Entrepreneur Christine Stamper told me the phone has been ringing off the hook since we announced her company, Crunch Granola, as the grand prize winner of BMN’s Up & Coming Entrepreneur Contest. That was music to my ears, as that is exactly what the competition was designed to do--promote awareness of new products being made in Michigan.
For those not yet familiar with the company, Crunch Granola, from Wolverine Lake, produces an all-natural, hand crafted, gluten-free, small batch granola. The packaging features a photo of a Michigan location taken by a Michigan photographer, and the company plans to continue to change the photographs periodically in order to highlight the work of other Michigan artists.
In addition to producing a tasty product, this business is also dedicated to helping bring food to those in need in our community. Since its inception Crunch Granola has donated nearly, 4,400 meals through their partner, Forgotten Harvest. Stamper says, “We don’t want to simply sell our product; our goal and the reason for our company is to make a difference. With that in mind, we are building the company on the foundation that 50% of our profit will be donated to local food banks.”
This goal may have been what resonated as much as the product among Facebook users who clicked their “like” button to vote during the contest. Kate Weisbly commented, “My vote goes to Crunch Granola. Clearly a great, healthy product, and an amazing example of a company that truly ‘gives back’ to the community with their donations to food banks and partnership with Forgotten Harvest.”
Michigan in Metal features the unique metal artistry of Scott Snow. He creates a wide variety of products from bottle openers and ornaments to clocks and wall décor. Many feature the likeness of the great state of Michigan. Facebook user, Wendy Nash commented, “Scott's work is much bragged about because it deserves to be bragged about! I'm a repeat customer and have been told some 'giftees' became 'giftors'. Quality and pride sells. Scott offers both (and more).”
The other finalist, Samsational Jewelry, is the brainchild of a seventh grader at Hillside Middle School in Northville. Designer Sammi Yungman is off to an impressive entrepreneurial start. According to Yungman, “I have been working very hard in the last six months to grow my business through networking organizations, craft fairs, and showing my work to galleries. I have recently sold over a hundred of my designs.”
We’re extremely proud to be able to help more people discover the work of all three of these Michigan entrepreneurs. Each is unique in their contribution to our economy, as well as the betterment of our community. I congratulate them all, and hope you’ll take a few moments to learn more about them and share their story with others.
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