Noonday Market, a $4.4 million convenience store and Mobil-branded gas station, was the first investment for Gun Lake Investments and the first non-gaming investment within the Gun Lake Tribal economy. The business, opened in 2017, is a major milestone, as it marks the beginning of significant diversification efforts for the Tribe. The $4.4 million investment also demonstrates the Tribes commitment to the community.
The investment honors Chief Noonday, a former Tribal chief in the early 1800’s. As a leader of the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians, he was one of the first to arrange trading between Native Americans and the early settlers of the region. Noonday was also entrepreneurial, having founded a lumber business to supply the early furniture industry. He spent his later years within the Gun Lake community. Noonday Market fulfills Gun Lake Investment’s commitment to community development. The store, located on Gun Lake tribal trust land, provided the Tribal economy its first retail business. Not only does it provide a convenient option to traffic along the busy U.S.131 corridor, but it serves as a neighborhood store for the local community. Product and fuel options are tailored to the needs of the surrounding residents, including fresh food, household staples, and hard-to-find fuels.
The success of Noonday Market was largely due to the assistance from J&H Family Stores, a local family-owned operator of over 50 convenience stores. Through this partnership, their team brought three generations of experience to this project to aid at every step. They continue to provide management services today. Other firms played very meaningful roles in the project — Seven Generations A&E, owned by Mno-Bmadsen, an economic development corporation owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, and Rockford Construction, a Grand Rapids based construction manager that works throughout the U.S., including Indian Country. Sovereign Finance, a native-owned financial consulting firm provided investment services.