Alvin D. Ford

Ellen Richardson | May 21st, 2021
Alvin D. Ford

Alvin D. Ford

Let’s be honest. Who didn’t love candy and snacks when they were growing up? Certainly not Huami Magazine’s very own real-world candy man, Alvin Ford. The owner of Detroit, MI’s own VendMe Co. vending machine company hails from a long line of entrepreneurs that never relied on other business owners to help them find success in the work world. Beginning with his great great grandmother and grandmother; who owned their own herbal tonic business; as well as his grandfather; who owned a line of small businesses including a couple of bars, a party store and served as a landlord for a couple of rental properties, Alvin Ford knew that he wanted to start his own business that would both lead to success and would make others lives better. This desire led to the birth of Metro Detroit’s premier vending company that supplies candy, healthy snacks and beverages to businesses throughout this growing area.

“Seeing my grandparents operate successful businesses while I was growing up inspired me to do the same, so I decided to start selling candy,” said Ford. “I would start out by buying a box of candy and selling individual packages in barber shops, to my family and friends and even classmates as early as middle school.”

After continuing his successful candy selling business all the way through high school, Ford would eventually find himself moving into the vending machine business. “I actually stopped selling candy for a little while but was led back in the direction of food sales while I was in college obtaining a business degree. This is where I started learning all about opportunities in the vending machine industry,” he shared.

Before long, this born to be tasty treat vendor was investing in vending machines with more than just candy. “When I started setting up vending machines in the Metro Detroit area, I knew that I wanted to provide a product that would do more than just cure a sweet tooth. I also wanted to supply local businesses with machines that offer a wide variety of healthy and traditional foods to choose from,” said Ford.

From one vending machine to two, Ford would eventually give birth to his dream of owning his own small business. Now, just six months after starting VendMe Co., which offers sleek new vending equipment with a full line of healthy and traditional snacks, the newest member of the Ford entrepreneur family is quickly making a name for himself with area businesses, hotels/motels and even a nationally known chain of retail appliance and electronics stores.

“It is funny because this business almost started off as a lemonade stand when I was a kid, but after deciding to sell what I love, which was candy, it morphed into something that I love doing now!” exclaimed Ford. “Who would have thought that selling snacks at the barbershop as a kid, then out of my locker in middle school and even out of my backpack in high school would have turned into a vending machine company with contracts and national clients? God amazes me more and more as time goes on.”

Along with becoming one of the newest small business success stories in his home city of Detroit, MI, Ford and his company are also doing their part to give back to others within his community. “Part of this company’s mission is to help others who are interested in starting their own vending machine business,” said Ford. “When I started this business, I knew that I wanted to be the kind of inspirational mentor that my grandparents and even my parents, were to me, so we also provide both mentorship and training for those who are interested in starting their own vending machine business. In fact, I often assist people in setting up locations and even help them get the proper machines for these businesses to get them started.”

Along with giving birth to his own vending machine franchise, this business oriented young man is currently serving as a Business Analyst for the Nation’s No. 1 Wholesale Mortgage Lender – United Wholesale Mortgage Company and is preparing to graduate with his Master of Business Administration from The University of Detroit Mercy. After which, Ford will be joining the world’s largest e-commerce retail giant, Amazon, as an area manager.

“It is kind of cool that I will be working at Amazon and running the vending machine company simultaneously because I believe that one day these companies can someday work together to grow worldwide,” stated Ford.

You would think that a man with both a full and part-time job as well as completing a master’s degree would be satisfied with just focusing on himself and his career. If that were true, we would not be talking about Alvin Ford. Along with a heart for providing tasty treats and owning his own business, this real-life candy man also has a passion for leading others to the restoration power of Jesus Christ.

“I know that I have a lot going on in my life, but I also know how important it is to follow a calling that I received when I was a young man – helping others find Christ,” said Ford.

After starting this journey by becoming a minister at his family’s small church, Ford would eventually decide that he wanted to share the good news of Jesus Christ with more people. This desire would lead him to yet another mentor – Bishop Clarence Langston. As this successful, yet humble businessman would begin his tutelage under the Founder and Senior Pastor of Word in Action Christian Center he would continue to rise through the ranks to become a well-known minister at the famed Detroit church.

As he continues to walk this road of success, Ford has just one suggestion for those who are walking a similar path. “No matter what your dream or calling is, do it scared and have faith that God will make a way,” said Ford. “Be sure to also invest in yourself by finding the right people and knowledge to help you get down the road further and faster than you could ever imagine.”
To learn more about Alvin Ford and VendMe Co, visit his website.

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