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Chaldean Entrepreneur Snacks His Way to Success
By David Najor :: Sunday, September 8, 2013 :: 23750 Views :: Business & Finance

 

H. Michael Robin arrived in Detroit from his native Baghdad, Iraq, in 1968. The Chaldean immigrant found a job loading potato chips onto delivery trucks.

That modest beginning led to Grandpapa’s, a snack food manufacturer that is part of Robin’s $15-million-a-year snack food business. From a newly renovated 140,000-square-foot factory at 6500 Davison in Detroit, Robin ships pallets stacked with cheese curls, cheese balls, and other snacks around the globe.

Locally, Grandpapa’s may be best known for its line of pork rinds, although that particular snack food is just the tip of a business operation that ships 99% of its production overseas.

From loading trucks to owning a far-flung export business was a journey of hard work and luck and seizing every opportunity.

“Determination and guts and a lot of hard work and don’t take no for an answer,” Robin, 66, said last week. “When you start something you have to really put 150%. It’s a lot of your own money, efforts, sleepness nights. Hard work will always get you there.”

In Grandpapa’s cavernous plant, employees wearing hair nets at various machines mix cheese and other ingredients to bake and package the cheese curls and other snacks. Grandpapa’s also is a “co-packer’ for other brands such as Better Made’s potato chips.

Grandpapa’s is now on the verge of major expansion, which Robin said will boost his workforce from 22 to about 70. The expansion is being underwritten by Urban Partnership Bank, a Chicago operation that recently opened an office in Midtown Detroit.

Invest Detroit, a nonprofit funding operation, brought Grandpapa’s to the attention of the bank. Melinda Clemons, a lending officer at the bank, worked with Invest Detroit and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to get Robin the funding he needed for his expansion.

Clemons cited Grandpapa’s strong business model, export focus, and the willingness to take over a vacant industrial building in the city of Detroit. “What a great success story,” Clemons said last week. “When we put all that together, we said, ‘Wow, this would be a great partnership for us.’ ”

Robin’s son, Michael, 24, serves as vice president and checks the export-oriented site Alibaba.com for leads on new opportunities. “I get inquiries from the most random countries in the world,” he said, including a recent query from French Guiana.

Many of products they ship overseas carry brand names such as America’s Best or Lady Liberty, and all are clearly marked as products made in the U.S.A.

“People love American product,” Robin said last week. “And when a person in Saudi Arabia or the Philippines or wherever eat American product, it’s a bragging right. It’s like I’m eating something superior to anything else that’s available. And that’s what sells.”
Media Propaganda, coruption, and conspiracy

Chaldean Justice League has noticed an ongoing and orchestrated bias in media.  Presenting information in an unfair and unjust way seeds a mindset that bears the fruit of injustice.  The propaganda used by the media has been recorded and captured by the Media Research Center. 

We share their findings with the Chaldean community as a demonstration of media propaganda and the injustice born of such fraudulent journalism.  The covert attempt to change the will of the people through propaganda is in itself corrupt. 

Chaldean Justice League

The Chaldean Justice League (CJL) is a group of concerned Chaldean community leaders working to address issues of injustice.  The CJL invites any Chaldean to join the league and assist in challenging unfair policies and practices. 

CJL Efforts:

  • Miller Boycott (Program Ended):  Organize efforts to boycott Miller brewing company for their support of anti-Christian hate groups.
  • Chaldean Business Discrimination (Program Ongoing):  Organize businesses to address unfair municipal or vendor practices relating to permits and product purchasing.
  • Christmas Grinch List (Program Ongoing): A program to provide information on businesses that refuse to acknowledge Christmas while using the holy day as a means to entice shoppers.  CLICK HERE
  • Voter Registration (Program Ongoing): Working with the Chaldean Caucus to register Chaldeans.
  • HDTV Converter Coupon Application (Program Ongoing):  Working to assist the Chaldean community in receiiving the U.S. Govt. $80 coupons for digital television converters.

If you have a cause or concern you feel the Chaldean Justice League should consider please e-mail ChaldeanJustice@yahoo.com.