EDA University Center for
Regional Economic Innovation

Keynote Speaker

Nailah Ellis-BrownPhoto of Nailah Ellis-Brown
Founder of Ellis Island Tea

Ellis Infinity is the Detroit beverage company that brews all-natural Ellis Island Tropical Tea. Founded by Nailah Ellis in 2008, Ellis Infinity produces, distributes and markets the unique blend of hibiscus tea, botanicals and natural extracts.

Nailah Ellis-Brown is young Detroit, one of a growing group of new entrepreneurs calling the city home. But the 27-year-old Nailah isn’t following some cool trend. Detroit has always been her home. She was born, raised and educated in the city. Now she’s making it her business. In Spring of 2014, she opened her first beverage production facility and co-packaging plant across the street from the Russell Industrial Center, an area near I-75 and I-94 once known for auto manufacturing that now is becoming home to artists and other creatives. Her company – Ellis Infinity – produces Ellis Island Tropical Tea at the 4,000-square-foot facility on Clay Street. For Nailah, the beverage company, the tea and the facility are manifested dreams. Since the age of 10, Nailah knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur – all she needed was a plan and a product. Her own family history helped her find both.

Ellis Island Tropical Tea has its origins in the sultry breezes of sunny Jamaica and the rough-and-tumble streets of e Bronx where it was first brewed and sold by Cyril Byron, the great grandfather of company founder Nailah Ellis-Brown. Cyril – a Jamaican immigrant who served as master chef for Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line and owned his own successful catering company for more than two decades – passed the recipe down through the generations with the caveat that it was to be “sold, not told.” Ellis Infinity is the Detroit beverage company that brews all-natural Ellis Island Tropical Tea. Founded by Nailah Ellis in 2008, Ellis Infinity produces, distributes and markets the unique blend of hibiscus tea, botanicals and natural extracts.

Nailah will deliver the keynote at the 2015 Innovate Michigan! Summit. Join us in the Auditorium at 3:00pm to hear her entrepreneurial lessons and insights - as well as try her amazing tea!