NMU Alumni starts business and thanks hospitality program

Katelyn Milano shares her story after opening her own food business.
NMU alumni starts a business and thanks NMUs hospitality program.
NMU alumni starts a business and thanks NMU’s hospitality program.
Katelyn Milano

Two years after graduation, Katelyn Milano has started to reach her dreams; she has begun her own food business. While doing so she has been making use of what she learned in Northern Michigan University’s hospitality program. To which, she credits the ability to even prospect the steps to open a business, much less getting into the food industry. 

“[The hospitality program] has been helpful for menu planning, costing and standard operating procedure. It has been helpful for everything,” said Katelyn.

Katelyn worked very closely with Food Service Operations and Hospitality Leadership Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head Loganne Glendening and looks back on their time together fondly. 

“She was my mentor, she forced me out of my comfort zone, and she didn’t give up on me. She helped me learn in ways unique to me,” said Katelyn. 

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Katelyn Milano will be opening this business with her father Timothy Milano. They are in the process of opening a butchery and bistro offering cured meats, butcher services and sandwiches utilizing the prior.

“They make sandwiches based off of the products they are selling, like ham and turkey,” said Katelyn. “Both classic sandwiches and classy.”

She will be the majority owner of the place and is excited at the chance to open a female-owned business in Marquette County. 

“It would be cool too, if the business takes off, to look back and say ‘a woman started this,’” said Katelyn. 

The name of the business will be Milano Smokehouse Meats, named after the recently passed Glenn Andrews and his now closed store Glenn’s Smokehouse. 

“We wanted to keep his name alive and give the community back what was taken so abruptly from them,” said Katelyn.

She explained how Glenn Andrews was treasured by her family, and how close they were with each other.

“He was my dad’s mentor, he learned everything from Glenn,” said Katelyn.

The business the Milano’s are opening to honor him and keep his name and memory alive is still sowing and has some time before it blooms. 

“The opening time is undecided, and menus are still in the process of being completed,” said Katelyn. “And looking back on her time in university, she was filled with humility and shock.”

“I projected starting a business in five years, but the opportunity just came up. Five years was when I thought I’d be planning the business, and that I wouldn’t start it until my 30s,” Katelyn said. “That is one thing I learned from Loganne, that when an opportunity comes up you have to take it.”

Even at that point, Katelyn consigns the accolades of starting this business to Loganne Glendening’s teachings. 

“Loganne is very encouraging to every student’s dreams,” said Katelyn. 

With what Loganne taught her and overall what the hospitality program taught, Katelyn believes that opportunities like this are available to more than just her. 

“It is hard work but the Hospitality Program really drives the nail in the coffin on how to get a business up and running,” said Katelyn. “I believe anyone that does the hospitality program has the skills to open a business.”

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