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Ludington eye doctor preserves town’s history by investing in local businesses, organizations

LUDINGTON — You may have seen Dr. Andrew Riemer at one of your eye appointments at Riemer Eye Center, but he doesn’t just provide his patients with a clear vision. He has one of his own: preserving and restoring his community.

“The community has been very supportive, and I’ve been just blessed with this great, great surgical practice. And because of that, I just really want to bring it back to community,” said Riemer.

Riemer has lived in Ludington since 1971. He first started as a pharmacist, then went to med school where he became an eye doctor.


He couldn’t get away from Ludington and wanted to open a quiet practice in town, but it has gone far beyond that.

“The businesses we build, creating careers and real jobs for people and supporting the Ludington community, which we just think is going everywhere” is an amazing opportunity, said Riemer.

He has just about 10 businesses that are either open or are in the works. They include Riemer Eye Centers in Ludington, Manistee, Cadillac and Reed City. He also has Stix, AndyS, Chuckwagon Pizza, Doc’s Sauble River Inn, Emerson Lake Inn, and Downtown Ludington Bank Building where a concept is under development.

Outside of his businesses, Riemer also contributes to the community through the Gus Macker Tournament, Riemer Regional Public Safety Facility, Riemer Farms and Riemer Real Estate Investments.


He said seeing historic businesses in Ludington close during the pandemic drove him to get even more involved. With each finished project, another opportunity would present itself.

One of those businesses, Chuckwagon Pizza, is set to reopen with a ribbon cutting this Thursday with a ribbon cutting. Former owner Rick Chapman worked at Chuckwagon as a kid and recently passed away. Stories like that are what inspire Dr. Riemer.

“You know, the older I get, the more nostalgic I get. Keeping these iconic places open, it just...the community loves it,” said Riemer. “I love history and so I want to hang on to and bring back those things.”

For Riemer, maintaining Ludington as a destination spot is his number one priority.


“What I’ve learned is that you can have local people that have interest in the community and train them, and develop them, and make careers out of what we’re doing here,” said Riemer. “That seems to be the best way to really promote the community. People are vested. It’s their hometown also. They love the place.”

Riemer certainly doesn’t take all the credit for the work he’s done.

“Couldn’t do any of this without a great support team. I mean, you can have a vision, and a thought, and a plan, but you got to have the A-Team to put it together,” he said.

“Ludington is a great community. I grew up here. I love this place. I want to keep it alive.”

Riemer said he hopes his kids and grandkids will carry on his legacy when he’s no longer able. But for now, there’s no end in sight.

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