Open Innovation and Creativity at GRid 70!
Meijer Hosts September Meeting in Grand Rapids
Students and professionals experienced creativity personified in downtown Grand Rapids at the GRid 70 complex. It is here that Meijer Foods opened its doors and shared its unique space and philosophy of innovation with GLSIFT members at the September 24th meeting.
Meijer QA Manager Cindi Cole explained that GRid 70 (Grand Rapids Innovation & Design @ 70 Ionia) brings together non-competing companies to share space and a spirit of creativity. Currently, the complex houses designers and new product development teams from Meijer, Amway, Steelcase and Wolverine, with space now available for expansion and new tenants. Collaboration among these companies flourishes on a daily basis as prototypes of boots, salads and office desks are shared and evaluated by all, allowing developers and designers to gain diverse feedback and ideas for improvement.
Chef Jen Gritters provided a tour of the Development Kitchens where new products are created for Meijer stores. She presented Meijer’s approach to new product innovation through the combination of Culinary Arts and Food Science.
After the meeting, members enjoyed meeting new colleagues and reuniting with old friends at nearby San Chez Tapas Bistro. Tapas were served family style to allow everyone to sample a wide variety of Spanish cuisine from appetizers to dessert. From the Bistec con Pimienta (peppered bistro steak, grilled medium-rare with tortellini and manchego mustard cream sauce) to the pitchers of Sangria with fresh orange and lemon slices, the great food and fun atmosphere made for a memorable night for GLSIFT members!