IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – The Downtown Development Authority has announced the winner of the downtown Business IDEA Contest. The winner is Dulce Nulla Gourmet
They offer custom products that provide for food allergies and sensitivities. Specialties include gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan baking.
Dulce Nulla Gourmet Desserts was able to view available properties included with the
contest. Owner, Melissa Boyles made the final decision on the space located at 415 S. Stephenson Ave. Suite 6 in downtown Iron Mountain, owned by MRI Properties.
“My little tag line is ‘Join the party, we have something for you.’ And the plan is to have something for all dietary needs,” said Boyles.
Boyles was just 13 years old when she launched a little baking business making decorated cakes for a local deli.
“I am honored to have been a part of this competition. I have been working extremely hard on my business the last three years and this storefront is the next logical step. I cannot wait to provide allergy friendly goodies to even more people in Dickinson County,” said Boyles.
This contest searched for serious entrepreneurs that were ready to take a business idea to the next level. Applicants had the opportunity to win a rent-free space for up to one year. The goal of this contest was to promote economic growth downtown by bringing in new businesses and filling vacant spaces in downtown properties.
There were 15 applicants for Business Idea Contest. Applications were reviewed and scored by the DDA’s Business Development Committee, which narrowed it down to five finalists. The finalists submitted business plans and attended a panel with the Business Development Committee. The committee then scored the finalists and the winner was chosen.
“The selection process was incredibly difficult for the committee, as we had a number of excellent, well-crafted business ideas,” said Amber Pipp, DDA Program Director.
Additionally, there were 3 other property owners and 1 business that signed up to participate in the contest, agreeing to award a rent-free property for up to one year, if the winner was to choose their space. Property owners included Eden Property Collection, MRI Properties, and Julie Cowling. Downtown Iron Mountain’s coworking space, CWRK Collective, also offered a free trial membership to all participants in the contest.
“I am blown away by the generosity and support of these property owners and their willingness to give a space to this contest,” said Pipp.
There is a vacancy rate of approximately 10% in commercial properties, and it is the hope that this contest may be able to assist in filling these vacancies, and result in long term business tenants.
“I just was super excited. It’s one of those almost too good to be true type things even still. I think I’ll fully believe it once I’m moved in and open for business. It’s totally a blessing and totally an honor. And it’s still a little bit unbelievable,” said Boyles.
More information about the DDA and future programs can be found at www.downtownironmountain.com