Alberta Greiss Boone was the real-life Rosie the Riveter.
Alberta Boone is the great grandmother of our founder. At Boone, we take tremendous pride in our company name - not just because of Alberta's incredible story, but because of the defining values by which she lived her life. Nearly a century later, Boone is fueled by her legacy and the central theme of her life story: to adapt and overcome against all odds.
Widowed at 17 with a two-year-old in tow, Alberta bought a one-way ticket.
After a childhood of extreme poverty and abuse, Alberta married young, had a child and in the late 1930s became a widow while still in her teens. Shortly after, she took a bus to Detroit having no job, no place to stay, and a second-grade education at the height of the Great Depression.
Alberta found work at Kresge's soda fountain, agreeing to work double shifts and no wage in exchange for food for her daughter Joy, her sister Charlene and herself.
She helped turn Kresge’s into the most profitable soda fountain in the city. She saved her pennies and in 1940 purchased a coffee shop of her own 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 – especially at this time. But she was bold, hungry and just had a hunch.
Restaurant turned munition production line.
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 and transformed into the munitions production line. Alberta prospered. It was a classic example of the adage 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.
The power to keep going
conquers all obstacles.
In Detroit, the name Alberta Boone is synonymous with perseverance to succeed against all odds. Our team was inspired by the Boone legacy. We aspire to weave the attributes into our story as we evolve, adapt and overcome – together.
At Boone, we believe in cultivating the growth of people, companies, and organizations facing their own obstacles. We are on a mission to build a community of people whose advancements bravely contribute to the betterment of future generations.