3 Takeaways with Cherry Republic, Capital City Market and High 5 Salts

Courtney Overbey

Friday, April 30, 2021

Businesses with proven success throughout the state offer “bottom line” advice for other entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to grow and achieve success in Michigan.

Located in the heart of downtown Lansing, Capital City Market is a full-service neighborhood grocery store that sells fresh, affordable and local products. Capital City Market features more than 1,000 locally made products from small businesses and entrepreneurs with a passion for food.

One of these entrepreneurs is Laura Romito, chef and founder of High 5 Salts. Handmade in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market, High 5 Salts is a line of organic seasoning blends that are designed to work with all five taste buds—sweet, tart, salty, bitter and savory.

Further north is Cherry Republic, another small business with proud Michigan roots. Founded in 1989 out of the trunk of a car, Cherry Republic now has retail stores in Glenn Arbor, Traverse City, Ann Arbor, Holland, Frankenmuth and Charlevoix. Cherry Republic celebrates Michigan’s Montmorency Tart Cherry through hundreds of homemade cherry-based products.

Working closely with these three businesses is Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC), one of the many programs created by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to help Michigan businesses thrive. PMBC provides business-to-business support with the goal of connecting Michigan suppliers of all sizes and industries with interested buyers.

In the following video, Capital City Market’s Mitch Cook, Cherry Republic’s Todd Ciolek and High 5 Salts’ Laura Romito share three takeaways for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to expand and grow:

  1. Don’t give up. As a supplier you can’t be shy, and you can’t quit. Don’t be afraid to approach buyers to set up a meeting so they can sample your products and learn more about your business.
  2. Expand your network. Focus on creating partnerships and relationships and be open to change. Agencies, consultants and resources like the MEDC can play an integral part in expanding your knowledge base and network.
  3. Tap into industry partners. Michigan is supportive of its local food industry. Be active and take advantage of the entities out there to help you, like PMBC.

To learn more about how MEDC can help businesses of all sizes expand and grow in Michigan, go to michiganbusiness.org/partnership.

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