Wally Blume, CEO of Denali Flavors, the Wayland, Michigan-based ice cream maker behind the various "moose tracks flavors," always wanted to go into business as a young man but said he never had enough money to do it.
His shot came after years of sales and marketing in the grocery business -- especially with dairy foods. He launched the company in 1992 with two other partners.
By 1995, Blume bought out his partners and struck out on his own. The company has grown to the point that it made between $85 million and $100 million in retail sales last year.
Denali Flavors now has distribution in supermarkets throughout the country, along with Canada and parts of Mexico, Blume said.
He said he had to put up his house, cars and everything else he owned of value to buy the business for himself. But he knew it was worth it and he has advice for anyone over 50 considering starting their own business.
"You better know the business," said Blume, 71. "I knew the ice cream business. It wasn't really as risky as it sounds. I knew sales potential and profit potential."