West Michigan Biz Beat: August 2023

A round-up of new businesses in West Michigan, along with closings, relocations and other changes for local businesses.


Seed Sound Studios set up shop at 1415 Plainfield Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. Run by two local artists, Chris Bota of Desmond Jones and Hannah Laine of Earth Radio, the studio is all about vocal empowerment coaching, songwriting, music theory, guitar and piano lessons, improvisation training, workshops, performance coaching and more. Find your sonic signature here!

Expanding from their original Battle Creek location, Gatos Mexican Buffet joined Grand Rapids at 1 Carlton Ave. SE, the former site of Danzon Cubano. You can head here for both lunch and dinner to enjoy an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet, along with a taco and nacho bar. The buffet has the staples like rice, beans and meats, along with chimichangas, guac, queso, mini wet burritos, fajitas, salsa, ceviche, and more. Plus, margaritas!

Enjoy fro-yo before or after your movie at Studio Park with Elsa’s (121 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids), which just opened doors. Pick from more than 12 flavors to start in whatever size you’d like, then load up as many toppings as you want—they don’t weigh (or judge). 

Hot pot has arrived in Grand Rapids in the form of King Pot, a Korean BBQ and hot pot eatery at 4176 28th St., Kentwood. If you’ve had Korean BBQ before, you know the drill—you order your meats, veggies and sides as a table, and cook them up right there on a grill. Hot pot is the same concept, except with a communal soup, which means you also have noodles, broths and additional veggies to work with.

Over on Front Avenue, right across the Grand River from Sixth Street Park, you’ll find 5Knives Café, a new breakfast and lunch eatery with high quality grab and go options. Stop in at 678 Front for affordable yet fresh morning options like a chorizo egg and cheese wrap, and come through at lunch for creative but approachable sandwiches like the eggplant pesto panini and grilled steak sandwich. They also have sushi, fried rice, quiche du jour and more!

Now open at 4318 Plainfield Ave., Grand Rapids is Joy of Sprinkles, a new bakery from a dental hygienist and mother of five who wanted to turn her hobby into a business. There are all kinds of different sprinkle blends to take home, from Unicorn Barf to Enchanted. Of course, there’s also a big selection of baked goods, from cookies to muffins to brownies and beyond. 

K-Pocha opened doors at 5751 Byron Center Ave. SW, Wyoming, serving up exceptionally distinctive Korean street-style food. There are crowd-pleasing options like Korean-style wings, loaded fries and the Tater-nado, a spiral cut, deep-fried potato topped with spicy mayo. Or build your own corn dog, starting with the base—batter, ramen, hot Cheetos, Fruity Pebbles, it’s your choice! Then you choose a filling, like the classic beef hot dog, a mozzarella cheese filling, or a combination of the two. They also have bingsu, a light and fluffy shaved milk treat.

Get your dessert bar fix at Qwake Bar Bakes, now open at 2927 28th St. SE, Kentwood. Locally owned by a pastry chef, the eatery aims to provide high-quality, from-scratch baked goods. The bars range from small bites to party-sized, and flavors include options like White Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter Brownie, Grandma Dot’s Banana Bread and many more.