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YumVillage streamlines startup process for aspiring chefs

The sharing economy is creeping into another facet of Detroit’s everyday life: pop-up retail.

YumVillage is working to make it easier for aspiring chefs to find a temporary space to open a pop-up restaurant and create a following.

"We would like to be the AirBnB for the food industry," says Godwin Ihentuge, chief villager at YumVillage.

The mortgage banker at Quicken Loans ran his own pop-up restaurant last year, specializing in gluten-free and vegan foods. He worked a number of events in Detroit, such as Dally in the Alley in Midtown.

The challenge for Ihentuge, who recently graduated from D:hive's BUILD program, wasn’t finding customers. It was finding space to temporarily set up shop. There was no beaten path that aspiring foodpreneurs could follow to find space for their pop-up besides word of mouth and more than a little luck.

"YumVillage was the brainchild to streamline the process," Ihentuge says.

He and a team of four other people launched YumVillage out of Bamboo Detroit last October. It is now working with 25 chefs and 10 locations lined up with easy steps for pop-ups to set up shop. One of the locations is a rotating pop-up restaurant at the Junction440 co-working space in TechTown that is open between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Source: Godwin Ihentuge, chief villager at YumVillage
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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