Troy resident and host of “Start Up” on PBS Gary Bredow, right, interviews George Taylor, left, the owner of TRU Colors Brewery in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Troy resident and host of “Start Up” on PBS Gary Bredow, right, interviews George Taylor, left, the owner of TRU Colors Brewery in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Photo provided by Gary Bredow


Troy man, PBS host nominated for three Daytime Emmys

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published May 12, 2022

 Gary Bredow, left, and his show, “Start Up,” have been nominated for three Daytime Emmys. He is pictured here interviewing John Yakovich, right, the owner of Yakovich Outdoors of St.Clair Shores, for the program.

Gary Bredow, left, and his show, “Start Up,” have been nominated for three Daytime Emmys. He is pictured here interviewing John Yakovich, right, the owner of Yakovich Outdoors of St.Clair Shores, for the program.

Photo provided by Gary Bredow

 TV host Gary Bredow has highlighted dozens of entrepreneurs for his show, “Start Up,” on PBS, including Quiana Broden, the owner of Cooking with Que from Detroit.

TV host Gary Bredow has highlighted dozens of entrepreneurs for his show, “Start Up,” on PBS, including Quiana Broden, the owner of Cooking with Que from Detroit.

Photo provided by Gary Bredow

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TROY — Troy resident Gary Bredow has some experience in startup companies, having opened a commercial production company in Detroit himself.

When hard times hit, he was inspired to highlight other startups. This decision led him to become the host of a hit show on PBS, which has now been nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards.

This year, Bredow and his show, “Start Up,” were nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards, in the categories of Outstanding Host, Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Casting.

“It’s a show that is all about small business,” Bredow explained. “We go in and interview and learn about the psychology of a business owner. Why did they start it, what are the challenges, how they do everything from big picture stuff to inventory. It’s a psychological look at what it takes to be an American entrepreneur.”

Now in its 10th season, “Start Up” has looked at the highs and lows of owning a small business; how they can succeed and how they can fail.

“It really started during the 2010 recession,” said Bredow. “I had a commercial production company. I was based in Corktown. We had no money, everything was shutting down. Self-employment was one of the only options for a lot of people at the time. I went into businesses with a camera and started asking questions. A month later we had a pilot and were submitting it to PBS. We wanted to do something to help support and highlight businesses. It was a rough time.”

In many ways, “Start Up” is like one of the businesses Bredow and his team highlight. They are often the underdog who have found success through passion, determination and hard work.

“It is the first year we submitted for a nomination. We’re going into our 10th season. Something was special this last year with people coming out of the pandemic, so there was a palpable feeling coming from small businesses. ... We thought we might give it a try. My business partner called me (on May 5) and asked me if I was sitting down and told me the good news.”

Bredow has interviewed dozens of businesses all over the country in the last 10 years on “Start Up,” many of which reside in the Detroit area. In fact, due to the travel restrictions in 2020 caused by the pandemic, they did an entire season focusing on Michigan businesses.

Some of the businesses Bredow has featured have found great success since being included on “Start Up.” McClure’s Pickles was one of the first to be shown in its first season and is now a nationally recognized brand.

“It was about a decade ago, but he was a great host. He highlighted our business really well,” said McClure’s Pickles owner and founder Joe McClure. “It was right when we were transitioning to a larger facility in Detroit, so he highlighted our expansion. He showed how we went about growing and basically scaling the company.”

McClure and his brother, Bob, started the company in 2006 using their great-grandmother Lala’s recipe and began by preparing their pickles in a rented storage facility. Exposure from “Start Up” was one of the factors that helped them find a wide customer base.

“All of the press we got from being on the show helped,” McClure said. “It got more eyes and ears on the brand. We didn’t have a lot of marketing dollars at the time, so any promotion we got in a pro bono way made a dramatic difference. … At that time, he was breaking ground on highlighting up and coming businesses. There was no ‘Shark Tank’ or anything. More people are doing that now, but he was one of the first.”

Bredow said he has met some fascinating people and some incredibly innovative businesses over the last decade.

“Last year, in Wilmington, North Carolina, we highlighted a business called ‘TRU Colors’ which was a brewery that only hires members of (street gangs),” he said. “They are all active gang members, and it forces them to work together. This had a great impact on reducing street violence. That was so eye opening, and I got to meet some interesting people.”

He added that he is amazed at the innovation people can bring to even the most traditional of business models.

“Another (highlight) was a coffee shop called ‘Bitty’s Beaus’ that employs people with emotional and intellectual disabilities, which was started by a couple with two kids with Down syndrome,” said Bredow. “They realized their kids probably wouldn’t have a place to work after high school, so they built a system where they and others in similar situations would earn a living. They also have franchised their business in Ann Arbor and Detroit since we shot the show last summer.”

The common factor among the businesses he has seen succeed, according to Bredow, is passion.

“I think definitely putting passion over profit is important,” he said. “If you are doing something you really believe in, it’s a cliche, but you never work a day in your life. If you’re only doing it for the money, chances are you’re going to fail. You need to be tough and you need to be able to face rejection. It’s the people who are willing to come in the extra day or work the extra hour who will succeed.”

One of the biggest lessons he hopes his nomination shows is that if he can find success of this nature, anyone can.

“In the age of affordable 4K cameras and advanced editing software, the people who have a true creative vision, the tools are now affordable for people to make great content,” remarked Bredow. “This kind of achievement or success is achievable. It doesn’t matter where you’re from — it’s possible.”

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