Detroit is a city with low barriers. It's a city where a girl can quit her job, make granola, make a business out of it, come to Detroit, and get noticed. You can get Randy's Granola in 20 stores, and that, of course, includes Eastern Market.
That's what makes Detroit a great place.
Suzanne Vier and college buddy Randy TenBrink founded Randy's Granola
barely a year ago,
in May 2009. Visiting home from New York City, where she was then
living, Vier tasted some of TenBrink's granola and had what she calls
her "A-ha!" moment. Burned out on the corporate life, she saw starting a
company as a reason to move back to Grand Rapids...and a way to fully
delve into her love of food. This spring, Vier relocated her new company
to Detroit after being around the town's food entrepreneurs and
realizing "that there are a lot of dynamic and exciting things happening
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Q : Why did you choose to set up your fledgling business in Detroit?
A : I'm originally from Detroit and lived here until the age of 6. I grew up in Royal Oak, but my family has always had strong ties to the city. Detroit has a strong community of amazing food entrepreneurs, chefs, restaurateurs and other individuals who share a passion for food and business startup, and the level of collaboration and openness to new businesses is unlike anything I've seen anywhere else. I left a successful corporate career in NYC to start this business in Detroit because of the energy and work ethic that I found among my peers here.
Q : Do you feel that Detroit is a good place for other entrepreneurs to establish a business?
A: Yes, absolutely. Detroit offers entrepreneurs in any industry an opportunity to carve out a place for themselves amongst like-minded individuals and share ideas, collaborate, partner and grow. It's inspiring when I walk into a meeting like Open City or a local restaurant or bar and know that many of the individuals there have taken the same risks that I have and succeeded in their passion.
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