Capturing the culture that makes Detroit what it is.

Detroit Mushroom Factory

in Motor City Match by

Deana Wojcik and Chris Carrier lead Detroit Mushroom Factory. This business supported by Motor City Match is growing mushrooms for grocers, restaurants, and chefs throughout the Metro-Detroit area. The couple came to Detroit from California and is now thriving in business. The process of making mushrooms, selling mushrooms, and teaching people the art form is what Detroit Mushroom Factory is about. Check out their Motor City Match interview and visit www.motorcitymatch.com to find out more about the small businesses reinvesting in Detroit.

Deana Wojcik: My name’s Deana Wojcik of Detroit Mushroom Factory.

Chris Carrier: And I’m Chris Carrier. Detroit Mushroom Factory is an urban mushroom farm located right here in the beautiful city of Detroit. We’ve been operating for about, what, three years?

D: Three and a half.

C: Three and a half years, let’s say.

K: Why did you all apply for Motor City Match?

D: For the support. You know, we’re—we both had other jobs where we weren’t in charge and neither of us have started a business before, so it was really clear really fast that there was a lot we didn’t know. We had seen other people, other business owners who we really respect and look up to, go through that system, so we thought we’d give it a shot. It felt like a long shot, but we were so lucky to get in that initial make-a-match round and since then we’ve just been reapplying every round going through the whole process.

K: Alright, how have you found the Motor City Match Process so far?

C: Really effective, I would say. It’s been really good at helping us I think just keep focused, because every, you know, every time we want to go back for another round or something, it forces us to think about the questions they ask and you know, even if we’re not getting concrete things from them in some cases, it’s just, it’s making us ask those questions of ourselves and sort of push the ball forward on our own. So I think we certainly wouldn’t be as far along as we are without Motor City Match, and I think, yeah, it’s mostly because it helps us get that focus.

D: It’s a little bit of a long story. We were living in California before we moved to Detroit and Chris was growing mushrooms just as a hobby, and when we decided to move from California, we both got rid of all of our possessions and we lived out of our car for awhile, actually, just driving around the country finding different places to live, and the one thing that Chris insisted on holding on to through that whole road trip was a big piece of equipment called an autoclave, which is used to mushroom cultivation. So we had dragged the thing all around the country and we figured when we got here, we saw the great urban agriculture community and we decided, we have the equipment, we have the know-how, we’d give it a shot in Detroit. And an advantage of Detroit that certainly is not true in California is there’s space and real estate available here, so we’re moving into a formerly obsolete warehouse that now we’re getting to repurpose into a farm and things like that just don’t exist in California. So we were really excited to see a space.

C: It’s part of what appealed to us here is, like, just the—what a lot of people see—is the potential, you know, and all these things that are empty. Empty buildings, empty spaces, turn it into something that you want to turn it into, and it’s certainly been a challenge, but…

D: We have a few really loyal restaurant customers. Rose’s Fine Food, which is on the East Side on East Jefferson, Brooklyn Street Local, which is in Corktown, Sister Pie, the bakery over in the Villages, and ??? (3:03) Coriander Kitchen and Farm are operating out of there. So some of these local restaurants that have really committed to sourcing their produce locally are our biggest customers and clients, and then we’re just starting to move into retail also, so if someone who isn’t a restaurant owner wanted to buy our mushrooms, they can find them at the Farmer’s Hand, which is a grocery store in Corktown. And we have a waiting list. So we’re hoping to just continue to supply restaurants and grocery stores in the city and eventually maybe outside the city, although Detroit is definitely our first priority.

C: We’re also a part of the Grown in Detroit program, which is all about sort of local food producers in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park, so during the warmer months, we’ll sell at a table at Eastern Market at the Grown in Detroit Table there, and we will sell as part of that sort of cooperative.

D: They’re incredibly supportive to all local growers, so we’re really proud to be part of that.

K: Alright, so, someone wants to get in contact with you, what should they do? How do they reach you?

D: They can look on our website, detroitmushroomfactory.com, or they can email deana@detroitmushroomfactory.com or chris@detroitmushroomfactory.com. That will give them direct access to us.

Detroit is Different with Dara & David Harper

in Detroit is Different Podcast by

Dara & David Harper are creatives. The couple met in NYC years ago both working in theater and film. Today they lead Noble Peak INC which publishes books, produces film, and directs theater. Partnering to produce, direct, and write a series of plays, the Harper’s are a team of creativity. Their play ‘Passing’ which has started Mayowa Reynolds has been well received to thousands of Detroiters over the years.

Dara shares her process of writing and producing. Today she is finalizing touches on her animated feature ‘The Ice Princess.’ (FYI: since the interview The Sky Princess has been accepted into the Cannes Film Festival. Visit http://theskyprincess.com/ today and find out more about the movie today.)

Vincent Little Jr & 269 Walker St

in Motor City Match by

Vincent Little Jr. Vincent owns 269 Walker St which is the home to his downtown UPS store. The facility face 100’s square ft. for your business as well. He shares the story of his space and how you can join the location matching your business to the riverfront Detroit experience.

269 Walker St is a motor City Match property ready for your business. Visit www.motorcitymatch.com to find out more information about placing your business in this location.

Interview with Vincent Little Jr. by Khary Frazier

Vince Little Jr.: My name is Vince Little and I am the owner of this building and also the owner of the UPS store, which is a tenant in this building. We are in the Rivertown area, just a couple blocks from the River Walk. So right down the street is Harbortown, and to the West of us is the Renaissance Center.

Khary Frazier: Okay, 269 Walker St. is where we’re at, and that’s what people have the opportunity for with Motor City Match. So what type of tenant do you think could use this space and take advantage of their business dreams?

V: Wow, you know, that’s a dynamic question. I’ve seen so many people do Motor City Match, and I don’t wanna give away some of the folks that are interested, but I’m thinking maybe a bakery or light manufacturing type of location, retail. There’s really, you know, no limit to the different types of business that could thrive here. Lot of things going on on the East river front. New walkways, new pathways, so it’s just going to bring a lot of folks down here, so yeah, you know, there’s just no limit to the number of businesses that could thrive in this area.

I was in the Harbortown Shopping Center with the UPS store, and then, well we started to outgrow the space and we were looking for more space to better serve our customers, and this building became available, and I was just fortunate enough to be able to purchase it.

You know, this is a big building—much bigger than I anticipated, so there’s several different areas. We have 8,000 sq. ft. upstairs that could be subdivided, or maybe someone wants the entire space. I also have two smaller spaces, both of them approximately 1,500 sq. ft. on the lower level. None of it is developed. This used to be a warehouse kind of building on the lower level. So it’s kind of warehouse-y-ish now. So, you know, so the sky’s the limit on what they can do with the space, and they can totally put new doors, new windows, new entrances are all fair game in this area.

K: Alright, so, as you talk about subdividing and changing things up, how open are you to someone coming in with their own people to contract and blueprints and ideas like that—could you be open to me bringing in my own people?

V: Sure. And that’s with—I have a prospective tenant right now who’s bringing in a firm from Motor City Match, an architect with her own ideas, and I have very little—whatever she wants to do. It’s an open canvas. So I hope she dreams to her heart’s content and it comes to fruition.

Sure, well my phone number is (248) 464-1180. Or I’m also listed on the Motor City Match website with contact information: email address and phone number is on there as well.

K: Thank you so much!

V: Okay, thank you!

Detroit is Different with Dr Paul Thomas

in Detroit is Different Podcast by

Detroit is Different is about culture and business makes up a lot of that for our city. The products, services, and the style/ process in which they’re delivered are uniquely Detroit. The gate of the Detroit River has welcomed world travelers for centuries. Today the port remains America’s busiest border for importing and exporting goods. I’ve always felt the best asset we’ve offered the world are Detroiters.

Dr. Paul Thomas is one of the Detroiters going against conventional wisdom. Dr. Thomas leads Plum Health which is a family medical practice. The likes of the conglomerate giants Henry Ford Health Systems, Beaumont, and the Juggernaut of the Detroit Medical Center has changed the way medicine is delivered here. America has witnessed the medical industry change over the decade to decade more than any other industry that flourishes. Dr. Thomas provides an old school style practice with today’s technology and savvy for clients. His 24 hour service, home visit, and self/tech reliant administration is cost conservative for clients.
I host a podcast discussion with Dr. Thomas about his practice, roots in the Metro Detroit area, time at Wayne State University Medical School, and more. We dove into his Grandparents ties from Eastern Europe to Hamtramck and Eastside Detroit. We also talk about his connection to Detroit City Football Club Le Rouge. In health we talk Diabetes, Hyper tension, and Heart Disease. Getting healthy, staying healthy, and changing lifestyle.

I welcome you to check out the Detroit is Different Podcast with Dr. Paul Thomas.  If you’re interested in contacting Dr. Thomas visit him online at http://www.plumhealthdpc.com/ or call him anytime at (313) 444-5630.

Steven Dye of Detroit Magic Child Development

in Introduction by

Steven Dye is a Detroiter by way of Memphis TN. Since the early 2000’s Steve has applied his passion, southern charm, and devotion into Detroit Magic Child Development. Detroit Magic Child Development is an after school and summer program for Detroit children. Located on East 7 Mile Rd (near I-75 and Mound Rd) Detroit Magic Child Development welcomes hundreds of students seeking tutoring, sports, arts, and technology.

Steve shares the story of how he was inspired by the efforts of others in Detroit. Detroit Magic Child Development was a vision he built that has gathered the support of countless others in reaching it’s mission. Steve also speaks about how he remembers the impact of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in Memphis as a child. Thereafter his commitment to bring about the change Dr. King inspired has been instilled in him.

Today Detroit Magic Child Development is offering grade, middle, and high school student’s opportunities to learn drama, etiquette, engineering, and sports. This mix of culture provides eye opening lessons to students seeking opportunity. A collection of instructors, tutors, mentors, and volunteers devote themselves to the success of this program. Click here to give to the Detroit Magic Child Development Go Fund Me Account.

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