A Keystone for Growth

At its inception in the late 1990s, Keystone Solutions Group set off to a glamorous start: growing and thriving in the basement of President Jim Medsker alongside his water heater and boxed-up holiday decorations. Although the company began with the single-tiered mission of product development, Medsker soon began receiving requests from clients that he take things a step further. They asked that Medsker start to manufacture and bring products to life. This kickstarted the evolution that’s made Keystone Solutions Group into the multi-layered company it is now.

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COMPANY
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

PHILOSOPHY
To design and build the best outdoor cooking and entertaining equipment in the world.

LOCAL ROOTS
The company traces its lineage back to 1906, when the Kalamazoo Sheet Metal Company was founded to make stainless steel equipment for the dairy industry. Though heralded for its seamless welds, which reduced bacteria to ensure food safety, the company faced a challenge when the local dairy industry declined in the 1990s.

A Groundbreaking Vision

On a hot and hazy Thursday afternoon in August, a small crowd spilled from a white event tent on a construction site in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A dozen shovels jutted from the brown dirt nearby, symbols of the groundbreaking on 180 East Water Street, a $70 million, 290,000-square-foot mixed-use development. Patti Owens, vice president and managing director for Catalyst Development Co., the project’s lead developer, stepped to the podium.

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