Among Detroit's thriving business community is a growing number of minority and female-owned businesses. These range from small to mid-sized companies and many new startups. The below list includes five such successful Detroit-based businesses across various industries.
Strategic Staffing Solutions
Strategic Staffing Solutions is a successful, long-standing staffing business originally founded by Cynthia Pasky in 1990. While Strategic Staffing Solutions is now a large organization, it started out as a small business. It's a true testament to just how successful a company can become with a strong, business-minded leader. By the end of Pasky's first year, the founder, CEO and president of this Detroit-based staffing company employed over 40 people, and posted revenues of $2.3 million. In 2015, the company celebrated their 25th business anniversary by posting $302 million in revenue. It's very important to Pasky to create jobs and provide opportunities, and one way Strategic Staffing does this is through its phenomenal internship and veteran & military spouse hiring programs.
Walker-Miller Energy Services
Walker-Miller Energy Services helps both individuals and organizations with innovative and cost-effective ways to "meet the demand of the ever-changing energy landscape." The company was founded in 2000 by Carla Walker-Miller to "bring undeserved populations into the critical energy dialogue and promote energy efficiency as foundational to our energy features." The company was recognized in 2015 as a Best Small Business in Southeast Michigan by the Michigan Small Business Development Center and awarded the Woman-Owned Business of the Year by SBA.
Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles
Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles was opened by former NFL Detroit Lions player Ron Bartell. It offers a variety of breakfast and soul foods, including its namesake chicken and waffles. According to the restaurateur, Kuzzo is "a term of endearment for one who is a friend or family member." After Bartell's retirement from the NFL, he wanted to bring that sentiment back to his hometown neighborhood in Detroit. "We wanted to show that you can come back to the neighborhood and think big," Bartell told ClickOnDetroit in 2015. Since its opening, the eatery has received a number of accolades, including best chicken and waffles in Detroit by Metro Times.
If you're a health fanatic with a sweet tooth, Sandy Stojkovski may be your new favorite person. The University of Michigan graduate is a former automotive industry executive turned entrepreneur with her business, iServe, Inc. She and her partner Nenad developed a way to create healthy, delicious frozen yogurt treats at home. Their iServe Soft system is "dish free" and easy to use with just four quick steps, bringing store quality soft serve to your home. A portion of the proceeds even go to food-related charities.
Hacienda Mexican Foods
Hacienda Mexican Foods is an authentic, family owned and operated store owned and run by Detroit local Lydia Gutierrez. The store boasts not only the highest quality ingredients, but also those that are homegrown right in southwest Detroit. Gutierrez and her late husband originally started the company as a storefront with just eight employees, which has now grown to more than 50 employees, including online ordering and the availability of products in more than 15 states as well as in Canada.
This article was written by Suzy Fielders for CBS Small Business Pulse
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