• New Venue Spotlight: Cornman Farms

    FROM THE Summer 2014 ISSUE

    A popular chef opens a Civil War-era event space. 

WHAT STARTED 10 YEARS AGO as a hobby for Alex Young, chef and owner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse, has evolved into Cornman Farms, a 42-acre farm in Dexter that opened a unique four-season event space in May.

"The food is grown on-site. It’s prepared on-site. There are very few venues in the country that accomplish that all in one place," Young says. "Demand for the farm space became obvious when local friends and family wanted to have graduation photos and weddings here."

The venue itself is a relic. Young had the site’s pre-Civil War buildings restored, preserving the historic feel for celebrations and meetings of all sizes, from intimate anniversary dinners to 400-person galas.

The barn offers two levels of accessible space that can welcome up to 180 strolling guests or 110 seated. Its dining area is ground-level with a lofty ceiling of exposed, refurbished wood beams. The basement space offers a fullservice bar; there are wood-burning fireplaces on both levels. Down a short path from the barn stands the Farmhouse, a two-story Greek revival house with upstairs fitting rooms, a ground-level lounge and fireplace, and an open kitchen. The Farmhouse accommodates 80 strolling guests and up to 50 seated.

Cornman Farms offers in-house rental packages for chairs, tables, tableware and a heated tent for larger events of up to 450 people. Direct access to Zingerman’s Community of Businesses also helps simplify event planning.

Guests have full grounds access (lawn games are welcome), and can take photos with goats, cows and other pasture animals. Planners can arrange to have farm vegetables harvested to be served at their event.

"You’re booking an event at a working farm," says Kieron Hales, Cornman Farms’ manager. "We happen to have a beautiful barn, but truly the draw is that you’re on a farm eating farm-fresh food."

Lansing isn't just the capital of Michigan, but it’s also the central hub for the entire state—literally; it’s located within 90 minutes of 90 percent of the state’s population, making it both eventful and accessible for groups located throughout the state.


“Cannabis can have a presence in the dinner entrées and the desserts at an event. One of our panel experts from the event, Chef Sunflower [aka Enid Parham], plans the meals with ‘microdoses’ of cannabis so there is not too much consumed at one time,” says Connie Seibt, event manager and vice president of programs and education, ILEA Detroit. “It should be planned ahead for the type of cannabis to infuse in the foods, i.e. providing a relaxing mood versus high energy.


Congratulations to the finalists for Michigan Meetings + Events Best of 2020 readers’ choice awards. We look forward to celebrating with each of you at the awards celebration on Thursday, May 28, at the Gem Theatre in Detroit.

*Connect with us on social media before, during and after the awards with the hashtag #MIBestof

Best A.V Provider

AVL Creative
KLA Laboratories

Best Brewery/Distillery/Winery

Atwater Brewery
Bell’s Brewery
Founders Brewing Co.