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        Caitlin James, 29

        Managing partner and co-founder, Drought Detroit, Plymouth

        Caitlin James, managing partner and co-founder of Plymouth-based Drought Detroit, is a 2013 Crain's 20 in their 20s honoree.
        • Why she lives in metro Detroit: "While my goal was to get out of Detroit, and I did that, I found metro Detroit was the best place to start a business. And my sisters were the best people to have as business partners."
        • Claim to fame: She and her sisters raised $13,000 on Kickstarter in 2011 to launch their organic juice business.
        • Next step: With mentoring by George Vutetakis at Ferndale's Garden Fresh Gourmet, James plans to take her company national this year with an investment in a nine-ton hydraulic cold-press juicer.

        Just a year out of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in special education, Caitlin James set out to see the world and help people with special needs through the Peace Corps in 2008.

        After serving in the Dead Sea Valley of Jordan and later as an Arabic translator and international volunteer, James earned a scholarship to Columbia University. Instead, she set out for New York City in 2010 with an itch to start a business.

        James saw an opportunity to launch a venture fueled by increasing public interest she noticed in organic products and whole-juice cleanses for kidney and liver health. As she and her sister worked through the financials, they decided they could stretch her dollars further in the Midwest.

        "Detroit is my home and New York has plenty of juice companies. Conscientious eaters and drinkers tend to gravitate toward one another. Detroit is an attractive place for food entrepreneurs," she said.

        "My greatest professional achievement is that I co-created the only cold-pressed raw juice company in the Midwest via crowdfunding startup capital."

        Her company, Drought Detroit, now pays salaries for four full-time employees, including two sisters.

        The juice comes in 16-ounce recyclable glass bottles with a three-day shelf life and a $10 price tag. The business is primarily made-to-order, sold direct-to-consumer via storefront pickup or residential and commercial delivery.

        All business has been word of mouth and the number of units sold is projected to surpass 87,000 this year, up from 2,100 bottles just two years ago, she said.

        James oversees the day-to-day operations of the company, which operates out of an organic kitchen and storefront in downtown Plymouth. It is tracking toward sales of $900,000 this year, up from $87,000 last year.

        Last month, Drought inked a contract with Plum Market, which has three local stores and is her first specialty retailer.

        The firm was recognized by Food & Wine Magazine in 2012 as one of "America's Best Juice Bars."