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Former Garden Fresh CEO Discusses New Book and Building Successful Business In Metro Detroit

Before Campbell’s Soup bought Garden Fresh Gourmet, it was a Michigan-based company deeply in debt. Warren native David Zilko took over the company and turned it around to make it profitable. The former Vice Chairman of Garden Fresh has a book — Irrational Persistence — chronicling his experience and business advice.

Zilko says he hopes his book will help some entrepreneurs avoid mistakes he made along the way.

If I can share those secrets with people, if I can help them avoid a lost-decade of their own,” the book will be a success, says Zilko.

Zilko, a native of Warren, says he’s happy to have made his professional life in Detroit.

I’m a life-long Detroiter, I will always live here” he says. Zilko says he never thought he’d see Detroit looking as good as it is right now, and restaurants and food companies are playing an interesting part in the revitalization of the city. 

I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be an upstart food company… I’m as encouraged and optimistic as I’ve ever been.”

To hear more of Zilko’s conversation with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson click on the audio player above.

Image credit: Elizabeth Garrett

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