Hatch Detroit: Meet the Top 10
The third annual Hatch Detroit
contest is now upon us. Launched in 2011, Hatch is a small business competition in which 10 semifinalists are juried in based on the strength of their applications (including a business plan) and how their proposed business would fit within the retail landscape of Detroit. The winner receives $50,000 in cash to assist them in opening their business, as well as a host of additional in-kind professional services from Hatch and their partners.
Previous winners are Hugh
(2011), a retail home goods and gifts store with a distinctly high-end bachelor theme, and La Feria
(2012), a Spanish tapas restaurant and wine bar opening soon on Cass Avenue in Midtown, just down the street from Hugh. Online voting began on Monday and the top four finalists selected from the public vote will advance to the next round. To help you choose which business you want to endorse with your vote, Model D
development news editor Nicole Rupersburg checks in with each of the semifinalists.
Batch Brewing Company will be Detroit's first nano brewery (which refers to a brewery's production size – "nano" is usually defined by a brew system under four barrels). In addition to being a brewery, it will also be a "brewery incubator," helping other new brewery concepts debut their products and refine ideas.
Batch Brewing partners Stephen Roginson (musician, beverage marketer, brewer) and Anthony O'Donnell (auto parts designer, building owner) feel that Detroit is underserved for local, quirky beer. Batch will complement the growing craft beer scene in the city, and fill a need in the Corktown neighborhood. They have a philanthropic angle with the "Feelgood" tap, a rotating beer on tap that contributes money from each purchase to a different local charity each month.
The partners already have a building at 1444 E. Michigan Avenue in Corktown. They will definitely be opening this year but the $50,000 will allow them to actually hire employees much sooner. Roginson is also soon launching the Grey Label Group, a small branding and marketing firm to help Detroit's emerging business landscape access affordable, high-quality marketing services.
Busted in Detroit
Busted in Detroit, owned by Lee and Patrick Padgett who previously owned Café de Troit downtown, will be a full service bra boutique providing bras in sizes from 30A to 56K, with cup sizes up to an N. Their bra selection will include categories of everyday, sports, nursing, fashion, strapless, bustier, bralets, and T-shirt bras. They will also have lingerie, bra accessories (dimmers), cleaners, panties, and smoothing foundations. They will provide a safe, friendly environment with well-trained fitters, who will also be trained in customer service.
Busted will fill a basic need that is currently absent in the city. Bras are a staple in any woman's wardrobe. Currently, to get a well-fitted bra, a full-figured woman has to take her dollars outside the city. Busted will help support the buy local movement, keeping those a dollars in the city. Busted will also support other women's boutiques in the city by supplying women with the undergarments they need for the specialty clothing sold in these stores.
They hope to be located in Midtown or downtown. Winning Hatch means Busted will be able to open sooner and with a more complete inventory.
The Corktown Cinema is the reincarnation of the Burton Theatre: an independent art-house cinema that aims to expand the cinematic offerings in metro Detroit by bringing content otherwise unrepresented in the region to a neighborhood cinema in Corktown, a dense, walkable neighborhood of Detroit. Because there is a very limited number of options for movie theatres in the city, Corktown Cinema will offer something that is lacking – a walkable move theatre, and also one that screens arthouse films often not shown in metro Detroit.
After running the Burton Theatre in Corktown from 2009-2011, Jeff Else and then-partners were forced to close after a dispute with their landlord. Corktown Cinema has been operating as a pop-up around town since then at places like Tashmoo Biergarten, PJ's Lager House, Eastern Market, and the office building at 2051 Rosa Parks. Else has been working on opening for over a year now and plans on moving forward regardless, but Hatch would be a significant leap forward for the theatre.
Detroit's Barber and Shave Club
Detroit's Barber & Shave Club is an old-world gentleman's barber shop that offers today's progressive gentlemen a haven where he can sit back, relax, and experience the "World Class" art of grooming and services in a gentlemen-like atmosphere. Catering to Detroit's business class and affluent living community, the Club will serve the growing demographic of young professionals settling in areas like downtown and Midtown. Though a location has not been determined yet, they are looking downtown and ideally want to be near Campus Martius.
DBSC is a partnership between Isaiah Dahlman, a sales engineer and former captain of the Michigan State basketball team, who has an extensive background in grassroots business development, management, marketing, and fortune 100 sales experience with both a startup and large international company, and Brandon Maake, CPA and long-time resident of the downtown Detroit area who brings financial and accounting expertise to Detroit's Barber & Shave Club as well as a keen understanding of the dynamic downtown market.
They will not only provide grooming services to Detroit's distinguished gentlemen; they will also work to help revitalize downtown Detroit through community outreach and volunteer projects. They are committed to opening this business in the city, and would be able to do so much faster with money from Hatch.
Eartha's Natural Hair & Body Boutique
Eartha's Natural Hair & Body Boutique will provide the best chemical-free all natural hair and skin care products on the market. Operated and owned by a licensed pharmacist, Dameshia Edwards, Pharm.D, can further teach customers how to select the best natural chemical-free product specific to their wants and needs.
Eartha's addresses a need for men and women in the city of Detroit who are seeking alternatives to the chemical-laden hair and body products for their hair and body needs. There is no other pharmacist-run, all-natural, chemical-free product store in the city. Edwards believes the community would welcome and patronize a business that promotes overall health and well-being as it relates to hair and skin care, since organic, sustainable, all-natural lifestyle choices become increasingly popular.
Edwards is currently working on a small scale developing her skin care product line – all-natural body butters, skin salves, bath salts and scrubs – providing products to friends and family. She hopes to open in Corktown or on the Avenue of Fashion.
HenriettaHaus Coffee Roasters
HenriettaHaus is a small batch coffee roaster and café owned by husband and wife Amy and Jeremy Duncan, who own Lightning Records, a public records research company that will also move with them to Hamtramck. For the past two and a half years they have been working out of the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale every weekend, selling the coffee they roast along with Belgian Liege-style waffles. Amy says the Rust Belt was an integral intermediate step in turning their home-based business and hobby into a commercial business and full-scale café.
They have been looking for a location in Detroit since 2009, and have pursued 20 different locations without luck. They finally found "the perfect spot" in Hamtramck and purchased the 100-year-old building earlier this year. They are in the process of moving in upstairs, planning the layout of the café, and updating the utilities (as the building, formerly Kopytko's, a classic neighborhood Ukrainian meat store, has sat vacant for several years). They plan on opening next summer, though the money from Hatch would enable them to open much sooner.
HenrittaHaus will serve fresh coffee sourced ethically and roasted on-site, turning a vacant building into a viable business and creating a gathering space for the community.
Mama's Sweet Side
Mama’s Sweet Side is a family-owned bakery, a partnership between Anthony Haralson, who has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and his sister Kathleen Haralson. Established in 2011, they make home-style desserts from all-natural ingredients, sharing their family's tradition of premium homemade desserts. They currently bake all of their products in a commercial kitchen in Southfield and deliver their cakes throughout metro Detroit and also ship nationally. You can find their products at the new Whole Foods Market in Midtown, Urban Bean Company café downtown, and at Union Street Saloon restaurant and bar in Midtown.
They hope to open a wholesale production facility and retail storefront in Midtown or Corktown, where Detroiters can stop by and pick up baked goods for special occasions and just for special treats. Because they are already shipping nationally, having their own production facility that will allow them to hire more Detroiters and increase their production to meet increasing demand will help them share "a taste of Detroit" and family-style homemade baked goods with the rest of the country.
Spielhaus Toys will be an independent specialty toy store serving Detroit owned by first-time business owner Kurt Spieles, who has a background in engineering and education and spent eight years as a stay-at-home dad raising three daughters and tutoring high school students on the side.
As a specialty toy retailer, Spielhaus will not be competing with Toys R Us or big box retailers such as Target and Walmart. They will carry products that are typically only found in specialty toy stores – higher quality, safe, educational toys that encourage creative play. Specialty toy manufacturers often focus on being eco-friendly and making their product in America. Most importantly, a specialty toy is not about what the toy can do, but about what the child can do with the toy.
They will carry a variety of categories, including books, for all age groups. Their goal is to create a destination toy store in Detroit that will also serve as a place for families to come for other activities like story time, craft time, music and magic shows. There are many young families moving in the city now and there is not a single toy store in Detroit. Spieles believes that a specialty toy store will be a welcome addition to the city's retail offerings that will appeal to these young families and be a place they can take their children to learn and play.
Spieles does not have a location yet but is hoping to open downtown. He will likely apply to the D:hive PILOT space
for November and December, or have discussions with Bedrock about a pop-up space on Woodward for those two months. Winning Hatch would mean Spielhaus could open permanently as early as this fall instead of pursuing pop-ups, though the plan is to open eventually regardless.
Treats by Angelique
Treats by Angelique is an artisan sweet shop founded in 2010 owned by Angelique Robinson. She bakes a wide variety of cookies, cakes, cupcakes, brownies and more, all from scratch, always with real butter and other local fresh ingredients (including organic eggs from the Family Farm in Belleville). Items include traditional favorites like chocolate chip cookies and trendy favorites like cake-pops, as well as made-to-order and custom treats. Her customer is someone who wants fresh, flavorful, from-scratch desserts with ingredients you can trust.
Since launching in 2010, Robinson has baked more than 5,000 Midtown Chocolate Chippers, TbA's best-selling signature cookie. The menu has expanded to include cheesecake, cupcakes, brownies, quick breads, and more. They take orders online or by phone and deliver all over metro Detroit. The home-based business now works out of a commercial kitchen in Southwest Detroit through the Detroit Kitchen Connect program
Treats by Angelique wants to be the neighborhood bakery and a destination sweet shop for all Detroiters, providing a dessert option outside of the big box store and for those who want a superior product and keep their neighborhood economy growing. Robinson plans to open on the Avenue of Fashion in late 2014.
Voigt's Soda House
Voigt's Soda House is a modern twist on the classic soda shop, featuring sodas and cocktails with homemade artisanal syrups made from seasonal ingredients and local herbs. With a particular mindfulness towards Detroit nostalgia – taking a trip downtown to Hudson's or visiting Stroh's and stopping for sodas and ice cream at their soda counters – Voigt's will have particular local appeal while also feeding the growing demand for locally-sourced homemade artisan products. Soda flavors will include things like peach Thai basil, cherry lime phosphate, and celery lime gin tonic. They will serve cocktails, food, and even "Detroit Coolers." (Vernor's is a Detroit product, after all.)
Voigt's was created by Sarah Pavelko and her husband Billy Shuman in their kitchen in Detroit's North End. Pavelko needed a way to use all of the herbs growing in her garden and started experimenting with syrups and cocktails. After considering more traditional concepts like a bar or coffee shop, they decided the soda shop concept was more unique. Named after Voigt Brewing Co., once the largest brewery in Michigan before Prohibition, the name pays homage to Detroit's history and one of the original urban planner families that helped shape the city we know now.
Voigt's does not have a location but they are considering their home neighborhood of the North End, where they have lived for the last 10 years and where they hope to partner with neighborhood nonprofits to offer job training for local youth. With the money from Hatch, they would be able to purchase a liquor license and operate as a full cocktail bar. Otherwise Voigt's will open as a breakfast and lunch spot serving homemade sodas. Long-term they are looking to produce Voigt's own sodas and offer delivery of "adult care packages" filled with all the fixings for specialty cocktails (in lieu of flowers or fruit baskets for special occasions).
Hey entrepreneurs, want to talk business with Nicole Rupersburg? Email her here.