The company creates a wick holder and bracket that allows customers to take almost any bottle and create their own tiki torch or table top lantern.  “At every show that All American Torch has attended customers tell me that they have never seen a product like this,” said owner Peter Purol.  The entire process is hand-made.  The wick holder is the main product but this is a multistep process that takes quite a bit of time to complete and includes cutting, fluxing, soldering, cleaning, wire brushing and then packaging.

When last year’s Up & Coming Entrepreneur Contest winner, Christine Stamper of Crunch Granola heard the contest was happening again, she stated “I'm so glad to hear that Buy Michigan Now is hosting the Up & Coming Entrepreneur Contest again this year.  Being the winner of the 1st Up & Coming Entrepreneur Contest was a great experience for us.  We had just launched our company the January before.  Buy Michigan Now was the first festival we took part in.  Winning the contest was great exposure for us.  It also gave us the opportunity to meet so many other great Michigan vendors.”

“This has been an incredible year for us!  We have really come a long way since we entered your contest last year.  Since then, in addition to our original variety, we've introduced two new flavors of our granola - Marathon Crunch Granola (high protein peanut butter granola) and Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate,” added Stamper.

As the Grand Prize winner of the Up & Coming Entrepreneur Contest, All American Torch will receive marketing support, including:

In addition to the Grand Prize winner, two other Michigan companies were recognized as Finalists in the contest.  They are Traverse Gourmet (Empire, MI) and Angelique Collections (Detroit).

Traverse Gourmet allows guests to shop for their favorite Northern Michigan foods and introduces shoppers to the people creating their favorite foods – sharing the companies’ back stories and philosophies.  Traverse Gourmet offers a variety of gourmet food gift boxes and gift bags, and they are available to customize gifts for an individual, or work with groups for events or corporate giving. The company is also a proud participant of “1% For The Planet” – committing 1% of their annual sales to the Michigan Land Use Institute.
The other finalist, Angelique Collections is a line of custom-made handbags, wallets, totes and jewelry created out of newspapers and handpicked quality magazines. The brand came about after the owner, Angela Boone, was laid-off from her job after 20 years. As the designer of Angelique Collections, she also wanted to make a difference. Angelique Collections is the home of eco-friendly recycling lifestyle products that are uniquely handcrafted using recyclable and up-cycling techniques. They give a second life and new attitude to creating elegance and workmanship pieces of wearable art, while helping create a better environment.
Buy Michigan Now founder Lisa Diggs says, “We’re extremely proud to be able to help more people discover the work of all three of these Michigan entrepreneurs.  We know that as companies like these grow, so will our economy, and that is what our campaign and festival are all about.”
The 5th Annual Buy Michigan Now Festival takes place August 2-4 in downtown Northville. In addition to teaming up again with downtown Northville to host the upbeat celebration of Michigan, Hiller’s Markets, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, The Catalyst Company, Mousetrap Mobile, and Tom Holzer Ford are returning as sponsors of the event.
For information on exhibitor or sponsorship opportunities, contact Buy Michigan Now at 248-390-0974 or Fest@BuyMichiganNow.comA full list of events for the weekend will be announced at a later date.  For the most up-to-date information visit
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About Buy Michigan Now: Launched in 2007 by Lisa Diggs, Buy Michigan Now is a statewide initiative to inform, educate and encourage organizations and consumers, to refuel Michigan’s economy by purchasing products and services made in Michigan and from Michigan-based companies.