On the Road: Made in Detroit
The Motor City is rising again, and we don’t just mean automakers. Meet a few of the entrepreneurs helping to put Detroit back on its feet—and serving some great drinks and dishes in the process. For more Detroit highlights, visit http://www.midwestliving.com/travel/michigan/detroit/things-to-do/highlights-of-detroit/.
I moved back to Detroit about 10 years ago- when I was 24, and I was living in a lot of great cities. But at the same time I loved these cities, I didnât feel like I had a voice there. I didnât feel like I could participate. It was a vertical structure. And so I was looking to go somewhere that I could participate, like a democratic city, which I feel like Detroit is really that place. Iâm really excited to watch Detroit slowly grow. Thereâs no rush, I donât think. How do we create a city thatâs economically viable but also socially just and environmentally sustainable as well? So, itâs about that kind of triple bottom-line city, and I think this may be the first city to really figure that out: inclusive diversity. Iâve been baking for a while. Prior to the end, we had a real estate company. We had Peteet Realty, which was a well-known real estate company in Oak Park, which my father founded. Once the market crashed and we pretty much lost everything we had - our homes, cars, things of that nature. I went back to baking. From that time, we decided to go ahead and had a nice cheesecake recipeâa real good cheesecake recipeâand started baking them out of the house just to make ends meet, just to keep gas in the car. We started selling about 30 cheesecakes a week out of the house. Once we started doing so good, I looked around and looked at my brother and my mother and said, âYou know, weâre going to shut down the real estate company because itâs getting shut down anyway. Weâre losing everything, so we have to pretty much do something differently, because we havenât changed with the market.â We shut down the real estate company, sold what we could sell, and we opened up the bakery. We normally make around about 200-300 cheesecakes a week, and we have over 90 flavors to choose from. The future is so much brighter, I have no complaints. Zero complaints. I was living in New York City, and I was on a dirty martini kick. And every nice bar I would go into, I would say, âGive me your best dirty.â And after a while, I realized that it was always with an imported vodka. So, at one point, I just said to myself, you know, âWhy canât we make a vodka that competes and beats with some of the best in the world on U.S. soil?â And then I wanted to take that one step further and do it here in Detroit, in Michigan. Detroit has become really open to new businesses, entrepreneurs, maybe businesses that people havenât heard of before. Governments are open to it. People are open to it for exciting new things. Hereâs to Detroit.