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Detroiters Think Big: A Small Business Podcast

By James Martinez

Detroit has never been short of big thinkers and entrepreneurs, and many are looking to make their impact in the neighborhoods of the city they love. Throughout the pandemic, the Chamber’s “Detroiters Think Big: A Small Business Podcast,” presented in partnership with Rocket Mortgage, has been showcasing the robust community of small businesses who have reinvented themselves and are preparing for even bigger things post-pandemic.

 


Quiana Broden
Owner, the Kitchen By Cooking with Que

After being diagnosed with the auto-immune disease sarcoidosis, Broden turned to cooking and a vegan diet to improve her own health. That led to Detroit’s only demonstration kitchen and culinary shared preparation space on Woodward just south of West Grand Boulevard.

“I created a place where vegans and meat eaters could coexist. We can have differences in what we eat, but let me just show everybody how to eat better together. That was our entire mission to show people how to eat to live by introducing more plant-based foods into their everyday life.”


Asia Hamilton
Founder and Director, Norwest Gallery of Art

Her experience as an artist led her to create a platform to showcase artists of color and exhibit their work in the Grandmont Rosedale area she grew up in.

“I felt like as a Black person in the art community, there wasn’t really a lot of spaces that spoke to me. I wanted to create a platform for artists of color to be able to exhibit their work and have a place where they can start. We have a lot of emerging artists that come to the gallery as a training space.”


Jason Hall
Owner, Ridetroit

Known best for starting Slow Roll, Hall is leading a new venture, opening the first electric-only bike store in Detroit in Midtown and offering smaller more intimate custom bike tours of the city’s neighborhoods.

“Opening the first e-bike only store with a Trek roster in the world in Detroit, we’re getting ahead of (the e-bike trends). Opening a motor bike store in Detroit, the Motor City – it just made sense that this should be our home.”


Jeffrey Gisstennar
Owner, Good Cookies

Growing up with a relatives in the restaurant industry, Gisstennar turned a family tradition into a small online business opportunity and now plans to open a brick-and-mortar location in North Rosedale.

“I want to have younger folks right in the neighborhood be able to come and work where I can just teach them entrepreneurship. With COVID, we’ve learned so much about entrepreneurship, folks are really geared toward going into business themselves.”