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Roster by Topic » Michele Hoskin

Michele Hoskins



Women Business Ownership 

Food Industry

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Michele Hoskins is the founder and president of Michele Foods, a manufacturer of specialty breakfast syrups based in suburban Chicago Ill. Her products are sold in 8,000 stores inclusive of the top major retail chains in the United States.


Hoskins built her business around a secret syrup recipe that was developed by her great- great- great grandmother (a former slave) and passed down through her family; she was a newly divorced mother with no startup capital and three young daughters to support when she made the decision to turn the recipe into a commercial product in the early 1980’s. She sold all her possessions, moved her family into her Mother’s attic and spent lean years pursuing her dream.


At first Hoskins filled the bottles from a 55- gallon drum of syrup she formulated and had delivered to her Mother’s basement. She sold the hand filled product to local groceries in her neighborhood. That same year Michele secured the top two largest retail chains in the Chicago land area, which took her out of the basement into 400 retails stores. She went on to become the first Minority supplier for Denny’s, the first Minority supplier for Wal-Mart and she has partner with companies such as General Mills and Sara Lee.


The recipe that started it all is now known as Michele’s Honey crème Syrup, a rich creamy confection that includes generous helping of honey and butter. She also sells Michele’s Butter Pecan, and Maple Crème Syrups.


Michele has achieved much success throughout her 28 years in business. Michele’ journey has been feature on multiple TV outlets including CNN’s Morning Show; “Personal Journey” which aired on both CNN and Discovery channels; featured three times on the Oprah show; twice on CNBC‘s The Big Idea, with Donny Deutsch; BET, and Microsoft Business Summit. Michele has also had feature articles in Fortune, People, Black Enterprise, Ebony and Essence Magazines to name a few.


Michele has received numerous awards including 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Women Foodservice Forum; Black Enterprise Magazine’s Emerging Company of the Year Award; The Entrepreneurial Women Award, Madam Walker Entrepreneurial Award, Lifetime Achiever Award from Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and an honorary doctorate degree from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I.


Michele is also the author of “Sweet Expectations” an inspirational and emotionally charged story showing how the power of family, faith, and self-determination can transcend even the darkest days...and lead to sweet, sweet success. Because of her desire to see other minorities get access and succeed in the food business, Michele developed a mentoring program “From Recipe to Retail”. More than 100 individuals have participated in the program and many have their product in retail chain across the country.



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