Catering to Detroit's schools

favorite business edibles rex
Tammy Tedesco, far left, with some of her staff.
  • Business: Edibles Rex
  • Location: Detroit, Mich.

Tammy Tedesco founded Edibles Rex two decades ago to cater corporate and social events. In 2001, she refocused and started catering to schools. Now, her company provides 10,000 nutritious meals a day to students at charter schools in Detroit.

Biggest business challenge: "Detroit is really depressed right now, and it's hard for small businesses to get capital from banks," Tedesco said. "It's also hard to find qualified people, especially middle management, as we try to scale to the next level."

Best advice: "It took me a long time to understand the importance of networking and getting connected," she said. "The connections are what get you to the next level. It's what got me to this grant."

What she plans to do with the grant money: "We purchased a building a few years ago that needs a $2 million renovation," she said. She plans to expand their kitchen capabilities so Edibles Rex can manufacture and distribute some of the most successful food items beyond metro Detroit.

First published January 21, 2014: 10:31 AM ET
Nearly 35,000 small businesses from all 50 states submitted applications for consideration to receive a $250,000 grant from Chase and a trip to Google headquarters. More than 1.7 million people voted; businesses that received at least 250 votes continued onto the judging phase, where a panel of 12 judges selected these 12 businesses.

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