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Tatiana Grant

Tatiana Grant and Ericka Billingslea launched Flash Delivery in downtown Detroit earlier this year with an idea of bringing a comprehensive food delivery service to the Motor City. But when they started they didn’t know they would be working together.

The two Detroiters graduated from D:hive’s BUILD program, which teaches aspiring entrepreneurs the ins and outs of running a business, at different times with essentially the same idea but no idea who the other person was.

"In my head I always thought how am I going to run this business by myself?" Grant says. "This is very operations and logistics heavy."

A mutual friend at 24 Grille in downtown Detroit knew each of them and encouraged they get together to talk about their business ambitions. The meeting turned into what both of them needed to get the business off the ground.

"She and I met and we hit it off," Grant says.

The result was Flash Delivery, a food-delivery service in Detroit’s greater downtown area. The new business delivers food from local businesses, ranging from grocery stores to restaurants, to local residents in most of the neighborhoods within the Grand Boulevard loop. Among the participating businesses are 24 Grille, R.U.B BBQ PUB and Sala Thai.

"By doing this we allow them to get a sale and a customer they might not be able to get otherwise because they can’t put up and maintain the online infrastructure," Grant says.

The partners made the business work by playing to each person's strength. Billingslea handles the operations of the business. Grant, who has a background in marketing, handles the sales and marketing. Flash Delivery counted the Mike Duggan mayoral campaign as one of its early clients  and now provides its services to the DMC and Wayne County Jail.

Flash Delivery is still looking for new partners and clients to grow its business. Grant and Billingslea plan to spend 2014 establishing their business in the greater downtown Detroit area.

"A year from now we would like to expand beyond that radius," Grant says.

That calls for adding neighborhoods on the east side, like Indian Village, East English Village and the Grosse Points. They would also like to expand north into Boston-Edison, Palmer Park and Ferndale/Royal Oak.

- Written by Jon Zemke

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