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Detroit Salsa Company gets off the ground with the help of a local pizzeria

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's a story for people who dream of a family business.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

About six years ago, a teenager in Detroit brought samples of his grandmother's salsa recipe to school for a class project.

FINN GOMEZ: It blew everyone's expectations out of the water.

INSKEEP: And that gave Finn Gomez an idea.

GOMEZ: I asked my grandma, is it okay if we do this? Let's share this with the world 'cause this is great salsa.

INSKEEP: Grandma's blessing was secured, so Mr. Gomez went looking for a commercial kitchen.

GOMEZ: They wanted hundreds of dollars a month, and it was like, I don't think we can do that. You know, we wanted to play it safe.

FADEL: So his mom turned to social media, asking for a commercial kitchen they could rent once a week. Local pizza shop owner Jim Danosky read the post.

JIM DANOSKY: I just replied and said, you can use mine. I mean, it didn't bother me at all. I don't open till later on in the afternoon.

FADEL: He let the Gomez family use his kitchen rent-free for six years.

DANOSKY: Anytime you start a small business - I've been in business 30 years. It's not easy. So anytime I can give somebody local help like that, I'm all for it. It's just the thing to do.

INSKEEP: This favor let the Gomez family - the whole family - start a business.

GOMEZ: Without Jim, I don't know where we'd be today. That's how impactful he's been to us. He even had to go through a second health inspection just to allow us to come in, which is kind of a hassle. Taking the time out of his day to do that is beyond amazing.

INSKEEP: The Detroit Salsa Company now serves more than 20 stores around Metro Detroit, thanks to the generous owner of the pizza shop.

DANOSKY: They are an awesome family, so I gained good, good friends that'll probably last a lifetime.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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