Food Service & Agriculture, Retail, and Small Business & Startups

Amy Ruis sets table for neighborhood

March 11, 2014
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Amy Ruis
Amy Ruis.

Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a profile of one of the Business Journal’s reigning Top Women Owned Businesses finalists. The profile first appeared in the event program.

On the surface, Art of the Table is a successful 10-year-old retail store like many others located in its neighborhood.

But that would be selling it short, because Art of the Table’s roots run deeper than most neighborhood retail outlets.

“I feel that I have made a significant investment of energy, heart and finances in the Grand Rapids area — from Wealthy Street to Uptown — to neighborhood growth in general that Grand Rapids needed,” said Amy Ruis, owner and president. “I have created a business from scratch that has been well accepted in the community and continues to flourish. I feel honored to be one who is given some of this credit in having worked with fellow business owners, city leaders and friends for change over the last 10 years.”

Judges noted the business shows strong growth and called Ruis an innovator and risk taker. She is a resource and catalyst for redevelopment of the Wealthy Street business district and surrounding neighborhood. 

She has also served on the boards of the Wealthy Street Business Alliance and the Uptown CID and most recently accepted a position on the board of directors of the new Downtown Market.

When asked what she hoped to accomplish in a leadership position for one of downtown’s most important developments in years, her reply was succinct: “I hope to say that we achieve opening a $30-million market by next summer.” The market is, in fact, open now.

Art of the Table was nominated as a Top Women Owned Business in the $1.49 million and under annual revenue category.

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