Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: November: Nov 02-05: Wednesday-What'sUP
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Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 05:36 am:

Remember when The Hut-Inn in Kearsage closed its doors about a year and a half ago? As it turns out, there are a couple of acres adjacent to this landmark which appears will make an ideal spot for expanding the Pasty Central kitchen and a new Network Center for Pasty.NET. Here's the news as reported today in the local media:

Hut Inn to re-open - Site of new corporate campus

(Calumet, MI) - Keweenaw based Internet provider Pasty.NET and the commercial kitchen of Pasty Central will soon join a third re-born Copper Country establishment in a new corporate campus. The Hut-Inn of Kearsarge, built in 1952 on a two acre parcel along US-41 north of Calumet, closed in May of 2004. Ground breaking is planned this month on a new production facility for Pasty Central adjoining the main building, which will triple the capacity of the web-based enterprise. The Hut itself is scheduled to re-open in the spring, featuring its traditional menu as a family restaurant, with the addition of a gift shop and observation deck for viewing pasty production.

Most notably the move will enable the Internet service to expand its broadband offering across the entire Upper Peninsula. Pasty.NET members, who currently log on to dozens of wireless HotSpots around Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, will soon find access points throughout the 906 area code, wherever DSL is available, thanks to a new joint agreement with SBC. Pasty.NET's expanded network center, as well as corporate and support offices, will be housed in the former motel building adjacent to The Hut.

The entire enterprise will continue to provide support for Still Waters, the Home for the Aged where Pasty Central was born ten years ago. The move will free up space at Still Waters for enhanced services to elderly residents in the area.

The half-million dollar expansion in Kearsarge is expected to generate a dozen new jobs. Financing is arranged through Superior National Bank, with additional funding sought for equipment and infrastructure through the Michigan Broadband Authority.

How often folks have stopped in to Still Waters, only able to pick up frozen pasties, asking if we couldn't have a spot to serve them hot and fresh. Thanks for the support of so many people who have helped Pasty Central to stay 'On The Air' all these years with a daily glimpse of life from the U.P. Soon this virtual community will have an expanded home in the real world, a special place we'll be inviting you to visit in days ahead :o)
Smfwixom (Trollperson) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 05:50 am:


By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 06:14 am:

Charlie -

Congratulations on the growth and expansion of Pasty Net and the Pastry Central kitchen. We look forward to visiting often.

Mr. and Mrs. Bill

By Smfwixom (Trollperson) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 06:15 am:

Great news, Charlie!

By Pam & Jim - Calumet (Pjgrill) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 06:15 am:

Great news on the re-opening of the Hut, it seemed such a shame to see that site just sitting there vacant. Good morning to all.

By Kelly Marshall (Kelly) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 06:50 am:

I couldn't be happier with the news. A wonderful meal at the Hut and a bag of hot, fresh pasties to take home for the family. Talk about a perfect day!
Gives us something to look forward to after the long cold winter.
Congratulations on the new venture, Charlie.

By Ray & Chris Saxe (Ray) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 06:56 am:

Congradulations! That is terrific news. Can't wait to visit the Hut/Paste Central's New International Headquarters.

Ray and Chris

By Tim in Oscoda (Timmer280) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 07:06 am:

Awesome News! All the best to all involved!!

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 07:15 am:

Great news guys! Keep up the good work.

By lz (Llamamama) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 07:17 am:

Good news! Hope someday to have the opportunity to visit the Hut!

By Brita Haapala (Britach) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 07:33 am:

This is SO exciting! Where does Mike Patterson fall into all of this? WIll he get all of the old favorites back on the menu?

Mike is very involved in the project, bringing a great deal of insight to re-establishing the menu, the atmosphere, and the quality of the dining experience. As you may know, Mike was the project manager for our original pasty kitchen expansion at the Baroni's building in Calumet, shortly after he sold the Hut in 1999.

By Cindy Lee Maki (Cindylee) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 07:34 am:

Great news Charlie, glad to see the Hut reopen!

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 08:17 am:

Charlie and everyone involved,
Congrats! Wow, the resturant idea is fabulous. Are you an inspriration to everyone, or what... to never let go of your dreams. Wow! Now we all have a place to 'hang' and eat our pasties, when we come up to visit ya'll. :)

By Randall Ollila (Rwolli) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 08:18 am:

Morning All.

Good news indeed, a Spring trip to the Keweenaw is being penciled in for May. Will even bypass the Ambassador and go straight to the Hut. Shhhhh can't tell sweetie tho cause she would consider that grounds for...... well youse can fill in the blank. Several scenarios come to mind. Enjoy the day everyone.

PS Does Charlies Post get him the 'Early Bird'?

By JARMO ITÄNIEMI (Japei) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 08:55 am:

Morning morning.. .warm autumn continues! NICE!!!

My link


By happyooper (Trigal) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 09:24 am:

Yay! The Hut's opening! You don't even know the disappointment I felt when I moved back home, drove up to eat at my favorite restaurant only to find it was closed. :'(
Good for you guys. And thank you!

By Robert Goniea (Rjgoniea) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 10:17 am:

Not to be cynical or anything, but does this mean Still Waters residents will no longer make the pasties? I'm not sure assisted living residents would be up for a regular commute to Kearsarge, but I'm probably wrong. Overall still great news. Good luck with the venture!

Robert, see our note to Vince Vega below.

By Steve Haagen (Radsrh) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 10:51 am:

Great news!!! I look forward to the trip there for dinner. The last time I drove past I thought what a shame to see it sitting empty.

By Tanya K. (Missskippy) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 11:40 am:

Yea!!! I'm so glad the Hut is re-opening. That is one of my favorite places to eat on the way to see my Mom in Ahmeek.

By Alison P (Ricelakealison) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 12:26 pm:

OH Pleeeease tell me that the ultimate in gingerbread will still be on the menu!!

A day skiing in Swedtown, a piping hot pasty, topped off with that gingerbread. PRICELESS!

By Mary Lou Curtin (Marylou) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 01:44 pm:

What Great News!!.....A wonderful "Vote of Confidence" for the future of the Copper Country...GO Charlie!!

By JAD, Oscar, MI (Jandalq) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 02:17 pm:

Whoopee! What a great venture for both, Stillwaters and Mike Patterson! The Hut is BADLY needed. I look forward to this turn of events!

By Inwis (Inwis) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 02:52 pm:

Great news!! I know folks in Oklahoma who hope the thimbleberry torte will be on the menu..Regardless us pasty cammer junkies will have a place to hang out in ..Terrific!

By Candy Goulette (Cagoulet) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 03:06 pm:

Congratulation, Charlie and crew! What a perfect re-use of a wonderful property, and a very good sign of things to come for the North End.

I'm glad to hear Mike will be back in his old stomping grounds, with lots of new (and old) friends coming by. Everyone who's ever been in The Hut has a favorite, but adding in pasties is great! (I vote for the thimbleberry torte.)

By Mel, Kansas (Mehollop) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 04:57 pm:

Wonderful news! It'll certainly be a spot on our treks up to the UP again - we missed having it available this past August.

By Vincent Vega (Theoneandonlykâ) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 05:56 pm:

What involvement will Stillwaters Assisted Living Facility have with the new Pasty operation? Will the home still be a benefactor of the pasty sales as was the case when the Pasty Central operation was started several years back? Or, is this now a private/for profit business?


A portion of the proceeds of every pasty goes directly to the support of Still Waters, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

A few years back, when Still Waters encountered some hard times due to changes in state regulation of Homes for the Aged, an appraisal of the business was determined, indicating a substantial value. The employees scraped together their shekels and bought Still Waters' stock in the enterprise, right at the very peak of the 'dot-com' boom. This provided vital support for Still Waters through a difficult transition. And in retrospect, the timing of the sale of the Home's equity in, Inc. came at its highest valuation per customer (we call them members), which was good for the Home. The employees, on the other hand, who bought in at the very peak of valuations, have had to work diligently to grow the enterprise, to make up for the loss in valuation per member by multiplying the number of members. (Through projects like our Keweenaw wireless broadband network).

So in answer to your question, this is basically an employee-owned business, with a portion of the proceeds pledged to the on-going support of Still Waters.

By Grace M Wetton (Gmw) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 07:53 pm:

Congratulations Charlie, Mary, Toivo & staff.
Hope the move goes well when the time comes!!!

By Helen (Heleninhubbel) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 09:05 pm:

Ahhhhhhhhhhh ok, Pasty Central expands.....Hut to re-open....... Where are the details????
Did I miss the spot to read up on the re-opening?????

By Helen (Heleninhubbel) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 09:08 pm:

Oh Daaaaaaaaa the info didn't come up the first 2 times I tried.....just the old info....computers....sigh

Thanks.....I am so exctied it is re-opening....I sure did miss it.....

By Richard A. Fields (Cherokeeyooper) on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 09:35 pm:

As a yooper in Oklahoma, if they bring back the Chocolate thimbleberry torte, I will come. Was there anything better than a burger with the seasoned fries followed by a thimbleberry torte with a hot cup of coffee. Plus there was the simple music in the background. Ah, those were the days.

By Downstatedon (Downstatedon) on Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 12:08 am:

Congratulations Charlie and Mary on the purchase of the Hut Inn. We will have another place to visit when we head North on our vacations. Good
Luck to you!!

By JARMO ITÄNIEMI (Japei) on Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 07:48 am:

Congratulations also from jAPEi

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 08:02 am:

Whooo-who, I tho't I was first there for a few seconds!

By Bryon J. (Bryonj2255) on Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 08:51 am:

Great news! I always loved visiting the Hut! Especially their malts.
Yum! I'll be sure to stop by for a malt and pasty!

By JAD, Oscar, MI (Jandalq) on Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 09:21 am:

As I recall, the original owner (Hendrickson/ Henderson?) had a simple menu (burgers,fries-best in the area,root beer, slaw?, ham sandwiches), excellent quality, modest prices, well-trained & disciplined wait-staff, courteous and helpful hostess, quiet classical or easy-listening music-- not invasive to conversation, & catered to families & that kind of folk. That's my request for the new Hut, and U.P.cabin decor. And, of course, your pasties!

By Cathy Kitchen Dittrich (Utahyooper) on Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 10:13 am:

I'm am so glad the Hut is re-opening. Our trip next summer wouldn't have been the same without a stop there. Now I can get my pasty fix at the same time as stopping at my favorite restaurant. Grandma Dodie will also be glad that it is re-opening because I know she loved to stop after her trips to town once a week.

By Mary Geshel (Maryll) on Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 07:54 pm:

Boy, what great news for the Copper Country! We sure missed The Hut. We were regulars and certainly missed Mike. He is the greatest! Can't wait for it to open again. Thanks to all that are involved in the process.

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 10:31 pm:

My oldest memory of the Hut was going there with my older brother in his 1954 Pontiac. I was about 6 so it was around 1956. They had curb service. The older guys were more interested in the girls serving us than the burgers. I hope you will bring back the steakburger deluxe w/ cheese, served on an open faced, toasted, bun with some of the fries stuck to the melted cheese. Of course it wouldn't hurt to have a frosted mug of rootbeer to go with it.
Good Luck with your expansion. You have a great location with a lot of history.

By Rose Fields (Rosemothernatur) on Friday, November 4, 2005 - 10:26 pm:

The Hut reopening! Hooray! Now I know where we will have lunch on our way up to Copper Harbor next summer!

By chris kramer (Chktraprock) on Sunday, November 6, 2005 - 08:18 am:

Congratulations! Wonderful to hear that the Hut will be opening again. After reading the article in the Daily Mining Gazette, one would tend to believe that there would no longer be an affliation with Stillwaters. Now, is it public information to know the percentage or agreement of Stillwaters profits from the pasty sales knowing they receive Federal and State monies to assist in the cost of care of the facility via of the residents who are not private pay? Can't help but be curious, if this is priviledged information or not. There is definitely a need for more eating establishments on the North end. Wishing you and those involved continued success!!

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, November 6, 2005 - 10:09 am:


The Gazette article had several inaccuracies and ommisions, beginning with the headline which referred to "Keweenaw County Acreage" (Kearsarge is in Houghton County). I stressed to the writer during the interview that the Pasty Project would continue and increase its support for Still Waters, which didn't make it to the article.

As you may know, support from the State for low-income residents of HFA's (Homes for the Aged) is only a fraction of the funding which Nursing Homes receive (up to 15 times as much). Thus, HFA's have had to find alternate sources of funding, which is how Pasty Central came to be. See today's Shoebox Memory for more.

By Mary Lou Curtin (Marylou) on Monday, November 7, 2005 - 09:19 pm:

Charlie approximatly how much money did Stillwaters earn last year from the sales of pasties?...We pasty lovers enjoy knowing that our elderly friends at Stillwaters benifit with each delicious bite we take.

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - 01:57 am:

Mary Lou,

In addition to a fixed amount per pasty, the rental of office space for both pasty administration and the Internet service have provided tens of thousands of dollars in support for the Home over the years. But very importantly in keeping Still Waters afloat to serve the elderly community - regardless of income - is the Copper Country United Way and individual bequests. Pasty Central can't take the credit for keeping Still Waters going. It is only by the grace of God and a lot of help from our friends.

Another exciting project every year is our annual Pasty Cam Color Calendar. The 2006 version is a 13 month calendar, with favorite scenes selected by visitors - and it is a beauty. We expect them back from the printer next week, in time for holiday pasty shipments. Here is the first glimpse of the cover:

2006 Calendar

Mary Lou Curtin (Marylou) on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - 05:22 am:

Charlie, Thank you for the information, however, I too am curious:... what is the specific "fixed amount" directed to Stillwaters for each pasty sold? This should be public information so I am comfortable asking the question?

By chris kramer (Chktraprock) on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - 07:14 am:

Charlie, Thanks for keeping us informed, but you are not on target with your replies to specific questions. It appears you are skirting the issues. As a customer of, I would like to know how the money I contribute relates to the Home. Of what I have read and understand, the new facility, the Hut project is a third entity or seperate corporation? Please inform...

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - 09:21 am:

Marylou and Chris,
I commend Charlie and everyone at Pasty Cam and Still Waters who assist and give of themselves, to provide for the elderly...where no one else will.
What Charlie and those at Still Waters give to others is priceless...and the bottom line is not a dollar figure.
Your posts reminded me of my husband...who took in his ailing mother, because there was not a facility such as Still Waters...and there were only nursing homes that warehoused the elderly.
For three years, my husband devoted his life to caring and supporting his mother...and when he talks about these years, he speaks of them as being the most enriching years of his life, 'when he finally got to know his mother, because of all the time they got to spend together'.
A lesson in life that you need to learn: people do for others, simply out of the goodness of their hearts...and no questions need to be asked of them.

By Mary Lou Curtin (Marylou) on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - 10:11 am:

Surfer....I think you are not in a position to comment on my post......Please do not assume that I do not appreciate what the good folks at Stillwaters have done......I have friends in the facility....and I have been intertested in their progress from day #!..... Did I give you the impression I needed a lesson in life?? ...Your husband sound like a great son...

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 07:50 am:

While I have been away this week I see there has been some colorful and sometimes heated dialogue, (and it's not even a full moon yet).

We haven't said a whole lot about finances in this daily feature, because most visitors browse this way for other reasons. But I don't mind answering the specifics for Chris and Mary Lou.

Since 2001 the proceeds from Pasty.NET and Pasty Central have contributed over $160,000 in direct cash payments and debt retirement for Still Waters. By comparison, during the same period the United Way has provided almost $35,000 in support.

Even after these sources, the non-profit home still operated at a deficit, never turning away anyone on the basis of their income. How has the balance of that deficit been covered? First, some very timely and helpful contributions have been received to help cover operational needs. Secondly, a moratorium on mortgage payments was extended by Rural Development. I could write a lot about that... how the federal government has helped make up for the lack of adequate support from the state government... but as I said before, that's not what most people tune in the Pasty Cam to hear.

As for the restaurant's re-opening in the spring, we see this as a natural next step for both the pasty enterprise and the Internet operation. There is space to expand our network center AND room for a new USDA inspected pasty baking facility (which will save us a ton on rent, by the way). As an 'Internet cafe' The Hut will have the best connections anywhere in the U.P., and in addition to a steakburger deluxe, battered cod, or chef's salad, etc., you'll also be able to enjoy a delicious Pasty Central pasty. (Somebody stop me, I haven't had breakfast yet.)

As you can imagine, there is a whole lot more to financing and running a business than just printing a menu, mailing a pasty, or providing a fast Internet connection. Excuse me if we ever seem to be 'skirting the issues' by not detailing the operational ins-and-outs of this employee-owned enterprise. Our hope is to continue providing support for Still Waters - the place where all of these ideas were born - as well as paying the bills any business has to pay (staffing, sales, payroll and property taxes, insurance, product vendors, etc., etc.)

If anyone needs more specific details, feel free to email me.

Charlie Hopper
General Manager
Pasty.NET / Pasty Central / The Hut Inn (coming in 2006)

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