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Meta Physica hosts grand opening celebration in Corktown with preview of its raw juice bar

Meta Physica Wellness Center is offering the community a sneak preview of its raw juice bar on Tuesday, March 20, during its grand opening celebration. While Meta Physica opened last November, this is the official grand opening party for the Corktown business, which offers therapeutic massages, full spectrum infrared saunas, an apothecary, and more.

It may seem a long gap between a November 2017 soft opening and the grand opening, but that's by design, says Jenaveve Biernat. She and co-owner Anahi Hollis wanted to let the business work itself out. Now that it has, Biernat says that they're ready to ramp up the next phase of business, the raw juice bar.

"I think the juice bar will open in May, but it could be in three weeks. We're not pushing it until it's on point," says Biernat. "In business, there's what you think will happen, and then it doesn't. But sometimes it becomes even better. So we're hesitant to define it just yet."

What Biernat can guarantee is that the juices will be organic, as locally-sourced as possible, and reasonably priced. The grand opening celebration will feature free samples of the Meta Physica raw juices.

Biernat started Meta Physica as a therapeutic massage business in Midtown, in a location that she soon outgrew. Hollis, who is responsible for the raw juices, later became a partner in the business. The duo went on to win the $50,000 grand prize in the 2016 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest and a $20,000 grant from Detroit's Motor City Match program.

The grand opening party is free and open to the public, on Tuesday, March 20, from noon to 7 p.m. The first 100 visitors will receive a complimentary gift bag with essential oils, discount coupons, and more. There will also be free raw juice samples and chair massages.

"I think a lot of people don't know what to expect when they come for the first time," says Biernat. "This is their chance to come in and look."

Meta Physica Wellness Center is located at 1701 Trumbull Ave., Ste. 3, in Detroit.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Furniture company Floyd, and two others, to relocate to Eastern Market

In a bit of development news, three established businesses are moving their offices to a new redevelopment in Eastern Market. 

One of those businesses is Floyd, a Detroit-based furniture company that first gained notoriety for its "Floyd Leg," which allows any flat surface to become a table. It has since designed a modular bed frame and more standard table. The company has gotten considerable national press, and even a visit from Martha Stewart.

Floyd will be relocating to the building at 1830-48 Division Street, just east of the Dequindre Cut and recently renovated by the developer Marshall Pryce. The company was previously located at the business incubator Ponyride, which itself earlier this month announced plans to sell its 30,000 square-foot Corktown building and move to Recycle Here!'s renovated space. 

The Eastern Market building has already secured two other tenants, Anthology Coffee, also coming from Ponyride, and Et Al. an architecture firm that is leading the renovation of the building itself. 

Vegetarian and vegan food truck to open restaurant in Hamtramck

Michigan's winter weather poses certain challenges for food trucks—a dent in sales, namely. One local food truck, Nosh Pit, is doing something about it.

The vegetarian and vegan food truck is opening a brick-and-mortar location in the city of Hamtramck. The Nosh Pit will open on Yemans Street, across from Polish Village Cafe, in the latter half of February.

What's already started, however, is a series of ticketed events that allow co-owners and staff the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new space and even the restaurant business itself, while offering its customers a sneak peek at the new brick-and-mortar location at the same time.

It's been a relatively fast ride for food truck co-owners Karen Kahn Schultz, Eric Schultz, and Stefan Kudek. Having started the food truck just a year and a half ago, the Nosh Pit trio have quickly built a loyal customer base and garnered a fair share of national recognition for their vegetarian and vegan soups, sandwiches, deserts, and more.

Karen got the idea for the Nosh Pit as she was feeling unfulfilled by her former career in waste management. Though she was in the sustainability sector of that industry, Karen was ready to change course.

"You hit 40 and you start to re-evaluate what you want to do in life," Karen says. "I wanted to do something that helped change the world. I wanted something that was hands-on."

In addition to serving a vegetarian- and vegan-only menu, the Nosh Pit limits waste as much as possible, and recycles and composts whatever they can. Karen's husband Eric says that the business composted three tons of materials last year.

One of the Nosh Pit's main goals is to demonstrate better practices for limiting waste, and recycling and composting materials, and to spread that knowledge to other businesses.

The ticketed soft opening events are open and available to the public, and more information can be found on the restaurant's website and Facebook page. Events feature a four-course dinner that includes soup, appetizer, main course, and dessert, as well as a free drink.

The Nosh Pit is located at 2995 Yemans St. in Hamtramck.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Natural fragrance-maker opens flagship retail shop and cocktail bar in Midtown

A Gothic-Victorian mansion built in the 1880s has been steadily accumulating tenants since full-scale restoration work first started in 2014. Once a hollowed-out shell of its former self, the Midtown building, located at the intersection of Second Avenue and Alexandrine Street, is currently home to three residential units and the Detroit Clothing Circle clothing store. It once hosted the 2016 beer garden, Stadt Garten.

Located in a newly restored garden unit of the building, Sfumato Fragrances, the creator and purveyor of natural fragrances and scent experiences, celebrated the opening of its flagship retail location this past Black Friday. In addition to retail, the Sfumato space will also host Castalia, a craft cocktail bar.

"The garden level below the traffic and city noise is a perfect sanctuary for the senses," says community developer and Sfumato's new landlord, Mark R. Beard. "Sfumato fills that void better than anyone else in Detroit."

The Sfumato line features only natural ingredients extracted from plants, and supplies lists of all ingredients used. For example, Epiphany features Chamomile, Cypress, Frankincense, Galbanum, Grapefruit, Katrafay, Lavender, Petitgrain, Rosemary, Sweet Orange, Vetiver, and Ylang Ylang.

In addition to their signature line of fragrances, Sfumato creates custom fragrances for order, be it for people, businesses, or weddings and other events.

"Not to knock the DDSs in my family, but Sfumato is way less scary than the dental office that was in the same space a century ago," says Beard.

Castalia, the craft cocktail bar, won't operate regular bar hours, but rather ticketed events that pair fragrances with signature cocktails. Such sensory experiences have been a big part of Sfumato since its founding by Kevin Peterson and Jane Larson in 2013, including custom events at a number of bars, restaurants, and other businesses throughout the region.

Sfumato Fragrances is open from noon to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Expanded hours will occur as the new year begins.

Sfumato Fragrances is located at 3980 Second Ave. in Detroit.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Now pouring: Eastern Market Brewing Company officially opens in the market

Adventures in renovating old buildings often reveal all sorts of surprises.

In Eastern Market, an old meat packing plant has recently been redeveloped into a brewery. The long German-style wooden tables have legs made out of old ammonia cooling pipes. An old meat scale has been re-purposed. So, too, has the meat rail.

And when Dayne Bartscht, co-founder and co-owner of Eastern Market Brewing Company, was tearing out ceilings, old meat hooks started cascading from above.

They worked those into the interior design, too.

Bartscht and his crew recently celebrated the official opening of Eastern Market Brewing on Friday, Oct. 20.

For Bartscht, it's been important to remain connected to the building's past, as well as the market's. Working old relics into the decor is one thing, but he says he's also committed to celebrating and becoming part of the rich community that is Eastern Market.

"There have been at least nine different breweries in Eastern Market over the past 150 years," says Bartscht. "It stopped when Stroh's left. We're hoping to bring brewing in the market back to life."

Taking advantage of their location, many of the ingredients that go into Eastern Market Brewing's beers come straight from the market itself. The brewery isn't building a kitchen, but instead will have a food truck parked outside the building. And Bartscht says that customers are allowed to bring in meals from any of the surrounding Eastern Market restaurants, be it from Supino Pizzeria, Russell Street Deli, or otherwise.

At any given time, the brewery plans on having ten to twelve beers on tap. It's small batch brewing, so customers can expect the beer selection to change over failry quickly.

While it may be too early to call it their flagship beer, Bartscht considers the Market Day IPA to be their baseline IPA. They'll incorporate different ingredients into the beer each month, depending on what's in season at the market.

A can seamer is on site, so customers can take home beer straight from the tap.

Eastern Market Brewing Company is open Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., Friday from noon to midnight, Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. It is located at 2515 Riopelle St. in Detroit.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Black arts criticism journal to host book fair and fundraiser to help publish in Detroit

Taylor Renee Aldridge and Jessica Lynne, of Detroit and New York City, respectively, are bringing their internationally renowned arts criticism journal ARTS.BLACK to life in Detroit this August.

Recipients of the 2016 the John S. and James L. Knight Arts Challenge award, the co-founders of ARTS.BLACK are holding a Book Fair and "Friendrasier" at Good Lab in Detroit's Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood. The event takes place Saturday, Aug. 26, from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Knight Arts Challenge award is contingent on the recipients raising matching funds and the book fair is an opportunity for Aldridge and Lynne to do just that. Funds raised from the award and book fair will cover publication costs, payments for writers, and continued operations for the journal, which provides art criticism from a Black perspective.

"We operate online and we're constantly interacting with the different communities there. The book fair is an opportunity to take a step back and interface more intimately with each other," says Aldridge. "It's an opportunity to talk about critical literature that isn't off-putting or intimidating. It'll open it up to people."

The ARTS.BLACK Book Fair and Friendraiser features books that focus on issues of art, labor, or both. New and used catalogs, zines, history books, and more will be on hand. Many of the books have been donated by Detroiters like Janet Webster Jones, owner of Source Booksellers.

ARTS.BLACK t-shirts and totes will also be for sale at the event. Music, refreshments, and snacks may also be part of the day's festivities.

"In our research, we've found that labor is an essential theme of an artist's practice in Detroit," says Aldridge.

"We really want to examine that and explore those themes."

Good Lab is located at 14720 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit. Click here for more information on the ARTS.BLACK Book Fair and Friendraiser.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

With a focus on Michigan-based businesses, All Things Detroit expands in Eastern Market

More than 250 Michigan-based businesses are set to descend upon Eastern Market this Sunday, May 7, for the Pre-Mother's Day edition of All Things Detroit. The shopping event will feature a wide-ranging mix of retailers and wares, from vintage clothing to all natural bath and body products, custom plants to handmade furniture. New to this year's event is a fleet of 20 food trucks, including the Delect-a-Bowl, Crepe Day-Twah, and El Charro Food Trucks.

Jennyfer Crawford started All Things Detroit out of her one-bedroom apartment about four years ago, and then hosted events at Niki's Lounge downtown, helping her friends sell homemade products like earrings and other pieces of jewelry. She moved the event to Eastern Market where it's has only grown since. A reported 10,000 customers came through the most recent iteration of All Things Detroit.

She's added a shed of vendors for this weekend's event, which now encompasses Sheds 2, 3, 4, and 5. Crawford's All Things Detroit events take place three times a year, and always at Eastern Market.

"It's just a great way to support small businesses," says Crawford. "People come from all over the state, from as far as Traverse City. I just want to bring people to Detroit and have people patronize small businesses."

This round of All Things Detroit will focus on Mother's Day, featuring 'Mom and Me' photo opportunities, fresh flowers, and games like cornhole and miniature golf. The event is family-friendly, including face-painting, and children 12 and under get in free.

Tickets for All Things Detroit are available in advance and the day of the event and range from $5 to $15, general admission and Beat the Crowd prices, respectively. General admission begins at 11 a.m. Beat the Crowd ticketholders get a first crack at the vendors' tables with a 9:30 a.m. entrance time. The event closes at 4 p.m.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

New guitars made from pieces of the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters

In some sense, the guitars made by Wallace Detroit Guitars are over 300 years old. 

Since 2014, Wallace Detroit Guitars has been transforming salvaged wood into electric guitars. The company recently released the Firehouse Series, a new limited-edition line of guitars made of maple and pine from the old Detroit Fire Department Headquarters downtown. Mark Wallace, president of the instrument maker, estimates that the wood comes from trees that were growing in Detroit as far back as the 1700s.

Wallace has used wood from the David Whitney Building, the Theodore Levin Courthouse, and the Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center to build his guitars. A call from his friends at the Architectural Salvage Warehouse tipped him off about a new load of wood that arrived from the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters.

"These guitars have a great story and they look great, but they're also great to play," says Wallace. "It's like a Cadillac. They're great to look at but they're also great to drive."

The building at 250 W. Larned St. downtown was built in 1929, though the Detroit Fire Department had operated at the site since the 1840s. In 2013, DFD left their longtime home to share a headquarters with the Detroit Police Department on the western edge of downtown.

The wood reclaimed from the old headquarters is a result of it being converted into the Detroit Foundation Hotel, a boutique hotel complete with over 100 rooms, a bar, restaurant, and even a "podcast studio." The hotel purchased one of the Firehouse Series guitars for display.

The limited edition series features twelve guitars, ten of the company's flagship single-cutaway design and two of its new offset body shape design. The guitars are built by hand; even the electric pick-ups are hand-wound.

"We want to be part of the city's long history of people that know how to make things," says Wallace.

The Firehouse Series guitars can be found online.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Bakery and cafe to open in Midtown this spring

Cake Ambition is coming to Third Street.

In the seven years since starting her business, Cake Ambition owner Jessica Bouren has baked and crafted her specialty cakes out of a number of shared locations, from family kitchens to Traffic Jam & Snug, where she currently rents kitchen facilities. But this March, Bouren will finally have a place to call her own.

Cake Ambition will open a storefront at 4154 Third St. this March. The shop will operate as a bakery and cafe, allowing Bouren to bake in the back while customers enjoy cake and coffee at the cafe tables up front. There will also be a retail area where Bouren will carry products from local makers: coffees, teas, jams, and nuts will be complemented by a wall of old-fashioned candy.

The main focus, of course, will remain on her cakes.

Bouren can make a cake shaped like just about anything. She's made cakes that look like pirate ships and basketball sneakers, Mad Hatter hats and Jeeps. She's even made a cake in the shape of Lionel Richie's head.

She's been eyeing this particular location for five years, having first spotted the distinctive lime green storefront while out walking her dog. And it just so happened that the building's owner has been keeping their eye out for Bouren, too. Her landlord owns the floral shop Blossoms right next door.

"The owner was very interested in Cake Ambition as a tenant. It's a good combination for a cake shop to move in next to florists," says Bouren. "He held that space for me for a year."

Bouren is designing the shop to reflect her own style, which she characterizes as eclectic. She says it will have a vintage mid-century vibe mixed in with bright pops of color.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

6 places to shop in Live6 this holiday season

The holidays are right around the corner, and now is the time to find that perfect gift for everyone on your list. A visit along Livernois and McNichols is exactly what you need. Here are a few places in the Live6 neighborhoods that you can go to get fun, unique gifts for your loved ones this season.
Eric's I've Been Framed

Tucked in an unassuming building across from the University of Detroit Mercy's campus, Eric's I've Been Framed is the perfect place get beautiful framing for artwork or prints, as well as smaller stocking stuffers like stationery and craft items. The warm atmosphere inside the shop is matched by the friendliness and expertise of Eric Vaughn, the owner and framer-in-chief. 
16527 Livernois Ave, Detroit, MI 48221

Detroit Fiberworks

Need a thoughtful gift for someone in your life who is hard to shop for? Check out Detroit Fiberworks, an art gallery and home goods shop that has a range of items including artwork, jewelry, clothing, and more. Gifts here range in price so there's something for every budget. Also check out one of the many exhibits held at the space and support local artists.
19359 Livernois Avenue, Detroit MI 48221

The University of Detroit Mercy & Marygrove College Bookstores

If you have a Titan or Mustang in the family, you'll want to stop by the University of Detroit Mercy or Marygrove's campus bookstores to get school-branded swag. Pick up your UDM dad hat or Marygrove sweats, and while you're in the area take some time to visit the Charles McGee Commons at the corner of McNichols & Wyoming, on Marygrove's campus.
UDM: 4001 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221
Marygrove: 8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221
Art in Motion Ceramic Studio

Pewabic isn't the only place in town to get beautiful ceramic art. Check out Art in Motion, Live6's neighborhood ceramic studio and showroom. Local artists regularly show their work here, and you can learn the craft too: consider a pottery-throwing class as a gift for the artist in your life.    
19452 Livernois Ave, Detroit, Michigan 48221
Lucki's Cheesecakes

The holidays are a great time to indulge your sweet toothand Lucki's is just the spot to do that. They have a wide variety of speciality cheesecakes, but sell pies as well. Impress your relatives with their strawberry shortcake, sweet potato, and superman cheesecake flavors.
7111 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221
DCreated Boutique

For many, their children are their most precious giftsso why not deck the babies out for the holidays? Visit DCreated Boutique this holiday season for clothes and accessories for the littlest person in the family. You can get tiny couture that will melt the hearts of any grandparent.
19480 Livernois, Detroit, MI 48221
Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles

An instant classic, Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles is known by locals as a place to get delicious comfort food. After your long day of shopping settle into favorites like the chicken and waffles, or get adventurous and try the Hazel's Southern Platter. Wash it down with their legendary Kool-Aid drinks.
19345 Livernois Ave, Detroit, MI 48221

Art and coffee collide in Hamtramck with the opening of Oloman Cafe

A new cafe and gallery has opened in Hamtramck. And for owner Zlatan Sadikovic, it's an opportunity to combine many of his loves.

Oloman Cafe opened to steady crowds on the morning of Monday, December 5th. The cafe, which is part coffee shop, part art gallery, and part photography studio, is located in the former space of the Belmont Bar.

The Belmont spent most of its life as a music venue, though in its latter couple of years new ownership had turned it into a sports bar. Vacant for several years, Sadikovic obtained the venue and began working on it in 2014. Originally planning on using the space for a photography studio, the infrastructure of the building sparked Sadikovic's coffee shop idea. So he combined the two visions, spending the last few years working on an exhaustive overhaul of the building.

Sadikovic and his son Igor, who manages the business, did much of the work themselves, tearing up a floor left rotted by a badly leaking roof and coming up with their own interior designs. The old bar remains, though sharply redesigned, and a small portrait studio occupies the space of the old stage. Out on the back patio, which Sadikovic is outfitting with plants and flowers, is the old Belmont sign, something Sadikovic plans on displaying.

"I kept the sign," says Sadikovic. "People have an emotional attachment to old places."

Sadikovic is one of those people. A native Bosnian, Sadikovic and his wife left for the United States after the war of the 1990s ravaged their country. They've named the Oloman Cafe after one of their favorite cafes in downtown Sarajevo, a place where the city's artists would gather and drink espresso on the sidewalk patio. Zlatan and his wife Indira met at that cafe, which would come to be damaged and demolished over the course of the war.

"That place disappeared. We decided to create something on the other side of the world with the same feel," says Sadikovic. "It's maybe a sentimental type of thing but it is what it is. We come back to things from our past."

The Oloman Cafe has a good chance at becoming a spot where artists congregate. In addition to the coffee and food, which is purchased from local makers Golden Wheat and Guerilla Food, Oloman will have once-a-month art openings in the gallery.

Sadikovic also purchased the building next door, which he has turned into Lint Silver and Sawdust, a rentable co-working space for artists.

Oloman Cafe is located at 10215 Joseph Campau Ave. in Hamtramck.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

New bike shop celebrates opening in downtown Hamtramck

It may have taken longer than initially expected, but the Wheelhouse Detroit bicycle shop has officially opened for business in downtown Hamtramck. The Hamtramck location complements owner Kelli Kavanaugh's original Wheelhouse Detroit, which opened on the Detroit RiverWalk in 2008.

Since we first reported on the Hamtramck location this past March, Kavanaugh has been working on getting the storefront ready for business. Permits have been approved, inspections have been passed, and numerous construction projects have been completed, including a new roof, lighting, and HVAC and electrical systems.

While it may not be prime bike-buying season, Kavanaugh wanted to open the store on Black Friday and in time for the holiday shopping rush.

"I feel relieved," Kavanaugh says of the store's opening. "It's a mixture of excitement and anxiety. It's a fruition of a dream several years in the making but there's that anxiety of spending the money on the new shop. But the exciting things in life are always a combination of those two feelings."

In stocking the store with bicycles, accessories, and active wear, Kavanaugh has placed an emphasis on selecting products that were made in the United States. Those products include bicycles from the Detroit-based Detroit Bikes, locks from Kabletek, and bags from Green Guru, Alchemy, Chrome Industries, Ironweed and Timbuk2.

Kavanaugh has also teamed up with Hamtramck-based apparel maker William + Bonnie, creating a new line of cycling clothing for professionals cycling to work. The line of apparel is available exclusively at the Wheelhouse shop.

[Check out this Model D article on the unique aesthetic of the garment shop William + Bonnie]

Other Wheelhouse features include a service department, rentals, and guided tours.

The shop's winter hours are Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., Monday, noon to 6 p.m., Thursday, noon to 6 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The new Wheelhouse Detroit is located at 9401 Joseph Campau St. in Hamtramck.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Clothing, gifts, and more: New retail storefront coming to Eastern Market

For the first time in 40 years, a retail storefront will occupy 1440 Gratiot Ave.

The new tenants will be Well Done Goods, a men's and women's accessories shop that will be opening in the Eastern Market space. 

Well Done Goods is the result of local tie and scarf maker Bethany Shorb's move to break out of the neckwear market and expand her reach to other products. Shorb's line of ties and scarves has sold under the Cyberoptix name for ten years and will continue to do so. Well Done Goods will carry those products, plus more of Shorb's creations, along with a curated selection from makers throughout the country.

"Our customers have asked and asked for us to put our designs on other things. What better place to launch that venture than right here in our hometown?" says Shorb.

New Cyberoptix products include aprons, pillows, and poster-sized art prints, all of which are screen-printed by hand in their 4,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility, located directly above the storefront. Other Michigan products include JKM Soy Candles and sustainable tables from Union Town Woodshop. Also carried are vegan felt bags from the Los Angeles-based Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger and 3-D printed jewelry from Boston's Nervous System.

Following its Friday opening, Well Done Goods will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Well Done Goods is celebrating with a grand opening on Friday, November 4, from 6 to 10 p.m., which will include food and music, and is free and open to the public.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

It's a match! MCM winners use grant money to help cushion construction costs

Construction is starting this week on the Meta Physica Wellness Center in Corktown. The business will be located in the Bagley and Trumbull building, which counts the Bearded Lady salon and barber shop, Mama Coo's Boutique, and the Farmer's Hand market as its tenants. The latter two businesses are Motor City Match winners. All four businesses in the Bagley and Trumbull building will be women-owned.

Meta Physica Wellness Center owner Jenevieve Biernat started her massage business in Midtown, which she has since outgrown. The Corktown studio will feature expanded services, including two massage rooms, three saunas, a raw juice bar, and an apothecary. Biernat won both a $50,000 Hatch award and a $20,000 Motor City Match grant for her business earlier this year.

"Every bit of money helps," says Biernat. "You don't always know how much you need going in but it turns out you need a lot of money to do this."

Biernat says that once she's established, she'd like to put herself in a position to help others through the Motor City Match application process.

A resident of Corktown, Biernat has been visiting the other shops at Bagley and Trumbull nearly every day, learning from her future neighbors, and soaking up as much advice and information that she can.

Another $20,000 Motor City Match grant winner, Noelle Lothamer, is currently in the midst of construction of an Eastern Market storefront for her Beau Bien Fine Foods. The Michigan-sourced fruit jam-, chutney-, and mustard-makers recently celebrated the one year anniversary of their Eastern Market location, which has served primarily as a kitchen.

Lothamer says the money won from Motor City Match has quickly gone toward construction costs, including the storefront, roof, and some other much needed repairs. "As soon as we knew we could spend it, we did."

The hope is for the storefront to open by Thanksgiving, though Lothamer cautions that there is no set date. In addition to acting as a retail area for their jams, chutneys, and mustards, the Beau Bien Fine Foods storefront will also offer grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, and drinks.

Meta Physica Wellness Center is located at 1707 Trumbull Ave.

Beau Bien Fine Foods is located at 2478 Riopelle St.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Traveling retail event with focus on socially-conscious businesses comes to Eastern Market

The Mercantile is coming to Detroit.

The touring retail event, which began September 25 in Nashville and ends December 4 in Los Angeles, makes the second of three stops at The Eastern events space in Detroit's Eastern Market.

More than just a traditional flea market or arts and crafts fair, The Mercantile celebrates only those businesses that are cause-based makers and retailers, hosting socially-conscious businesses located in Detroit, Nashville, and Los Angeles. Dine Drink Detroit will provide food and drinks and the Nashville-based pop-soul band the Shadowboxers will perform.

More than 25 vendors will be on hand, including 16 brands from Detroit. They include jewelry maker Rebel Nell, which uses repurposed materials to make its products while hiring and educating disadvantaged women; Love Travels Imports, which finds and sells Fair Trade handcrafted art from around the world, emphasizing self-empowerment and sustainability; and LeadHead Glass, which recycles and reuses glass and wood from deconstructed homes in Detroit to construct terrariums and other glassworks.

The Mercantile was thought up by Matthew Ford, a former metro Detroiter who now owns Oaken Anchor, an event production company based in Los Angeles and Nashville. He approached his friend Steve Fortunato, who owns the L.A.-based Hospitality Collaborative catering company, and suggested they do something with more than the bottom line in mind. Fortunato tapped his friend Emily Henderson, a former HGTV lifestyle personality, to help design the event and soon The Mercantile was to debut.

For a lot of socially-conscious businesses, selling themselves may not be their number one priority. Ford thinks an event like The Mercantile can help businesses more concerned with helping others than themselves do both at the same time.

"So often, the term 'commerce' can be the giant elephant in the room with these businesses," says Ford. "But we're unabashed about it. We want people to spend their money on these businesses."

The Mercantile takes place Sunday, October 16 from 2:00 p.m. to 8L00 p.m. at The Eastern, which is located at 3434 Russell St. Tickets are $15 in advance and $22 at the door.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
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