clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Eggy Ding and Molly Mitchell at Rose’s Fine Foods.

East Side Darling Rose’s Fine Food Launching Kitchen Garden School

The beloved east side eatery will be part restaurant, part school

Eggy Ding (left) and Molly Mitchell (right) at Rose’s Fine Foods in Detroit. 
| Michelle Gerard
Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

In September 2022, east side darling Rose’s Fine Food and Wine listed for sale, a decision that owner Molly Mitchell said she arrived at after struggling to sustain throughout the pandemic.

After several months on the market, Rose’s Fine Food and Wine owner Molly Mitchell is retaining the business and, in addition to continuing to serve Detroiters in the beloved diner and wine shop, is developing a culinary education program within the space, Rose’s Kitchen Garden School.

“I really want to work in food advocacy, and there [are] all of these ideals I had opening Rose’s, where I wanted it to be [a] community benefit, and provide food access to more people in my area, and support local farmers, and just do all of these things where [Rose’s] is sort of like a food hub in the area,” says Mitchell.

Rose’s has accomplished much of that in the years since the diner launched in 2014. The eatery sources seasonal ingredients from local urban farms, initially adopted a no-tipping policy (thought customers can still tip) and, during the pandemic, established a patio garden and a to-go bottle shop in order to stay afloat and to offer wary guests a safe place to get out of the house and grab something enjoyable to eat or drink.

While these practices helped Rose’s to gain prominence both locally and nationally, Mitchell says that food advocacy work doesn’t always make good business sense. That, and the constant forced pivoting during the pandemic took a toll on Rose’s team and so many other restaurants across the country. She says by the time she placed the business and property (acquired in 2019) on the market, she was mentally exhausted. In the months that followed, however, Mitchell says she began having conversations with others about what her life would look like after she left the restaurant.

“Ironically, I came to the conclusion that I could actually do all of these things that I want to do and that I’m passionate about, and build something that’s closer to the ideals of what I open Rose’s with. It makes the most sense to do it here at this place that I’ve built over the past almost 10 years,” she says.

While details about the cooking class are still in the works, Mitchell says she’s inspired by the work being done at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. The curriculum at Rose’s will include baking, fermenting, culturally relevant food history, as well as the basics of launching a food business. Additionally, she wants the program to offer a 12-week, paid apprenticeship program for area youth to prepare them for careers in the restaurant or food industry.

Mitchell recently applied for nonprofit status and has been seeking out advice and potential partnerships with groups that are already doing this kind of work, and wants to build a teaching kitchen to the rear of the existing building as more of a dedicated classroom.

Rose’s has also begun to expand its workshop offerings. The hope is that Rose’s will be able to subsidize some of its more aspirational goals in workforce development for Detroiters by offering classes to folks with the means to pay upwards of $150 to learn how to decorate cakes, fill paczki, or simply brush up on their kitchen skills.

“Really what I’m working towards is creating this space where it’s like Rose’s is more of an educational space where we will have a restaurant that you can come to, but like a lot of cooking schools [that] also have restaurants, the main goal of the business is education,” says Mitchell.

Vecino, a Modern Mexican Restaurant, to Open This Fall in Midtown

Restaurant News Brief

Japanese Shabu-Shabu and a Taiwanese Boba Tea House Are Coming Soon to Novi

Three Michigan Barrio Tacos Locations Sued for Alleged Wage Theft