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Nom Nom's Cupcake Factory to add third shop & pizzeria in Detroit

After building a successful bakery in Westland and then Northville, Nom Nom's Cupcake Factory & Sweets Shoppe is taking its baked goodies to a third location, this one in Midtown Detroit. It's also building a pizza restaurant next door.

Nom Nom's Midtown is expected to open in late spring or early summer at 15 E. Kirby in Midtown, says Michelle Meador, project manager for LA Wier, which owns Nom Nom's, Rockstarz Karaoke Bar in Garden City and the future Detroit Pizza Co., which has no opening date set as the owners want to go slow with their first pizza restaurant. It will be located next door to Nom Nom's, within walking distance of some of Detroit's largest institutions.

They chose to expand from the suburbs to the city to be a part of the Midtown business boom, Meador says.

"We got a really great opportunity to go into that location and Detroit is just buzzing with entrepreneurship and new small businesses," she says. "We are excited to be a part of it."

Midtown draws customers from two of the city's largest employers: Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University. Wayne State students and employees and visitors to the Detroit Institute of Arts are potential customers as well.

Detroit Pizza Co. will not "be just a fast food pizza. We want a slice of pizza that tastes great and is affordable, a good quality product at a great price…There's a little rumor we will have beer to go with your pizza."

"It's going to take us longer to do Detroit Pizza Co. because we've never done it before. The cupcake shop is pretty cookie cutter. We learned how to do it with our first location in Westland. The pizza place is very different and detailed…The amount of good, quality equipment, training a great staff, will be more intensive. We don't want to slap something together to make a quick buck. We want this to succeed just like Nom Nom's."

Nom Nom's is known for its fresh-baked favorites, such as booze cupcakes like Amaretto Sours and Irish Car Bomb, candy sweet treat cupcakes such as Butter Finger, Almond Joy and and Heath Bar, and soda pop and cheesecake flavors. It's a takeaway bakery as well as a thriving special-order business that makes different items, such as edible business cards.

Mother-daughter team Laura Wier and Jennifer Ryan have caught on in a short time with Nom Nom's. The Westland shop opened in April 2011. The Northville location launched in November 2013. In that time, it's also been voted "best cupcakes" for three years by readers of Real Detroit.

Source: Michelle Meador, project manager, LA Wier
Writer: Kim North Shine


The Bird & The Bread offers Euro-style, family-friendly eats in Birmingham



It was always a part of the plan for The Bird & The Bread to be a welcoming restaurant for families.

What was not as planned was the extent to which family would play into the charmingly-named, stunningly designed and decorated space where food described as modern Euro casual with an American twist is being brought to Birmingham by the owners and creators of Vinology in Ann Arbor and and Vinotecca in Royal Oak. The Bird & The Bread at 210 South Old Woodward opened for dinner Feb. 22 and will open for lunch March 25. It is connected to The ELM, a banquet room for about 150 guests that is under construction and will open March 18. Brunch will be served at The Bird & The Bread before Easter.

But back to the family ties. First, the restaurant name. It comes from the nicknames given to the twin 3-1/2-year-old children of the owners by their grandfather. One, the smaller girl with a cry more like a squawk, was dubbed The Bird. The heftier son was more like a dense loaf of bread and took his nickname from that.

Later, as the family thought up the name of their future restaurant that would serve more as a comfort food place than their wine-focused previous endeavors, the inclusion of bread, as in fresh-baked loaves, and bird, as in chicken, made sense. The whimsical nature of the name fit the family attitude and restaurant design, which includes an emphasis on environmentally sustainable construction and has a stave -- a room that feels like being inside a wine barrel.

"We agonized and agonized about the name of this restaurant because it's the first time for us not to do a vino concept," says co-owner Kristin Jonna, who grew up around good food and wine as the daughter of John Jonna, one of the founders of Merchant of Vino and former owner of Merchant's Fine Wine. She has traveled the world honing her craft -- wine and food -- and is known as one of Michigan's wine experts. The Jonnas also created Vinotecca inside the Bastone complex in downtown Royal Oak, and own and operate the successful Vinology in downtown Ann Arbor.

The departure from a fine-wine restaurant -- though the Bird & Bread will have a good selection -- was a response to something missing in Birmingham.

"Birmingham has done high end well. It didn't necessarily need more of that," Kristin Jonna says. "We felt what was untapped was a more a casual concept, more of an everyday family restaurant."

That should not imply that hot dogs and chicken fingers are on the menu, though executive chef Jim Leonardo, who is splitting his time between the new restaurant and Vinology, "is loving getting the chance to cook food he serves to his family," she says.

Further tying in the family connection, the grandfather's 30-year-old collection of cookbooks decorates The Bird & The Bread's walls and light fixtures in the space that's broken into comfy, homey rooms such as the nook and the stave and a restaurant entrance that welcomes diners with the warmth of a pizza oven and rotisserie.

The ELM banquet space, which has a simpler, elegant decor and a completely different food selection, is named after nephews Enzo and Luke and niece Maya, the children of Vincent Jonna, who's also in the family restaurant and wine business.

"We are just so excited and ready to go," says Jonna. "We want people to know, the families to know, we're here and want to share The Bird & The Bread with them."

Source: Kristin Jonna, co-owner, The Bird & The Bread
Writer: Kim North Shine

Kravings answering call for modern kosher carryout in Oak Park

After more than 40 years in business, Quality Kosher Catering is finding a new and different market for its food.

Daniel Kohn, the 28-year-old grandson of the founder, is part of that market -- the young Jewish community with an appetite for updated and creative Kosher food.

With that in mind, Kohn is overseeing the opening of the company's new takeout spot in Oak Park, Kravings. It's located at 25270 Greenfield Road and has a dining room that seats about 25. It has a grill, sushi bar and fully certified Kosher kitchen turning out traditional and contemporary Kosher meals.

Kravings' official grand opening is this week, but after a few weeks of what was supposed to be a soft opening Kohn says it's clearer than ever that the demand for more modern kosher food is high.

"The only bad thing since we've opened is how good the reception has been," says Kohn.

The idea to open Kravings came together about a year ago. Quality Kosher Catering, which started in Southfield in 1968 by Kohn's grandmother, is the exclusive caterer for the Congregation Shaarey Zedek synagogue in Southfield, but the vast majority of its business is outside the temple, across metro Detroit, says Kohn.

"It was a pretty spontaneous idea," he says. "It came up in the last year. It was about five months from the time we decided to do it to when we opened.

"Our business on its own started changing. A lot of clients who knew us and were comfortable with us and liked our food started calling for smaller orders. We were doing that from our catering location, but it was not ideal.

"In conjunction with that, Unique Kosher carryout, which had been around for about 25 years, was closing. The owner approached me and was planning on retiring and was looking to sell his business. So it was a combination of looking to solve a problem we were having and having the opportunity to purchase a great location."

At the same time the demands of local, young Jewish residents who had moved away and seen modern, trendy and different Kosher foods in other cities were looking for the same in metro Detroit.

"The Kosher community has changed a lot and evolved a lot, especially in the last 10 years," Kohn says. "A lot more people, young people, are moving back from Chicago, New York, and demanding something fresh, something more hip."

Sushi, brisket burgers, a quality steak and other grilled foods meet that demand. At the same time, Kravings wants to keep the traditionalists happy by serving Kosher staples.

Source: Daniel Kohn, general manager, Kravings
Writer: Kim North Shine

Ale Mary's to serve up craft suds in Royal Oak this spring

Tom's Oyster Bar in downtown Royal Oak is spinning off a new concept in Ale Mary's, which will give props to craft beer through a wide selection of brews and beer-influenced food.

Ale Mary's Craft Beer Hall will open in a renovated space formerly used as an extra dining area and party room by Tom's. Ale Mary's will take up about half the restaurant space, which covers two storefronts and will seat about 50-60 indoors and out, says general manager Justin Pries.

Remodeling is expected to be completed within a few weeks, in time for a spring opening, he says. Tom's and Ale Mary's will operate separately, including staffs and kitchens. Ale Mary's is in the heart of downtown Royal Oak, at 316 South Main St.

This Thursday, a master brewer from Grand Rapids' Perrin Brewing will host a beer-themed meal at Ale Mary's communal table, the first of several special craft beer knowledge dinners that will be a feature at Ale Mary's. The intimate dinner is for Ale Mary's founding members, investors who will be entitled to special privileges such as first dibs on limited-seating special events. A handful of founding memberships are still available, Pries says.

In addition, Ale Mary's has 20-30 craft beers on tap and about 100 bottled beers from around the world, Pries says.

Owners Nick and Heather Ritts are fans of craft beer -- the drink and the industry -- and want to be a part of it, says Pries. They, Pries and staff have been educating themselves through tastings, brewery visits and certification training. Heather is working on one of the highest certifications in craft beer service, and the Ale Mary's staff must be certified as at least Level 1 certified beer servers, he says.

"People know so much about the craft beers now or they're learning," says Pries. "It's now very similar to wine, the different styles and different flavors. My background is mostly in wine. It's fascinating learning about craft beer. I have a whole new level of respect."

Besides serving beer to drink, Ale Mary's will serve food cooked with beer or influenced by beer, Pries says. Executive Chef Geoff Woodman is creating the menu.

"We'll be doing things with food and beer that you can't really find; not on the scale we'll be doing it," says Pries.

Source: Justin Pries, general manager, Tom's Oyster Bar and Ale Mary's
Writer: Kim North Shine

Teenage fashionista opens Faded Raven Boutique in downtown Clawson

A 16-year-old's new clothing boutique is one of several new businesses that have opened in recent weeks in downtown Clawson.

The Faded Raven Boutique, which sells from the store and online, is owned by Ines Soulliere, a 16-year-old enterprising lover of fashion.

"We're very excited for her," says Joan Horton, executive director of the Clawson Downtown Development Authority. "We're really working hard to support our entrepreneurs."

The Faded Raven, which is located at 38 E. 14 Mile Road and sells trendy, unique and affordable clothes and accessories, is one of several businesses that will be celebrated with a group grand opening in the next few weeks, she says.

Others include Spark, which sells decorative glass and gifts; Clawson Antiques; and R.J.'s Diner.

Source: Joan Horton, executive director, Clawson DDA
Writer: Kim North Shine

Metro Restyling adds industrial facility in Sterling Heights

Metro Restyling, a supplier of custom lighting and vinyl, is adding a 13,500-square-foot industrial facility to the online business that caters to custom car enthusiasts.

The new building is located 5400 Eighteen Mile Road in Sterling Heights, and is a mile away from its existing facility.

Besides its online and telephone sales, metrorestyling.com is an online community and idea source for customizers.

Source: Jason Capitani, broker, L. Mason Capitani, Corfac International
Writer: Kim North Shine

Mad Hatter brings tea and more to downtown Birmingham

The Mad Hatter Cafe is bringing high tea and a bistro and bakery to downtown Birmingham.

The husband-and-wife-owned business is scheduled to open this spring at 185 N. Old Woodward, across from the Palladium movie theater.

Besides high tea, a bistro for lunch and dinner and indoor, and outdoor seating, the Mad Hatter expects to fill a need for food takeout and offer event space.

The Mad Hatter is moving into a space previously occupied by a Quizno's sandwich shop.

Source: Edward Nakfoor, public relations, Birmingham Principal Shopping District
Writer: Kim North Shine


Big space, big chefs, big design behind Bistro 82 and Sabrage lounge



One of metro Detroit's most anticipated restaurants, Bistro 82, opened this week in downtown Royal Oak, and besides serving unforgettable food the plan is to "change the dining scene in this area."

Scott Sadoff, director of operations for the AFB Hospitality Group, is overseeing Bistro 82, which opened Feb. 11 at 4th Street and South Lafayette in the former Sangria tapas bar and salsa dance club.

The renovation transformed the two-story, 10,000-square-foot building into a contemporary and luxurious space with clean lines and an open floor plan that has Bistro 82 on the main floor. Upstairs is Sabrage, a high-end lounge and night club where a DJ will play above a fish tank while champagne is served from a tap behind an onyx bar. Sabrage's first day of business is Valentine's Day. It will be open on Friday and Saturday nights. The overall vision for the new business belongs to Aaron Fenkell Belen, the developer of the property and president of AFB Hospitality Group.

"What we're doing is trying to make our place a one-stop shop and capture our guests for their nights out," says Sadoff, who says guests may want a pre-dinner cocktail or a reserved table upstairs at Sabrage for post-dinner time.

The bigger picture of Bistro 82 and Sabrage is "to change the dining scene in this area. Dining should be for the guests, not just to go out to eat, but to have an experience," he says.

"Every establishment around us is here for a reason, and many of them are very good at what they do," he says. "What we never want to become or never will become is stagnant. We don't want to get complacent. We want to try and up our game every single day."

Bistro 82 is French-inspired except for the intentionally roomy interior design.

"It's not a bistro setting that normally has tables closer together. We wanted our bistro to be easily maneuverable, with generous walkways and to be luxurious," he says. "We want our guests to be comfortable and well taken care of."

An important part of the customer care-taking, he says, is hiring a large staff -- sauciers, dishwashers, security staff, drink runners, managers, bartenders, etc.  who are known for their high performance and experience at top restaurants. Sadoff most recently worked for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants as manager of Ocean Prime and before that as manager of  P.F. Chang's.

Derik Watson is the leader of Bistro 82's kitchen and the designer of the menu, which includes a West and East Coast selection of oysters, pork belly and ratatouille and several other appetizers, Waygu hanger steak, beef short rib, sea scallops, Scottish Salmon, chicken Paillard and other entrees, and dessert choices such as yogurt panna cotta, dark chocolate tart and cinnamon sugar beignets. Watson brings with him experience from restaurants around the country, many in metro Detroit such as Rugby Grill in Birmingham and Tribute in Farmington Hills, where he worked under the tutelage of iconic chef Takashi Yagihashi at Tribute and in Chicago.

Running Bistro 82 and Sabrage will require more than 100 employees, nearly half full-time. The restaurant can seat 162 guests. Sabrage has room for about 225 guests.

Source: Scott Sadoff, director of operations, AFB Hospitality Group, and Justin Near, president, Near Perfect Media
Writer: Kim North Shine

32 new businesses launched in downtown Ferndale in 2013

Downtown Ferndale grew in new businesses and in many other economic ways in 2013.

Two major investments were made in the downtown infrastructure: the rebuild of West Nine Mile Road, and a new parking meter system meant to make a visit to downtown easier and visitor stays longer.

According to the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority, 32 new businesses opened, including Dynasty Media Network, C! Tech Solutions, Schramm's Meadery, the Public House restaurant and Shine On Yoga. Other established businesses such as Treat Dreams , Modern Natural Baby, Painting with A Twist and Boston Tea Room expanded their spaces or products or moved into larger space as the local economy continued looking up in 2013.

In all, 2013 saw some $5 million in private and public investment and 300 new jobs, says Ferndale DDA executive director Cristina Sheppard-Decius.

Ferndale's downtown is made up of about 350 businesses across 3.9 linear miles centered around Woodward and 9 Mile.

“Entrepreneurs are investing in the district in big and small ways,” said Sheppard-Decius. “Whether they grow in place or add a second business, make interior improvements or exterior changes, they are committed to downtown Ferndale.   Their commitment, coupled with that of our public officials who are committed to making significant infrastructure improvements, creates a synergy that attracts new investors, new businesses.  It is a formula for growth – and it is working in downtown Ferndale.”

Source: Chris Hughes and Cristina Sheppard-Decius, Ferndale Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

Cigar smokers find space at Socialight in W. Bloomfield



In this era of smoking bans cigar lovers are seeing their options for a place to enjoy a stogie be slowly snuffed out.

Socialight, a cigar lounge and restaurant in West Bloomfield, is their respite, a place where others who appreciate cigars can go for a smoke, a drink, a meal and a membership that comes with a humidity-controlled humidor, cigar and wine storage, a monthly gift and access to a VIP room. There's a selection of 240 cigars for personal use or gifts.

However, says Justin Near, a spokesman for Socialight Cigar Lounge & Bistro, is "not your typical cigar bar. First, and foremost, the majority of the space is non-smoking by design as they wish to be a serious local bistro that can be enjoyed by all. The cigar area is a separate room and cigar smoke cannot invade the bar and main dining room - a state-of-the-art filtration system has been installed."

Socialight opened Feb. 7 and is located at Maple and Haggerty roads.

Jeffrey Yatooma, Dani Sitto and Steve Romaya are partners in the business, with Romaya being the managing partner.

They and general manager Tom Meyer want Socialight to be the source for fine cigars and knowledge, great food, gifts and knowledge as well as a comfortable hangout whether for a game on TV or a business meeting or party.

The restaurant was a designed by local artist, John Janvirya, who has designed, amongst many other things, the former Chen Chow in Birmingham. By spring a patio will be completed and connected to the restaurant by a rolling garage door.

The menu is not a typical cigar bar menu, says Near, "although the daily specials are."
"It is a light, locally-sourced menu that is reasonably priced and the brainchild of Ryan Porter. Ryan, an up and coming chef and his assistant chef Carole Wendling. Ryan was learned from Chef Benjamin Myer from the Motor City Casino, and Wendling, was mentored by restaurateur Matt Prentice.

Source: Tom Meyer, general manager, Socialight Cigar Louge and Bistro
Writer: Kim North Shine

Buy Michigan Now readies for annual market in Northville

A festival that comes to Northville each August may look like any summertime fair, but behind the temporary town of tents, banners, bands and children's play areas is a successful effort to build up fledgling Michigan-made businesses.

For five years the Buy Michigan Now festival has shut down Main & Center streets and opened 2 1/2 blocks of downtown to small- and medium-sized Michigan businesses looking for exposure for their goods and services. Dozens and dozens of times over the years, says Buy Michigan Now founder Lisa Diggs, the vendor-customer connection made at the fair propels entrepreneurial ideas into commercial reality.

"We've had businesses that grew out of the event in a great way, where they've gone on to get on store shelves. Others have opened their own shops or offices. We're sort of a little breeding ground for that kind of success," says Diggs.

This year, as in past years, about 100 vendors will bring all sorts of products, such as foods, patio furniture, smartphone repair services, to the festival. Small businesses in downtown Northville are also part of the event, which draws large crowds with its carefully-screened vendors, a beer and wine garden where Michigan crafters sell their liquid handiwork, live entertainment and a kids' play area spread across the festival area.

The 2014 festival is Aug. 1, 2 and 3, and applications for vendors are now being taken online here.

"It's a campaign and a festival with a cause," says Diggs, an entrepreneur herself. Through Buy Michigan Now and her consulting work as owner of The Catalyst Co., she promotes businesses in a number of ways throughout the year, including providing publicity and media exposure that is normally too costly for a start-up.

The first year of the Buy Michigan Now campaign was in 2007 and came with heavy involvement from the state of Michigan and Gov. Jennifer Granholm. It was a weeklong event with numerous celebrations and promotion. It formed at a time when Michigan's economy was tanking and when the mindset of buying local was taking shape.

"We're literally about getting more people to sit up and take notice of where their product or service comes from. The idea when we started was to have a day for people to think about how to buy only Michigan products, make a meal only from Michigan. Then we realized we needed much more than a day."

Source: Lisa Diggs, founder Buy Michigan Now
Writer: Kim North Shine

Love of Mediterranean eats stokes expansion of Park Grill

Adi Kokoshi and his family have cooked their way out of the original spot where they started the Park Grill Mediterranean in Grosse Pointe Park in 2009 and into a restaurant that's nearly twice the size, has an expanded menu and for the first time a liquor license and large outdoor seating area. It could all bring more success to the Albanian immigrants who have found so many takers of their favorite dishes.

Renovations started in July on an expansion into a neighboring storefront, taking it from 1,000 to 1,800 square feet with seating for 62 instead of 40. A 17-foot L-shaped bar will seat 17 and an outdoor seating area will have room for 20-25.

Opening day could come in late February or early March, says Park Grill general manager Brian Czerny. The Grill takes up a corner location in the buzzing business district called The Park. It's where 1920s- and 1930s-era facades house long-established businesses such as the Rustic Cabins bar, Antonio's Restaurant, a dry cleaner, a pet store, a hardware store, a party store and offices that are now part of a mini development boom that's added  The Red Crown restaurant, Atwater Brewery, which will open in April, the Cabbage Patch Cafe and a soon-to-be announced taco bar, to the mix of businesses.

The menu that locals love, one influenced by cooking from Albania, Greece and the Balkans, will remain but with additions, says Czerny. New entrees and steak and fish dishes will be served, and a "unique appetizer menu" will be available during meal service and also late into the night, he says.  There will be four draft beers on tap, 22 bottled beers and a specialty cocktail menu. In the spring, "an endless mimosa and bloody Mary bar" will go with brunch and lunch, Czerny says.

"We hope to create a warm, relaxed, neighborhood-type atmosphere that works for just about everybody, whether it be lunch during the week, dinner with the family, date night with a spouse, or just hanging out with friends," Czerny says.

Source: Brian Czerny, general manager, Park Grill LLC
Writer: Kim North Shine

$250,000 prize lets Robot Garage expand its kid engineer biz

The Robot Garage in Birmingham is the winner of a $250,000 prize that will give the company owners the financial boost needed to expand staff and programming and put finishing touches on a renovated classroom space as they try to reach more kids -- and adults -- looking to use their brains, hands and free time building Legos, robots and engineering minds.

The prize comes from Chase Bank's Mission Main Streets Grants program. The Robot Garage, which opened in 2012 in Birmingham's burgeoning Rail District, was one of two metro Detroit businesses in the group of 12 winners from across the country.

The other metro Detroit winning company was Edibles Rex, which provides healthy, fresh foods to schools, day care businesses, and other places that feed children.

It's an amount of money that can transform a small business forever. It's the intent of the contest to provide small businesses with cash infusions to help them do things that might not be affordable for years to come, if ever.

"This will do so much to turn still-unrealized dreams into a reality," says Robot Garage co-founder and co-owner Sarah Jacobs.

Source: Chase Mission Main Streets and Robot Garage
Writer: Kim North Shine

Marcia's Munchies brings home Good Food show award



Marcia Nodel took her Birmingham-based Marcia's Munchies pickles to the Good Food show in San Francisco two weeks ago and came back with an award that  is already putting her  "sweet & sassy" creation in more metro Detroit markets.

She was one of five Michigan craft food makers to win the award that recognizes products that have a good taste and potential to do social good.

Nodel has been in business only about a year, but has jarred pickles and jams and made her special caramel crunch popcorn for about 30 years.

Nodel's popcorn is already a staple at markets such as Hiller's, Papa Joe's, Market Square and several others, but the process to certify the pickles took much longer.

With certification and the award, she expects to hire help to keep up with demand.

"I know that doors open faster when you go in and say I just won this award," she says. She gets help in promotion and sales and business planning from  "business-minded, energetic" daughter-in-law Michal Nodel, who moved from New York with Marcia's son about a year ago.

Besides seeing an increase in sales Nodel hopes to watch metro Detroiters come to care more about eating "clean food" and to think about how food production affects the environment and quality of life.

"After going out to San Francisco you see how whole cities are adopting this theory. I don't think one business at the show gave out a plastic bag. It's all about how to eat food, package food, make food that is good for people and good for the community," she says.

"The Good Food people vet you extensively on how you make your product, what's used in your product, where you buy the ingredients. My food has always been preservative free. I don't like anything artificial."

Source: Marcia Nodel, founder, Marcia's Munchies
Writer: Kim North Shine

Metro Work Space adds co-working office in downtown Farmington

In a sign that co-working is  more than a passing trend, Metro Work Space is opening a second location in downtown Farmington next week.

The furniture and supplies are being moved into the 100-year-old, historic building with wood floors, high tin ceilings and "overall charm" this week, says Todd Luhtanen, who owns and operates Metro Work Space with wife Bev Luhtanan.

The 2,500-square-foot office at 33316 Grand River is in the heart of downtown Farmington and offers a different feel and will serve a different clientele than the original Metro Work Space at 8 Mile and Merriman in Livonia, he says.

"We see the demand, but we also different markets. The Livonia office is ideal for people who are meeting across metro Detroit. It's close to highways, central," he says. "Downtown Farmington is completely different. It's a downtown community with all the things happening, people working, restaurants, stores.

"In Farmington we're really targeting people who are already in Farmington and want an office," he says. "There really isn't anything affordable."

Both offices provide a workspace, wi-fi, equipment, supplies and services for the cost of a membership that also brings with it access to networking and business management that will schedule conference rooms and meet other needs, even coffee.

"Some people are seeing it as a cheap alternative when they first sign up," he says, "but once they see it and work here they realize there's additional value."

Metro Work Space is one of about 10 co-working spaces in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor.

Their clients are the growing number of mobile and at-home workers, whether employed by a company or self-employed.
According to DeskMag, co-working has increased 117 percent globally in the last year, and Luhtnanen cites Michigan's strong entrepreneurial culture as a reason for co-working to grow. Nearly 20 percent of graduates from Wayne State and Michigan State universities and the University of Michigan have started their own businesses.

"We're really excited about our own growth, plus the overall growth in co-working," he says. Co-working is still in its infancy in the Midwest, while out west or on the East Coast it's a given way to work.

"People here are [finally] seeing the value of a co-working space. We're here in michigan as opposed to silicon valley or somewhere out west where people really get the co-working.

"People are seeing they can get the feeling of a coffee shop, the getting out into the community, the being around human beings, but without all the negatives of a coffee shop."

Source: Todd Luhtanen, founder and owner, Metro Work Space
Writer: Kim North Shine
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