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Five South Bend businesses unite to form The Portage Collective

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When Annie Johnson first started her business, she was told that collaboration was key.

“The only way small businesses can compete like big box stores and Amazon is by working together,” Johnson said. “So this is kind of a sign of that.”

Johnson’s company, the care packaging business Take Care South Bend, is one of five local businesses that now form The Portage Collective in the area near the northwest of South Bend. Other businesses include Raw Oats and Refillery, South Bend Challah Company, AndAubreyWas Studio and Mind Your Beeswax.

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Renovation of a former detached house

According to Raw Oats and Refillery’s Kelly Bailey, the idea to form the collective didn’t necessarily stem from a desire to work with other businesses.

“Some of us were looking for space, but obviously the whole building is a little overkill for one or two businesses. I was looking for it, and from there a group was formed.”

The building will house The Portage Collective shop at 905 Portage Ave. in South Bend.  Five businesses will open to the public in his September at one of his locations in the Near Northwest Neighborhood area.

The former single-family home at 905 Portage Avenue has now been transformed into a space where each business owner can have their own corner space to showcase and sell their wares.

Raw Oats and Refillery offers homemade cleaning and beauty products. Take Care South Bend is a South Bend-based artisan item-crafted care package that allows customers to work more directly with their owners at the time of creation. For the South Bend Challah Company, it’s baked challah (pronounced haar), babka, and other Jewish heritage wares. For AndAubreyWas Studio, you can buy prints and fiber art, and take classes and workshops. At Mind Your Beeswax, customers can get beeswax balms, essential oil blends, herbal tea blends, and more.

The operator said it also plans to offer a small space in front of the building for other local businesses to sell their goods.

Pan's Group is located in the South Bend Chaler Company area of ​​the Portage Collective Shop at 905 Portage Avenue in South Bend.  Five businesses will open to the public in his September at one of his locations in the Near Northwest Neighborhood area.

Ward Baking Company has similar plans

The new collective is directly across from The Ward Baking Company, where developer Mike Keane plans to implement a similar idea and refurbish the space where several shops, businesses, artists and other tenants can operate. is located in

“[We]have the same landlord, but Mike is working on creating a shared space there,” Bailey said. I have.”