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In 2016, Southwest Detroit lost an important anchor, our local coffee shop. It had come to serve as a “community living room” where we gathered to discuss community concerns, politics, art, collective identity, and economic development opportunities. NOIS (Neighborhood Office and Incubator Space) will recreate that dynamic and expand on it by creating a community-driven collaborative workspace/resource center with programming that’s accessible to Spanish/English speakers and designed to support small social enterprise, home-based food/commodities vendors, and artist; working together to remove barriers that keep them in the informal economy.


The project will renovate a 3200 sq ft storefront adjacent to our community arts and cultural center, Garage Cultural. It will create a public coffee shop, locally-sourced retail space and 20 affordable cooperative workspaces to provide these entrepreneurs with both the foot traffic and visibility needed to increase their revenue.


Entrepreneurs, artist, and residents will feel a renewed sense of power, learning how to leverage art/culture in developing creative avenues for coalition building to produce holistic development. Organizations & businesses with aligned missions will have a space conducive to building interpersonal & cross-sectional relationships for overall sustainability and youth will be empowered to explore entrepreneurism through a cultural lens, growing our local leadership base. The unique partnerships created will also increase local understanding of how for-profit entities can support non-profit work to augment community power in a broader economy via shared spaces/resources. 

The Concept:

To support economic development among southwest Detroit’s entrepreneurs through a community-designed resource hub/café/co-op workspace grounded in Latin American art, culture and food. A space capable of nurturing deep conversations about equitable development and artistic expression to leverage both positive economic impacts for themselves and to the social-fabric of their community.  

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