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4260 Shetland Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Rena Basch

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I met with MSU Extension Agriculture Business Innovation counselor; attended Ann Arbor SPARK program “Starting Your Own Business”; joined the Food System Economic Partnership. I also asked many successful business people in our
community for their advice.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first group of customers came from an online survey that was emailed to friends and a list of food business supporters associated with the Food System Economic Partnership and MSU Extension.

Where did you find your first employee?
A Zingerman’s Deli partner referred her to me.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
I have not hired interns yet.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We have not needed capital to grow. We started small and have been growing the business organically.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business here?
If you believe in it, then go for it. More specifically, I would say first do a little market research, ask for advice from a variety of sources, but then trust your instincts. Rent what you need to get started, and then most importantly, stay focused on execution. Another piece of advice to keep front and center: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

What do you see in Metro Detroit that other people who live outside the area don't?
Southeastern Michigan is a perfect location for businesses such as mine that rely on the two traditional strengths of Michigan – agriculture and manufacturing. The urban and suburban areas of Metro Detroit have infrastructure and eaters, and at the same time, they are very close to agricultural areas with productive farmland and growers. An analogy could
be made that Metro Detroit is the perfect location for a lot of industries that rely upon natural resources and manufacturing, for example energy from wind or farm waste, fish farming, or production of bio-materials.

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