Entrepreneur launches crowdfunding campaign to bring Morningside Café to east-side neighborhood

Following a Top Ten finish in this year’s Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest, a Morningside entrepreneur is turning to the community to help bring his business idea to fruition.

Jeffrey D. Lewis II has launched a crowdfunding campaign for Morningside Café, a café, music and performance venue, and events space in the neighborhood of the same name.

Jeffrey D. Lewis II

For Lewis, a resident of Morningside, the café is an opportunity to provide his neighbors with a place to gather over a cup of coffee, tea, or smoothie. Morningside Café also plans on carrying baked goods, breakfast foods, and more.

"They have to travel over to the Grosse Pointes and patronize Starbucks or travel as far as downtown and Midtown to have a place to go get a quality cup of coffee or just to have a place where they can meet with friends and colleagues," Lewis told Model D in August. As a resident of the neighborhood, he remembers there were local businesses he could go to without leaving the neighborhood and wants to offer that experience through his cafe.

"So that's pretty much where the idea came from. A space where the residents of our community can come in from within walking distance, to have that place to enjoy those types of features."

As part of the crowdfunding campaign, Lewis has until Thursday, Nov. 21, to reach his $500 stated goal. Should he successfully reach his goal, the Detroit-based marketing firm Best Practices Consulting Services has pledged a $500 matching donation. Money raised will be used to purchase furniture and additional equipment.

View the crowdfunding campaign online.

In addition to providing traditional café goods and services, Lewis also plans to open up Morningside as a performance arts space "so the different artists within our community can showcase their crafts for the larger scope of our community," he says.

"You're also going to have a dedicated community space where if you want to come in, host a workshop or have a meeting, bring in your family or your clients, you can.

"A space to have those conversations that are needed to further our community for the better."

Morningside Café will be located at 16369 E. Warren Ave. in the Morningside neighborhood of Detroit. Lewis is eyeing a target opening date of end of the year/mid-January.

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Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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