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Olga’s Entrepreneurial Legacy Lives On

Announcing the 2024 recipients of The Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation grants to honor the legacy of Olga’s Kitchen’s late founder.

Olga Loizon was a trailblazer in Southeast Michigan’s restaurant industry, using perseverance and innovation to overcome countless obstacles and achieve success.

The Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation is thrilled to provide this year's woman entrepreneurs with $75,000 in grants to take their businesses to the next level. Meet these visionaries below.

Meet our 2024 Grant Recipients

Tiffany Blackman - Bread & Basket Marketplace

Bread & Basket Marketplace is a boutique-style public market founded by Tiffany Blackman in the summer of 2021. It is a premier destination for local retail shopping in Downtown Battle Creek, Michigan. Open year-round, they offer an array of high-quality goods; such as all-natural bath & body products, candles, specialty foods, and delightful personal or corporate gifts; all made in small batches. There is a diverse selection of more than 75 small business brands from across the U.S., shelf space for Battle Creek entrepreneurs, and an exciting rotation of local goods to explore. Bread & Basket Marketplace is modeled after successful public markets like Eastern Market in Detroit, Seattle’s Pike Place, and Made in Kansas City. With retail equity as a huge intrinsic value for their company, many brands at the marketplace are minority-owned. 

Tiffany is passionate about building the capacity of others and has the exceptional ability to connect people and resources to create exhilarating outcomes. She is on a mission to connect small business owners to practical tools/resources, and each other, as it is critical to the success of building business resilience and agency long-term. Her vision for Bread & Basket Marketplace includes creating a world where makers, curators, and creatives can build the life that they want doing the work that they love. 

As a business innovator and small business activist, Tiffany has over six years of experience as a Founder & CEO of two ventures, over 15 years of experience in program management and innovation, and formal degrees in Organizational & Business Management. She has trained, coached, and supported more than 100 early-stage start-ups in the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo region in industries such as retail, agriculture, e-commerce, food/restaurant, healthcare, hospitality, construction/real estate, and entertainment in collaboration with both international and state-wide entrepreneur development organizations in Michigan. She continues to make Southwest Michigan her home and is the mother of four amazing children (ages 10 to 21).

Bread & Basket Marketplace

Shayla Johnson - Scarlet Crane Creations

Scarlet Crane Creations is a dedicated micro-batch textile printing house providing all natural, eco-friendly textiles that are durable, stylish and sustainable. Trained in product design at Georgia Tech and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Shayla Johnson specializes in minimalist line drawings and watercolor paintings to create contemporary patterns that bring everyday products to life. She screen-prints her own original designs that are elegant, simple and feature unique surface patterns that range from free flowing florals to abstract textures, delivering high-quality, sophisticated products for home decor and fashion. Scarlet Crane Creations operates in an entirely American supply chain with production in Detroit.

Scarlet Crane Creations

Dr. Jenny Jeshurun - Inspire Physical Therapy & Wellness

Dr. Jenny Jeshurun, DPT, is the founder and lead therapist at Inspire Physical Therapy & Wellness, a holistic physical therapy practice specializing in pregnancy, postpartum, pelvic pain and orthopedic conditions and serves southeastern Michigan communities. Dr. Jenny witnessed a dramatic shift in postpartum care due to the pandemic, which reduced access to vital prenatal and postpartum resources. In response, she founded Inspire Physical Therapy & Wellness to provide more than a clinic, rather a community hub for health and wellness to focus on quality prenatal and postpartum pelvic health support and offer a range of services, events, and courses focusing on fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum care. Her goal is to change the face of perinatal care by addressing the individual needs of each birthing person from preconception to parenthood. The organization is guided by a hope to empower patients with the knowledge and skills needed to inspire their journey toward growth and change.

Inspire Physical Therapy & Wellness

Meet our 2023 Grant Recipients

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Conceptualized, owned, and operated by Lisa A. Session—DA BOMB TACO combines authentic Mexican flavors, expert craftsmanship and genuine hospitality to provide an experience that is guaranteed to blow you away!

The enticing menu features bomb tacos such as Carne Asada, Smoky Chicken Tinga, and Blackened Shrimp; plus, bomb sides like fresh guacamole and gluten-free queso dip served with taco-seasoned tortilla chips. Their Signature Eloté starts with fresh corn-on-the-cob, which is then chargrilled, steamed to doneness, flash-fried to order and finished with chipotle aioli and cotija cheese. They value genuine hospitality wholeheartedly, and aim to treat and feed their guests as they would their dearest friends and family. Currently, DA BOMB TACO operates as a food truck serving metro-Detroit and is gearing up to launch full-time in June 2023!

Lisa A. Session boasts a passion for hospitality, a dream to become a restaurateur, and a purpose to serve. She possesses a degree in business finance from Howard University, and a degree in applied science from Schoolcraft College—where she studied culinary arts. Combine these attributes with her extensive restaurant experience, and Lisa is uniquely poised to lead this operation competitively and successfully.

With the help of this generous grant from the Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation, DA BOMB TACO will launch with positive cashflow and more rapidly open their first of many brick-and-mortar locations—bringing ‘explosively flavorful tacos & more’ to Detroit neighborhoods and beyond!

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Welcome Home Yoga & Wellness was founded in 2018 by business partners and married couple, Robyn and Melissa Childers, with a belief in making yoga and wellness accessible to all. After a life-threatening car accident in 2009, Robyn discovered a healing pathway through yoga, meditation and recovery.

Robyn began to heal, experienced profound self-integration, and developed a strong desire to share these incredible benefits with others. In 2014, Robyn became a certified yoga teacher, and met wife Melissa in 2015. Shortly after they began dating, with Robyn’s background in yoga and Melissa’s lifelong career in massage therapy, if wasn’t long before they began to dream of one day opening up a space together. After a long, challenging build out process, the couple is living their dream in Detroit’s historic

Avenue of Fashion, newly located at Seven Mile and Livernois Avenue. Welcome Home Yoga & Wellness opened its doors last fall, in October 2022, in service to the community. Robyn teaches yoga & meditation classes, mentors new teachers, develops educational programming. Melissa oversees the wellness center side of the business, mentoring wellness practitioners, managing inventory and offering a unique approach to bodywork, integrating a variety of techniques, specializing in therapeutic massage with a focus on trauma- related recovery, athletic-related recovery, postural deviation correction, joint manipulation, as well as client education on self care. Together, they co-create and organize many special wellness events—including their upcoming annual June 11th Pride-themed 5k run/walk + outdoor yoga event in Detroit’s Palmer Park.

Robyn is a Wayne State University Alum, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program Scholar, 5th year lululemon Brand Ambassador, marathon runner, and serves on the Board of People for Palmer Park.

Melissa studied elementary education at Eastern Michigan University, graduated from The Michigan School of Myomassology in 2003, and recently completed her first half marathon in 2022. When the couple aren’t working or training for races, they enjoy volunteering for local like-minded non-profits, cooking new recipes at home, reading books, gardening and spending time adventuring with their two adorable mastiffs.

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Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Alicia McKay has been an educator in many different capacities including tutor, teacher, and math interventionist. As a strong believer in closing the learning gap, Alicia is focused on positively impacting the educational opportunities available for all students. She shares her 20+ years of experience in educational leadership, consulting, and program development to focus on her mission to enhance communities through math and science by creating innovative STEM-based youth programming. 

With ingenuity and aspiration, Alicia founded No Fear Cafe, a co-learning space which provides fun and engaging STEM-based enrichment experiences, after school, and summer programs promoting career readiness and academic excellence for families, schools, and organizations.

Our work positively impacts the lives of our students and their communities. No Fear Cafe makes a difference in economic and social well-being by promoting academic excellence and exposure to lucrative STEM career fields.

Through No Fear Cafe, Alicia has developed and led effective programs, workshops, lessons, and curriculum to help students to reach their highest potential.

a woman standing next to a horse


Muirneen Equestrian is a woman, minority, and veteran-owned company that designs riding clothing with unmatched beauty, quality, and size inclusivity. The mission of Muirneen is to inspire diversity, body positivity, and kindness in horse sports.

Meet our 2022 Grant Recipients

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Sticky Spoons Jam a company that specializes in the production of jams, jellies and syrup using locally sourced products from Michigan farms and small businesses.

United States Navy veteran Aiyenede Akhigbe, also known as “The Crazy Jam Lady”, founded Sticky Spoons Jam in 2016 while trying to find ways to feed her children preservative-free foods. Today, it creates more than 100 unique flavors—including Lunar Eclipse, Summer Solstice, Winter Jelly and Blueberry Lavender.

Currently, Sticky Spoons primarily sells its products at local Michigan and Indiana farmers markets. The company will use the Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation grant money to open its first licensed kitchen and storefront, as well as an e-commerce website. All are expected to be online in 2023.

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Sandy Jonick founded U-Plant Landscape Designs in 2019, and has since designed more than 300 landscape plans for West Michigan homeowners. By providing digital landscape designs, a detailed plant list and labeled images, U-Plant helps turn homeowners’ DIY dreams into a blueprint reality. 

U-Plant’s grant money from the Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation will go towards fully funding the business's marketing program and capital needs. This will lead to expanding the business into other markets, beautifying communities and making them an influential part of the environment.