On Sunday, the local business organization New Economy Initiative awarded 30 small businesses expansion grants through its NEIdeas contest, including eight local food companies. Corktown's Astro Coffee, food truck Guerrilla Food, and Detroit Vegan Soul are among this year's recipients. Each business will receive $10,000 in funding for special projects. Here's the rundown of how each company plans to use their award:
Astro Coffee: The café owners plan to add outdoor seating, a new awning, and an improved retail display to the building.
Blessed and Highly Favored Juice Bar: Located inside 1917 American Bistro on The Avenue of Fashion, BAHF will upgrade its equipment, operational inventory, and marketing materials.
Brooklynn Brownies: This west side bakery will purchase new equipment, expand its inventory, and hire new staff.
Detroit Vegan Soul: The West Village-base restaurant plans to expand its catering operation and purchase a new company vehicle.
Goodwells Natural Foods Market: Goodwell's will purchase new equipment while increasing its herbal apothecary offerings.
Guerrilla Food: Meiko Krishok's catering and pop-up business is creating an indoor pop-up space.
Motor City Popcorn: The retail popcorn maker plans to acquire new cooking and labeling equipment in order to increase production.
Tamaleria Nuevo Leon: The Southwest handmade tamale producer will purchase new equipment and hire a social media and advertising service.
This isn't the first time NEIdeas has awarded grants to food businesses. Last year's recipients included Sweet Potato Sensations, Café Con Leche, Food Field, and The Turkey Grill among others.