The Fire Station to share space at Ralph’s Italian Deli
ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - Ishpeming could soon have its first marijuana dispensary, and it’s going to share space with an iconic business in town.
Right off the US-41 roundabout in Ishpeming is Ralph’s Italian Deli. This business, on a busy section of highway, is planning to share its space with The Fire Station, an Upper Michigan based marijuana retailer. The Fire Station co-owner Logan Stauber describes what the business relationship will look like.
“We are looking to open our 8th location in the city of Ishpeming at the Ralph’s Italian Deli,” said Stauber. “Not to worry, the cudighi is not going anywhere. Ralph’s is going to consolidate and become a grab and go shop in the rear of the building and our plans are to use the front of the building for the Fire Station.”
The Ishpeming City Council voted in January to permit marijuana businesses after the city initially opted out of allowing them. The Fire Station co-owner Stosh Wasik says now that the Ishpeming Planning Commission has approved its site plan and permits, its time to start working on architectural designs.
“I would hope to be open by Christmas 2022 but it really depends on any delays with COVID and supply chain issues,” said Wasik.
For Ralph’s Italian Deli owner Bruno Gervasi, the chance to share the location presented him with an opportunity to settle down.
“I’ve been doing this for over 50 years and I’m kind of ready to semi-retire and maybe soon retire completely but I still want the food and the name to go on,” said Gervasi.
Gervasi also says all the take-out options at the deli will remain the same.
“The only thing that’s going to change is our deli is going to be downsized, we’re going to try to concentrate on our homemade products like our homemade buns, cudighi, sausage and spaghetti sauces, things like that,” he said.
Brice Sturmer, the owner of Velodrome Coffee, is also in the application process to start a marijuana retail store in Ishpeming. He says the business would be a completely separate operation from Velodrome, in a different space, but with similar ownership values.
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