So much of Michigan's history includes delectable foods & beverages from all around the state. While some invention dates aren't clear, many are available to create a timeline of delicious goodness -- some still available only in the Midwest and other brands that have become American Icons.

When was the pasty invented in Michigan?

Timeline: 1840s. The pasty can be traced back to the 1200s. In Michigan, the pasty started in the Upper Peninsula in the 1840s. This deer hunting, fall comfort food staple still thrives today.

Photo Credit Cornish Pasty by David Johnson - Wikimedia Commons via Wikipedia / CC By 3.0 (No Changes Made)
Photo Credit Cornish Pasty by David Johnson - Wikimedia Commons via Wikipedia / CC By 3.0 (No Changes Made)
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When was Vernors Ginger Ale created in Michigan?

Timeline: 1866. Created by pharmacist James Vernor in Detroit. The ginger was known to settle an upset stomach. (And delicious in a Boston Cooler.)

Photo Credit: Vernors Dr. Pepper Snapple via Wikipedia (no changes made) Logo used to feature history of Vernors in News Article
Photo Credit: Vernors Dr. Pepper Snapple via Wikipedia (no changes made) Logo used to feature history of Vernors in News Article
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When was Zehnder's & Bavarian Inn Chicken started in Michigan?

Timeline: 1888ish. The Exchange Hotel started serving chicken dinners and was later bought out by the Zehnder's family around the Great Depression. They continued the name for some time after.

When was Mackinac Fudge started in Michigan?

Timeline: Late 1800s. This Michigan "must-have" is synonymous with trips to Mackinaw Island. The Mackinaw Bridge celebrates its birthday each November 1st since 1957. It turned 65 in 2022.

Mackinaw Bridge
DougLemke
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The 1900s really fired up for food & beverage inventions in Michigan.  This marks the century of Flint-Style Coney Islands, Gerber Baby Foods, Detroit Style Pizza and delicious Koegel Meats. Many of these brands would start and thrive as the automotive industry took hold in Flint, Michigan.

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When was Kellogg's Cereal started in Battle Creek, Michigan?

Timeline: 1906. Originally started as Battle Creek Toasted Flake Company. Kellogg's has produced it ever since.

Old Kellogg's Advertisement circa 1910
Kellogg's Toasted Corn Flakes Advertisement Photo Credit: Public Domain via Wikipedia
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When was Faygo Pop created in Detroit, Michigan?

Timeline: 1907. Faygo celebrates its 115 birthday in 2022. Its creators were Ben and Perry Feigenson and first flavors were fruit punch, strawberry and grape. Check out the most popular flavors, here.

When did Koegel Meats start in Flint, Michigan?

Timeline: 1916. Over 100 years later, Koegel still uses the same recipes and delivers its own products to retailers in the Midwest. Pickled Bologna has been around over 100 years and always seems to be a deer hunting season staple. Flint Style Coney Islands wouldn't be anything without Koegel's (but those weren't invented for a few years yet).

Flint Style Coney Island
Flint Style Coney Island Photo Credit: Public Domain via Wikipedia
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When did Halo Burger get its start in Flint, Michigan?

Timeline: 1923. Originally, the Olive Burger was started by "Kewpee Hotel Hamburgers in Flint," Michigan. Bill Thomas' Halo Burger would join Kewpee. Then, separate in 1967. The timeline of ownership and name usage isn't entirely clear. Kewpee still operates locations in Ohio. See a menu and throwback pics & history, here.

When did the Flint Style Coney Island start in Michigan?

Timeline: 1924. Coney Island Hot Dogs originated in Ellis Island and associated with Coney Island, NY. Michigan towns started creating their own take over the years. Jackson, Kalamazoo, Detroit (chili slopped on top of a hot dog -- gross, IMO) and Flint-Style. Ground beef heart was originally used, but variations are aplenty. (Think the invention of Koegel's, Angelo's and Abbot's meats along the way.) You can do a quick google search for easier, non-beef-heart recipes, too.

Where was Gerber Baby Food started in Michigan?

Timeline: 1927. Fremont Michigan was the original home to Gerber Baby Food. Now the company produces all sorts of baby products and is owned by Nestle, headquartered in New Jersey. (Baby Bananas were always the MVP in our house.)

Founder Daniel Gerber By Anna Salova - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23315406
Founder Daniel Gerber By Anna Salova - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23315406
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When was Better Made Chips started in Detroit, Michigan?

Timeline: 1930. Better Made is legendary in Michigan. Their flavors and types of snacks have grown over time. They'll celebrate 100 years in business, soon.

Logo of Better Made Potota Chips Photo Credit: Public Domain via Wikipedia
Logo of Better Made Potota Chips Photo Credit: Public Domain via Wikipedia
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When was Jiffy started in Michigan?

Timeline: 1930. Originally Chelsea Roller Mill started in 1887 in Chelsea, Michigan. They created Jiffy Mix in 1930 -- this convenience changed lives for families all over the United States by saving food preparation time in the kitchen.

Jiffy Mix Company
Photographer: Dwight Burdette Photo Credit Dwight Burdette Chelsea Milling Company, 201 West North Street, Chelsea, Michigan-Jiffy Mixes via Wikipedia / CC By 3.0 (No Changes Made)
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Where was Superman Ice Cream invented in Michigan?

Timeline: 1933. The famous blue, red and yellow ice cream got its start in Detroit, Michigan. During prohibition Stroh's Brewery decided to make non-alcoholic products to stay in business.

Where are Vlasic Pickles made in Michigan?

Timeline: 1942. Founder Frank Vlasic immigrated to the United States in 1912. Then, he made cheeses. Upon moving to Imlay City, Michigan he started the Vlasic Pickle company... to this day, Vlasic is sold around the US by Conagra.

Vlasic Pickles Logo Photo Credit: Public Domain via Wikipedia
Vlasic Pickles Logo Photo Credit: Public Domain via Wikipedia
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Who created Detroit Style Pizza in Michigan?

Timeline: 1946. Buddy's pizza is credited for this style pie. Shield's pizza was created when an employee associated with Buddy's started the shop and knew the recipe. Some call it Sicilian style. Many now call it Detroit Style. Its thicker crust goes up the side of a square pizza pan with cheese to the edge. It makes a chewy and crunchy crust, plus a "racing stripe" of sauce on top. You won't believe the amount of debate on this style of pie.

Detroit Style Pizza from Calphalon Bread Pans Photo Credit: CarbertWiki - Own work via Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0
Detroit Style Pizza from Calphalon Bread Pans Photo Credit: CarbertWiki - Own work via Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0
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What is Chapati?  Where was Chapati invented in Michigan?

Timeline: 1970s, but not really. Chapati has many spellings. It's also known as roti. In Ann Arbor, Michigan Chapati is pita bread stuff with salad. In the 1970s the Michigan-fied version became popular. Pizza Bob's and Pizza House are a couple of the spots you can get it. I planned to provide a pic of it, but too many clicks around the website to find it -- worth trying, though.

When was Biggby Coffee started in Michigan?

Timeline: 1995. Biggby Coffee started in East Lansing, Michigan in 1995 and has expanded around the state. Move over Starbucks, Biggby has more creative drinks like the Redbull Creme Freeze (sounds gross to me haha), but it doesn't get more "Mitten" than that.

PS. If you're wondering why Paczki didn't make the list.. it's because those started in Polish communities in Poland before they ever made it to Michigan (literally centuries of history). That said, they're delicious and even better when ordered from authentic shops around Hamtramck, Michigan.

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