Paul W: Garden Fresh is a local success story

Paul W. Smith

“Outta’ My Mind on a Saturday Moanin’”

In the spirit of Christopher Ilitch recently calling my morning show Relentless Positive Radio (with a nod to Gov. Rick Snyder), I want to extend that effort to this column.

■ In the shadow of the 2015 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Michigan and Northwest Ohio Awards this past Thursday, we congratulate one of the 2007 recipients, Jack Aronson. We aren’t eight years late in passing along the high fives, we congratulated him back then. These kudos are for his latest entrepreneurial achievement with his partner and wife, Annette. Through their hard and smart work over the past 17 years, they have caught the attention of the Campbell Soup Company and have agreed to sell their company, Garden Fresh Gourmet Inc., and all of the delicious salsa, hummus, chips and dips that come with it, for $231 million.

To say they have come a long way from their Clubhouse Bar-B-Q Restaurant they opened in 1988 in Ferndale, to starting Garden Fresh Gourmet in 1998 (when Jack would load up his truck with buckets of Salsa to make his fresh deliveries every day ) is putting it mildly and glossing over the long hours and personal and financial sacrifice to get to this incredible point. Jack told us on the radio show that many others have expressed interest in buying the company in the past, but the Campbell Fresh Division of the soup (and more) company best aligned with Jack and Annette’s personal philosophy on their products AND their people.

A great inspirational and feel good story for all of you entrepreneurs into your 40th hour of your work week by Wednesday.

■An hour before the ribbon cutting ceremony took place, Meijer Co-CEO Mark Murray called into the show to announce their second Detroit store was opening for business at Grand River and McNichols, just east of Lahser.

Thank you Mark and Meijer for your continued confidence in Detroit and your Relentless Positive Action.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.