The Grind Coffee House
Making Coffee While Making A Difference
Limestone Federal Credit Union is dedicated to our community, and for over ten years we have enjoyed providing financial education opportunities to our children, youth, and adults.
In recent years, LFCU has shifted towards more unconventional methods of financial education. The most significant example of this is the student-run coffee shop, The Grind Coffee House. A collaboration between LFCU and Manistique High School, the coffee shop operates as a work-based learning class, where the students learn various aspects of owning and operating a small business. Conducting inventory, researching market trends, and pricing out products are just a few of the many skills the students learn in this engaging and hands-on entrepreneurial course.
We Sold The Grind Coffee HouseLearn More About The Grind Coffee House
On January 7, 2022, Limestone Federal Credit Union sold The Grind Coffee House. It was a bittersweet goodbye but the team knows the business will be in great hands.
Who does it benefit?
After all operating costs are covered, the revenue generated by The Grind Coffee House is awarded to teachers at area schools who apply for funding for various projects, classroom resources, and educational materials. From 2018-2022, The Grind has awarded 32 educators from three area schools, $21,103.96. These awards have provided educators with funding for tools such as Accounting Software, Dry Erase Desks, Gardening Beds, Mathematical Calculators, and Cookware Sets.
Additionally, tips earned while in work-based learning classes are awarded as scholarships to students at the end of each academic year. From 2018-2022, we have awarded $9,694.83 in student scholarships.
The Grind: Year 2
Back in 2019, two Grind students, Richard Parker and Mark Block along with Student Education Coordinator Alycia Kaiser, presented to the LFCU Board of Directors. The presentation consisted of an overview on what the two students and Kaiser had learned and the progress they had made with The Grind Coffee House.
Awards & Accolades
In 2018, Limestone Federal Credit Union received the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) at the state level, then went on to compete for the award at the national level. LFCU won at the national level and received the award in 2019 at the Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.!
Awards & Accolades Cont.
Throughout 2016-17, The Grind has been featured in numerous television news stories on TV6, ABC10, Local 3, as well as the cover of Cloverland Magazine. In 2017, LFCU received the Innovation Award from the Michigan Credit Union League. You can find out more about the Innovation Award here.
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Grind Students Partner With Local Business Owners
Collaborating with local businesses on ideas for The Grind Coffee House.
Year 2 At The Grind Coffee House
The Grind Coffee House has kicked off its second school year as a fully functioning business!
Visit The Grind on Facebook
View the latest news and happenings at The Grind Coffee House.
Youth Education Programs & Events
Youth Education Programs & Events
Since the beginning of our Youth Financial Program in 2004, LFCU has been committed to spreading financial literacy and job skills to our area youth. With the cost of daily living on the rise and the job market becoming more competitive each year, it has never been more imperative for students to learn the basics of money management and to develop a good work ethic.
Learn It. Plan It. Pitch It.
Limestone FCU and Upward Community Youth, Inc. host the first Learn It. Plan It. Pitch It. Event at Manistique High School. Learn It. Plan It. Pitch It. is a program modeled after Shark Tank where young entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas! We look forward to future events like this one in the near future.
Financial Reality Fair
The purpose of Financial Reality Fairs is to show students what a day in the life of a high school and/or college graduate looks like. Renting an apartment, buying a car, and choosing between cooking at home or fast food are among the selections the students choose from. This hands-on experience is a real eye-opener and gives the students insight into the importance of responsible financial decisions and creating a budget!
The Explorer Store
The 5th grade students at Emerald Elementary School have been able to get hands-on business experience operating their very own spirit store since 2009! The spirit store sells many items, such as apparel, school supplies, toys, tricks, and more! The spirit store is meant to provide the 5th grade students will the opportunity to run a store, order inventory, learn best practices in customer service, and count money.
“Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Volunteering is important to Limestone Federal Credit Union and its employees. Whether it be helping tourists at the Welcome Center, planning and executing the annual Salmon Derby, or supervising at The Grind being out and about in the community is something we all take pride in. Several staff members also serve on local boards and committees, such as Habitat for Humanity, Schoolcraft County Community Foundation, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, Rotary Club of Manistique, St. Francis de Sales School, and Schoolcraft Tourism & Commerce.
Area Youth Baseball Program
Team Chevrolet of Manistique announced that they would donate $500 to he Manistique 4H Baseball/Softball Club if they could get 20 vehicle test drives during June of 2023. Team LFCU answered their call! We sent multiple staff over to Team Chevy to test drive vehicles and show our support for the Manistique 4H Baseball/Softball Club. We sent enough staff to test drive 20 vehicles and helped the club reach their goal.
Offering Manistique an opportunity to recycle
Limestone FCU has set up a mini recycling facility in their vestibule where members of the community can bring plastic, paper, and other recyclable items. The dedicated staff at Limestone FCU voluntarily sort and store the items at their main office. The recycling service at Limestone FCU is entirely volunteer-based, with their team working diligently to sort and store the items, and Swanson Storage & Services handling the transportation to the Escanaba Recycling Center. Rex & Judy Slingsby also contribute by transporting the cardboard rolls to Lakestate Industries in Escanaba. These rolls aid in the creation of the famous Yooper Fire Starters.
Volunteered at the Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital Annual Gala
The Limestone team volunteered at the 2023 Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital Annual Gala! It was a night filled with laughter and memories. Thank you for all that you do for our community, SMH!
Volunteering at the Manistique Senior Center
LFCU was able to volunteer their time at the Manistique Senior Center. Staff members cleaned, power washed, and assisted in other projects needed.
Tri-County Safe Harbor
In October of 2019, the Tri-County Safe Harbor (which provides services to men, women, and children who have been victims of domestic violence) was in need of food and clothing for their pantry. The staff saw this and immediately wanted to help. They took up a collection and raised a little over $500 to stock the pantry as much as they could.
We put our building skills to the test
LFCU recently volunteered with Habitat For Humanity Hiawathaland. Staff members showed their skills by building walls, installing insulation, sealing windows, and more.
The Flood of 2018
In June of 2018, during the devastating flood in the Copper Country, Limestone Federal Credit Union wanted to find a way to help. Within a week, and many generous donations from members of our community, a U-Haul was filled to the brim with much-needed supplies such as water, clothing, and food.
Credit Unions For A Cause
There are many issues facing credit unions today – our concerns center around protection against debit card fraud, preventing data breaches, burdensome regulations, and finding ways to make the lives of our members better.
Received the State PAC Chairman’s Award
In 2022, Limestone Federal Credit Union received the State PAC Chairman’s Award in recognition of outstanding efforts for the State PAC.
Michigan Credit Union League Annual Governmental Affairs Conference
LFCU attended the Michigan Credit Union League’s annual GAC event in Lansing, MI. Attendees heard from lawmakers, received an update on the current regulatory landscape. Attendees also have the opportunity to advocate for credit unions with members of the Michigan State House and Senate including members in leadership and on key committees.
Coffee with Jack Bergman
Our Board Chairman, Jim Blanchard and CEO, Jennifer Watson, had the opportunity to sit down with Congressman Jack Bergman to discuss issues affecting credit unions and our members.
We appreciate the opportunity to meet with Lawmakers to discuss common sense regulation.
Visiting Washington, D.C.
Every year, credit union professionals have the unique opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and walk up to Capitol Hill to speak to their local representatives on important issues facing credit unions and our members. On two occasions in 2019, several of our Limestone staff members got to travel to D.C. and meet with several State Representatives such as Rep. Jack Bergman and discuss cannabis banking, debit card fraud, cyber security, and more.
More from Washington, D.C. Trips
The staff also had the opportunity to tour the Credit Union House while in Washington, D.C. According to their website, the concept of Credit Union House “took shape during a major legislative battle in 1998 and a resolution to increase credit unions’ political involvement and advocacy efforts at the national level. This was the beginning of a giant step in credit union history”. During the Hike the Hill in October 2019, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Rashida Tlaib visited and expressed support for credit unions and the efforts to make their communities better.
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Expanding A Community Driven CU to Sault Ste Marie!
Limestone Federal Credit Union is expanding to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to open a fully operational branch on Lake Superior State Universities campus. Expanding our current programs to college students will allow us to increase our reach, provide invaluable financial education and develop lifelong members.
Grand Opening Celebration of The Hub @ LSSU
Limestone FCU hosted a grand opening celebration of The Hub @ LSSU on August 22, 2023. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was performed by the Sault Sainte Marie Chamber of Commerce in honor of the grand opening. Attendees enjoyed music, networking with area businesses, snacks and beverages, and speeches given by Jennifer C. Watson, CEO of Limestone FCU, and James Blanchard, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Limestone FCU.
Future & Current Initiatives
In addition to open a credit union branch on campus, we have incorporated a Co-Branded Marketing Package with LSSU’s branding, have plans to establish Financial Reality Fairs to increase student financial literacy, are providing an Interactive Teller Machine (Smart ATM), will provide Information Security Check-Ups during special occasions or as requested, and are incorporating a debit card rewards program for LSSU.
New Student Packages
We believe 1stimpressions matter! We plan to provide co-brand welcome packages to incoming students to encourage participation in LSSU and LFCU.
Our micro branch concept allows us to stand up a new branch with all the tools members expect. Smart ATM’s, Texting, and Video, along with a host of online banking tools allow us to serve members from where ever they are.
Information Security Check-Ups
Limestone FCU is actively involved in promoting cybersecurity within our staff and membership. Our partnership with SineTech, LLC, would allow us to work one on one with students to identify risk on their devices, update endpoint protection, and assist with education centered around internet safety.
Financial Reality Fair
These events are a great way to showcase the schools commitment to students. We hope to offer these fairs during campus tours, Move-in Day, and special events as a way to promote the importance of financially secure students.
We offer a great rewards program that we are excited to offer LSSU students, faculty and staff, and the community of Sault Ste. Marie.
As a community-driven credit union, we believe it’s important to have a strong presence in the communities we serve. In May of 2023, LFCU joined the Sault Ste. Marie Area Chamber of Commerce as a way to begin building this relationship with community and local businesses.
Student Internship Opportunities
The new branch plans to offer Students internship opportunities where they will work alongside Limestone FCU staff in multiple business units. In addition, we anticipate hiring multiple student ambassadors, who would act as advocates for the credit union.
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