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Manufacturing & Trade

Manufacturing: Making it in the Grand Traverse Region

Modern trade businesses in the Grand Traverse Region grew out of 20th-century manufacturing and agricultural trade. While the region is still known as the “Cherry Capital”, the trade industry continues to evolve and grow. Food and beverage companies produce products sold across the country. Technology and advanced manufacturing companies founded here in the region compete in the global economy.

Traverse City’s diverse economy is now home to world leaders in manufacturing, technology, and agriculture, all rooted in one of the most naturally beautiful towns in America, and we seek to expand our technological innovation footprint. In 2016, Grand Traverse County exported $4.8 billion in goods and services – $1.3 billion in manufacturing alone.

Food Industry
Assembled products
Print production

“Having lived on the East Coast (Baltimore, New York), the West Coast (San Francisco), and now Traverse City, I can say with absolute certainty that we live in a beautiful city with innovative companies and people. We have the best of both worlds—and whoever said you can’t have it all, hasn’t been here. I’m constantly reminded of the vast resources we have that improve our quality of life; when I leave work, I’m only 15 minutes away from fishing on the river, or biking, or whatever else you might fancy. Whenever friends visit, they are amazed by the mix of larger-city amenities with the small-town charm and easy access to adventure. Without a doubt, Michigan is one of the best, if not the best, place for manufacturing in the world. In Northern Michigan, we benefit from the Detroit “halo” with access to some of the best technical talent by virtue of our strong public and private universities. Smart people will always have options of where to work and live, and I’ve found that many of the types of people we are trying to hire may be looking for a way out of the big city. Traverse City is a logical landing spot and we welcome you.”



THE GRAND TRAVERSE AREA MANUFACTURING COUNCIL (GTAMC) was established to promote long-term thinking, education, and collaboration through people and companies that allow us to make great things in northern Michigan. The mission is to support a sustainable and globally competitive manufacturing sector for a stronger economy.

Making It & Scaling It in the Grand Traverse Region

Traverse Connect and the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council collaborated to provide manufacturers with the resources they need to grow and expand their businesses, and to improve the sustainability and growth of the local manufacturing sector by increasing the awareness and utilization of resources available to our local businesses.

WHO KNEW THEY MAde it here?

Read the latest news and information about local manufacturing across northern Michigan. Learn more about local manufacturing events, education, company news, industry trends and more…

Michigan’s Creative Coast Podcast Episode: Silicone Meets Celluloid

This episode features Stacey Feeley, co-founder of sustainable products company GoSili and cartoon animator Jim Feeley, and their story of how a country gal actor met a city boy cartoonist on a warm November night in Los Angeles.


Britten is a 30+ year creative production house dedicated to delivering innovative signage, displays, and event branding solutions that make our customers stand out in a crowd. Leveraging the professional expertise of our creative team combined with our state-of-the-art printing, fabrication, and manufacturing capabilities, we partner with customers to bring high-impact campaign and promotional ideas into the world.

Left Foot Charley has teamed up with Northern Michigan’s best 18 growers to produce wines that display the range of aroma and flavor found among the glacially tilled hills of our appellations. Lake effect, soil composition, vineyard aspect, and grower mentality shape these flavors individually. Each vineyard sells only to LFC and the commitments go beyond simple cash per ton arrangements. Through mutually established goals, their farms are defining terroir in our appellations. Our goal is to bring their work to the bottle.

Interactive Aerial is a manufacturing & service company based in Traverse City, Michigan. Our team is currently focused on building robotic solutions to better address internal infrastructure inspections – specifically GPS-denied, confined space environments. Our 3 products: The Legacy One drone, Zenith robotic camera, and Photo Measurement Software are revolutionizing the way traditional internal inspections are performed.

Truly Free is on a mission to free homes from harmful toxic chemicals and excess plastic waste. Truly Free creates innovative, powerful & family-safe products in refillable & reusable packaging which empower families to protect themselves from harm & reduce their environmental footprint.

Header photo courtesy of Britten Inc.