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Nailah Ellis-Brown

Nailah Ellis-Brown has made a name for herself as part of the Detroit manufacturing renaissance. Her distinctive hibiscus Ellis Island Tea, based on a family recipe and bottled in an urban 4,000 square foot plant, has expanded sales into six airports and Lipari Foods locations across 12 Midwestern states along with shelf space in regional retailer Meijer and Whole Foods stores. In 2021 Ellis Isle made history as the largest Black woman-owned beverage company in the U.S. What started with small batches and selling bottles from the back of a car quickly became much bigger business. Thanks to Nailah’s drive and determination, Ellis Isle now operates a full-scale, state-of-the-art production facility and ships orders to retailers and customers nationwide.

Area of Expertise: entrepreneurship