The power to keep going
After making dramatic improvements in restaurant efficiency, Alberta provided an affordable buffet style service with an upscale atmosphere by using crystal glassware, cloth napkins, and fine china. By doing so, she created a dignified eating space to the middle class that was previously unattainable.
In the wave of tremendous success with her first restaurant – Skyline – Alberta bought a series of additional restaurants to replicate her cost-effective model. She garnered significant interest and respect from the hospitality community, and was often asked to advise other businesses. In the picture below, Boone is shown leaving a cruise ship where she was sharing her knowledge about providing an efficient luxury experience.
As an entrepreneur, Alberta was recognized by the City of Detroit, Michigan, as the first female “Businessman of the Year”. Perhaps even more impressive than this accolade was her path to success.
Alberta Greiss Boone grew up in Covington, Kentucky. After a childhood of poverty and abuse, she married young, had a child and in the late 1930s became a widow while still in her teens. She took a bus to Detroit with her young daughter in tow. She had no job, no place to stay, and a second grade education. It was at the height of the Great Depression.
Alberta found work at a Kresges soda fountain, agreeing to work double shifts. As it turned out she had a knack for business, which quickly garnered respect and responsibility. In 1940, she bought her own coffee shop in the sleepy ground floor of the General Motors Building. The man who sold it to her said he’d never heard of a woman buying a business. She skipped meals and saved pennies to keep the business afloat. In late 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the ground floor of the General Motors Building suddenly became the headquarters of the “Arsenal of Democracy.” It was one of the busiest places in America. Needless to say, she prospered. It was a classic example of the adage that luck is what happens when hard work meets opportunity.
By the time Alberta bought her first restaurant, Skyline, in her 30’s, she had developed a strength of character that enabled her to tackle any challenge. When Skyline burned down, she had the tenacity to rebuild it.
In Detroit, the name Alberta Boone is synonymous with perseverance to succeed against all odds. Our team was inspired by the Boone legacy, thus, we chose her name to represent the “personality” of our company.
At Boone Group, our mission is to cultivate the rapid advancement and growth of people, companies, and organizations facing their own challenges and obstacles. We aspire to infuse Alberta’s legacy into each of their stories, and build a community of people whose advancements will contribute to the betterment of future generations.