The owners/leaders of four Ferndale businesses were recognized Tuesday by Ferndale's Mayor’s Business Council, an economic collective comprised of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and research and educational representatives.
Established nearly five years ago by Mayor Dave Coulter, the Business Council seeks to develop economic strategies and create a network of shared resources to inspire business success and job growth in Ferndale.
Each year, the Business Council honors local leaders and entrepreneurs who’ve made a great impact on the Ferndale business community. This year's event—sponsored by CBRE and Comcast Business Account Manager Tim McMurray—was hosted by Ferndale's newest restaurant, Otus Supply.
"There's so much about the Ferndale business community to be proud of," Coulter said. "It's important that we take the opportunity to honor those whose efforts have really shined."
This year's Mayor’s Business Council award recipients are:
2016 Entrepreneur of the Year: Drought
This all-female-owned business, led by four sisters—Caitlin, Jessie, Jenny, and Julie James—prides itself on being founded on sweat equity and ingenuity. The sisters, who united in 2010 to build their business around the production and distribution of organic, cold-press raw juices and cleanse blends, have built a successful business from scratch. The business has grown to four metro Detroit locations and their primary production facility is based here in Ferndale. In addition to a growing number of online orders, the Drought team ensures that no Ferndale residents will go thirsty for juice, with retail sales in downtown Ferndale’s business and restaurant district.
2016 Executive of the Year: Bradford Dahlhofer, B. Nektar Meadery
Brad and his wife Kerri, along with partner and friend Paul Zimmerman, founded B. Nektar Meadery in 2006, after years of experience as an avid homebrewer. From humble beginnings in the Dahlhoffers' basement, B. Nektar’s award-winning mead operation has grown into America’s largest meadery, and the first to join the ranks of Ratebeer.com’s top 100 best breweries in the world, a list it has not left since 2013. Brad’s talent for mead production and business acumen has helped him and his team not only build a business that is continually expanding, but also to shape the craft brewing industry as a whole. B. Nektar’s recent growth in Ferndale includes more warehouse space and a tap room on Jarvis Street.
Company of the Year: Campbell Fresh
It was big news in 2015 when it was announced that Campbell Soup Company would be buying Garden Fresh, one of Ferndale’s most renowned local businesses. Since the acquisition, moving forward as Campbell Fresh, the company has made a substantial commitment to supporting Ferndale. Investing over $1M in expanding their existing facility, retaining and investing in local employees, and maintaining robust involvement in community causes have been hallmarks of the company's mission to strengthen its relationship with the City of Ferndale, setting the highest standard for what it means to be a responsible corporate citizen.
Project of the Year: Hodges Subaru
The relocation of Hodges Subaru into the former Ferndale Mazda building on Woodward Avenue, near Eight Mile Road, not only solved a pressing space challenge for this successful business, but also transformed an abandoned building into a first-rate facility that enhances the appearance of this section of the Woodward corridor while creating additional retail development opportunities in their former location. The project embodies the high standard that residents expect of our businesses, as well as the standard our businesses hold themselves to as well.