2018 Award of Excellence Recipients


Karl’s Cuisine  

Karl’s Cuisine is a restaurant that serves up mostly fresh, state and local food made from scratch. Pair that with a glass of wine or beer made in house, and enjoyed while watching a 1,000-foot-long freighter floating by – that’s Karl’s Cuisine, Winery and Brewery!

Karl and Paula believe it’s important to invest back into the community by supporting their employees, local charities, schools, community, and religious organizations. Between the winery and the increased operations with the brewery, 14 new jobs were created. Today the business supports 25 employees. All the employees take pride in their job and are valued by owners, Karl and Paula.

Karl and Paula are dedicated to their responsibility to serve fresh, wholesome, grass-fed, wild-caught, free-trade, and locally grown food as much as possible. They work with Michigan State University Extension and Northern Initiatives to help continue to grow in their business. They are committed to promoting local farmers, grocery and health food stores, the community and the state as a whole.


Karl’s Cuisine video


Keweenaw Brewing Company

Keweenaw Brewing Company was founded in 2003. The “KBC”, as it’s referred to by the locals, is a microbrewery. As such, no food is served. KBC sells their beer wholesale and in their taproom. The KBC taproom is located in the center of historic downtown Houghton. Its rustic barn-wood interior welcomes all with cozy, homey comfort. A large fireplace area, outfitted with couches and footrests, completes the inviting scene. For the truly obsessed, the fragrance of hops and the heat from the kettle of the 16 bbl brewing system offer further reasons to venture this far north for a visit.


Keweenaw Brewing Company video


L.E. Jones

L.E. Jones Company  is the world’s largest manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty valve seat inserts. The company develops and supplies precision valve seat inserts for the world’s premier engine manufactures. Founded in 1941, and located in Menominee, MI, L.E. Jones recently celebrated their 75th anniversary and currently employs over 400 individuals.

L.E. Jones invests in the equipment, facilities and people that allow them to take full advantage of technological advancements. They’re proud to employ innovative metallurgists and engineers. Their team currently holds numerous patents in various jurisdictions around the world—all developed to meet customer needs. L.E. Jones believes their employees are their number one asset and support ongoing education for their technical team and pledge to provide them with the facilities and equipment needed to do their very best work.


L.E. Jones Company video


Lake Shore Systems



Lake Shore Systems, Inc. has been designing and manufacturing equipment in the U.P. for the maritime and mining industries since 1858. The company began as Lake Superior Foundry Company in Marquette, founded by Charles T. Harvey, builder of the Soo Locks and the first elevated railroad system in New York. The company has changed ownership over the years, but has maintained its primary manufacturing and engineering facilities in the U.P. for the entire 160 years and counting. The current primary locations include Kingsford, Iron River, and Ontonagon, MI, and Rhinelander, WI.

Lake Shore’s vision is to be the premier provider of safe, reliable, innovative equipment and solutions for the maritime and mining markets. They currently provide various maritime products and Cannon mining products. The company employs 400 people, primarily in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northern Wisconsin. Another year of strong growth is expected in 2019.


Lake Shore Systems, Inc.