Success Stories

Alexandra Clark, Owner of Bon Bon Bon

Ever since Alexandra Clark fell in love with chocolate while working at a local ice cream parlor, she knew that a life of confectionary was her destiny. She’s traveled the world learning about the industry – graduating from Michigan State University’s Hospitality and Food Science program, studying agricultural economics of chocolate in New Zealand, attending French pastry school in Chicago, and obtaining a pastry certification from the culinary program at Schoolcraft College in Michigan. Clark has worked for over 20 chocolatiers and credits her parents who supported her passion for chocolate. At only 26 years of age, Clark is the owner of Bon Bon Bon, a local candy producer headquartered in Hamtramck, an enclave of Detroit. In 2014, she started her business in a tiny 475-square-foot factory, but quickly outgrew the space and opened a downtown Detroit retail location in 2015. Business took off and Clark soon realized that she once again needed a larger facility, so in 2016 she... Read More

After Christy Malone’s second daughter was born, she became concerned with ingredients used in disposable diapers. Searching for an organic cloth diaper alternative, she came up empty and decided to start Smart Bottoms. 

“My husband and I are both from small business families, so it was in our blood to start a business,” said Malone. “We are able to provide local families with jobs and help the local economy. That is why we are very committed to making sure that all of our products are made here in the U.S. too.”

Cloth diaper customers are eco-conscious and like local and made-in-the-USA products. “When we first started the company, we were the only U.S. cloth diaper manufacturer that was making an organic diaper,” said Malone. “Since then, we have stood apart from our competitors in our customer service. We stand behind our products. People very rarely have any type of quality issues with our products, and when they do, they know that we will replace or fix them.”... Read More

When people first meet Maria Marin, they see a petite Latina business woman in the trash and recycling business, an industry that is dominated by men.  Marin, CEO and founder of Unlimited Recycling, was inspired to start her company after receiving countless complaints about illegal dumping in the St. Clair River and Lake Huron during the time she worked for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  She decided to do something positive and launched her recycling business in 1999.  She became certified as an SBA 8(a) contractor in 2004 and business started to take off. 

In 2008, she received her first a five year recycling and trash disposal contract with the U.S. Department of Army, worth nearly $2,000,000, through the SBA 8(a) program.  Since that time, Marin has increased her dumpster inventory to nearly 90 containers, purchased four additional trucks and added other services, including balers, compactors, and hospital cleanouts services.  Unlimited Recycling is the... Read More

Russell Beaver, President and Owner of RB Construction Company, has been active in the construction industry for over 55 years. An ironworker by trade, Mr. Beaver founded RB Construction Company in 1984. Initially RB performed small concrete and steel erection projects. After establishing a formal builder agreement with NUCOR Building Systems in the mid-eighties, the company expanded its business to complete numerous pre-engineered metal building projects. In the mid-nineties, the company established a formal builder agreement with A&S Building Systems, L.P., which allowed RB to offer a wider array of products and services. The company has maintained that relationship for more than 20 years, and has received numerous awards of excellence in the execution of product design, delivery and finish. RB Construction Company has added distribution of United Structures of America, making it one of the premier, minority based pre-engineered building companies in of Michigan.

In... Read More