The Oakland County area has an abundance of opportunities for existing businesses and new ventures.
When the going gets rough, the entrepreneurial spirit gets creative and resourceful.
The Oakland Press has gathered upcoming events, news and links to help business owners and professionals succeed.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Castachio Nuts celebrates a year of success

Castachio Nuts celebrates first year
Castachio Nuts of Lake Orion is cracking into the market with their snack treats, being placed in about 250 stores in Southeast Michigan, including many Hollywood, Busch’s and Hiller’s locations.
Established in May 2009, owners Scott Powers (left) and Richard Galbraith have done well in sales in their first year and continue to gain steam. They recently signed a deal with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations. “Also, we are working with establishing distribution on both the East and West Coast,” Galbraith said. Cracker Barrel is going to use the new Castachio Nut snack as part of their annual national promotion called Road Trip 2010, offering the snack in 650 stores nationwide.
Castachio Nuts products are also available in the following retailers: Kmart’s Michigan locations; Bed Bath and Beyond, 50 locations nationwide, including Great Lakes Crossing and Rochester and about 300 convenience stores, retailers and gas stations in Southeast Michigan.
“We will be introducing two new flavors, Zesty Salt-n-Pepper and Cajun Chili, which will officially be introduced at the upcoming All Snack and Candy expo in Chicago May 25-27,” Galbraith said.
For more information, call 248-933-0790 or visit 

FastTrac to the Future
General: The FastTrac to the Future conference will host about 1,000 attendees over the two-day event, bringing together displaced workers, the unemployed and people looking for alternative employment options. FastTrac to the Future, which was funded in 2009 by the New Economy Initiative in partnership with the Kansas City-based Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundation, aims to create 1,200 new startups over three years.

Dates: May 25 and May 26

Times: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Location: McGregor Memorial Conference Center, Wayne State University campus, 495 Reuther Mall, Detroit, MI 48202

Cost: Free

Registration: Online advanced registration is required. Register at

Who should attend: Individuals seriously exploring entrepreneurship and undaunted by the risks are welcome to attend.

Featured speaker: Pulitzer Prize nominee, vocal community advocate and successful entrepreneur Clifton Taulbert will kick off the conferences with a unique message of empowerment and hope for Detroit entrepreneurs. Taulbert, hailed by Time magazine as “one of the nation’s outstanding entrepreneurs,” received inspiration and encouragement from the elders he knew in the Mississippi Delta where he grew up.
  Agenda: The program’s breakout sessions will give guidance and resources to people seriously exploring the promise of entrepreneurship and who are ready to learn strategies around some of the pitfalls. This includes displaced workers, the unemployed and people looking for alternative employment options.

Local and national experts will discuss the challenges of starting a new business in seven different session topics on entrepreneurship.
Attendees will have the opportunity to talk individually with advisors about their business goals and explore suitable entrepreneurial training programs like the award-winning FastTracÒ, a premiere business development program that has been operating for 15 years. FastTrac is comprised of quick, intensive 3-to-10-week training initiatives for unemployed or underemployed individuals seriously considering entrepreneurship instead of finding another job.
FastTrac to the Future events are managed by TechTown and are supported by Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Biotechnology Business Consultants, Bizdom U, Detroit Micro-Enterprise Fund, Entrepreneurial Initiative of Southeast Michigan, Great Lakes Angels, Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, MichBio, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, Microsoft BizSpark, Mid-States Capital, MIT Forum, the New Enterprise Forum, NextEnergy, Oakland County, Operation ABLE of Michigan, SCORE, ShoreBank Enterprise, TiE-Detroit, TechBA Michigan, TechOne Printing and Wayne State University.

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