DETROIT, MICH. July 19, 2018—Ten good food enterprises across Michigan were awarded $10,000 each in new Catalytic Investment Awards from the Michigan Good Food Fund, a statewide loan fund working to increase healthy food access and spark economic development in communities that need it most. Businesses hail from Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Benton Harbor, and Traverse City.
The Catalytic Investment Awards are designed to help entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level, including preparing for financing. Awards will be used for a variety of purposes, including infrastructure investments, capital expenditures, and predevelopment.
“These ten awards are supporting businesses that are increasing healthy food access and sparking job creation across the state, from farm to fork,” said Mary Donnell, Program Manager of the Michigan Good Food Fund. “In addition, they are supporting female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color, a core part of our mission.”
The fund was created in partnership by Capital Impact Partners, Fair Food Network, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Since its launch in June 2015, it has invested more than $11 million in 28 food businesses across the state, supporting or creating more than 420 jobs.
Catalytic Investment Award winners include:
Baobab Fare, Detroit: This East African restaurant, market, and juice and coffee bar offers an array of prepared high-protein foods that are healthful and affordable, in addition to groceries, juices, and other unique products such as single-origin whole bean coffee from Burundi.
Fresh Corner Café, Detroit: A mission-driven caterer and distributor of regionally-produced, fresh, healthy foods to schools, community centers, senior living communities, hospitals, and corner stores.
Guerrilla Food, Detroit: Founded on the belief that food is medicine, Guerrilla Food hosts weekly farm-to-table dinners at the Pink Flamingo, a vintage airstream trailer, featuring Detroit-grown produce. It also offers pop-up meals, workshops, and catering.
MaMang, Flint: MaMang serves slow-cooked, nutrient-dense Vietnamese comfort food featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients. In addition, MaMang mentors early-stage chefs through the Culinary Arts Center at Mott Community College. MaMang is currently located at the Flint Farmers’ Market and is expanding into a second location in Flint.
Mighty Fine Poultry Processing, LLC, Ann Arbor: An urban meat processing facility, Mighty Fine Poultry’s goal is to increase access to small-scale, locally grown poultry. It is also developing a commercial kitchen, meat counter, and retail space featuring its meats, stocks, and broths.
Sweet Potato Delights, Detroit: A veteran-owned enterprise, Sweet Potato Delights makes artisan sweet potato-based hummus and baked goods, which are available at Western Market, Honey Bee Market, Market Square Grocery, the Northwest Farmers’ Market, and other special events. It also offers consulting services including nutrition counseling and food-based disease prevention workshops.
WEST & NORTHERN MICHIGAN
The COGIC Community Center Forward Center for Healing and Cultural Advancement, Battle Creek: A people-centered, grassroots organization working to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables via a community garden and community engagement. A food cooperative is in the planning stages.
Malamiah Juice Bar, Grand Rapids: A family-owned business, Malamiah sources ingredients from a local produce distributor to serve up fresh juices, health shots, acai bowls, and nut butters as part of its mission to increase healthy living and elevate community wellness. In addition to its retail location at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, its products can be found at a handful of cafes and markets and can be purchased using SNAP benefits. (SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps.)
The Mason Jar Café, Benton Harbor: This farm-to-table breakfast and lunch restaurant is a community anchor, employing 25 people in an economically distressed neighborhood in Benton Harbor. The restaurant is planning to expand to a second location in Benton Harbor, which will create at least eight additional full-time jobs and increase community access to the scratch-made, locally sourced food.
The Redheads, Traverse City: The Redheads manufactures plant-based foods using organic, natural, wholefood ingredients from area farmers and producers to catalyze the local food economy. Products include pesto, cherry chipotle hummus, black bean/veggie burgers, dressings, granola which can be found in many grocery stores and restaurants throughout the state.
About Michigan Good Food Fund: The Michigan Good Food Fund is a $30 million public-private partnership loan fund that provides financing and business assistance to good food enterprises that benefit underserved communities across Michigan. Dig deeper at MIGoodFoodFund.org and follow the fund on Facebook and Twitter @MIGoodFoodFund.