Annual small business contest Comerica Hatch Detroit revealed its top 10 lineup of projects on Thursday. This year, the list includes seven food and beverage contestants including restaurants, bars, and bakeries alongside clothing retailers and a facial spa. The participants are vying for a $50,000 from Comerica Bank and $200,000 in free startup services to open brick-and-mortar businesses.
The competition has assisted in the development of some of Detroit’s most beloved new food and beverage projects over the past few years; Sister Pie, Batch Brewing Company, La Feria, Rocco’s Italian Deli, and Baobab Fare were all Hatch alums. As of midnight the first round of public voting is open, giving community members a chance to weigh-in on who will advance to the finals. Get to know this year’s contestants below:
Food and Beverage:
- Barter is an arts venue and cocktail bar aiming to open in Hamtramck this fall. The business will allow artists to “barter” for rehearsal space during off hours while meeting demand for music, entertainment, and cocktails at night.
- The Kitchen by Cooking with Que is heading to Woodward Avenue in New Center with two kitchens — one for live demos and one for shared-use rentals.
- Neighborhood Grocery is aiming to open small footprint, full line grocery stores in Detroit’s underserved neighborhoods that lack access to fresh foods.
- Paradise Natural Foods is a vegan deli startup that’s been hosting pop-ups in Highland Park. The menus feature options like barbecue jerk burgers, spring rolls, and general tso cauliflower.
- Slyde is a forthcoming fast-casual restaurant serving gourmet sliders, salads, soups, and po’boys. The restaurant recently secured a new space in Midtown.
- Toma Detroit cocktails and food from Latin America with a focus on tequila and mezcal. The bar recently secured the former Casey’s Pub space in Corktown.
- Warda Pâtisserie is a Detroit-based bakery helmed by Warda Bouguettaya that specializes in pastries and breads from Algeria, France and Asia. The bakery is expected to open inside Trinosophes this year.
Non-Food and Beverage:
- The Upperow is a cut-and-sew luxury fashion house brand that offers upscale and versatile, clothing for men, women, and children.
- SkinBar VII (seven) is a facial spa offering facials and skincare treatments. The business wants to focus on using only high-quality ingredients and making them accessible.
- Mature is a new men’s clothing retailer that offers a unique collection of contemporary casual clothing and modern dress wear.
Voters can cast ballots up to four times in the semifinalist round online at the website, Facebook, or at community voting booths between now and midnight on Thursday, August 16. Four finalists will be revealed on Friday, August 17, and the final round of voting will be opened through noon on Friday, August 24. Finalists will then present their pitches at the Hatch Off to a panel of local judges on Thursday, August 30, who will grill the competitors with questions and help select the winner.
Regardless of the winner, Hatch Detroit provides assistance to semifinalists to help see their businesses to fruition. That means one can bet these restaurants and bars will be popping up in Detroit sometime soon.