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Record-breaking heat good for businesses in St. Joseph, Michigan

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- This was the first summer in 33 years that the city did not have the Venetian Festival, but local businesses said the warm weather more than made up for the loss.

 

Now, local businesses are hoping that economic energy lasts through the fall.

Families and friends flocked to the streets of downtown St. Joseph this holiday weekend to soak up the sun and the last few weeks of summer.

For Cabanas Ice Cream and More, the record-breaking temperatures this season was an added bonus. "

A lot of smoothies walked out the door this summer," said Cabanas owner Alycia Sass.

 

Even though it was hot this Labor Day, it did not stop folks from enjoying the best seat in the house. "Obviously being high on the deck you have a great view and nice breeze, but you are also right underneath the sun," said Rye Belles manager Nathaniel Bishop.

 

Bishop said this is the restaurant’s first full season and things could not be going better since the local joint opened in November last year. "We have been busy all summer but we sort of had a grand finale, if you will, this past weekend. So, it has been really nice".

Even with the Venetian Festival gone, local businesses said they did not suffer. 

For them, it was just as busy this year as in the past. "With the warmer weather this year, with or without the Venetian Festival, we did much better," said Sass.

 

Local businesses said they are riding out the warm weather and say it will help them stay afloat if the cost of food and ingredients goes up because of the summer’s drought.

However, the warm weather has not been as kind to farmers. So, restaurants like Rye Belles said they will continue using fresh, local ingredients as much as it can to help support the local farmers in the area. 

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