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Hatch Detroit Final Four

Hatch Detroit 2014

By Jeffrey Buck

The 2014 Hatch Detroit Contest Final Four are in and voting has already commenced.  Voters now must choose only one business each day in this round. The four finalists that will continue to try and win your heart are the following:

Cockadoodle – Breakfast/Lunch concept on Avenue of Fashion

Gabriel Hall – Live New Orleans style entertainment bar & restaurant

Sister Pie – Bakery including pies, cookies and more

Third Wave Music – Instrument retail store

You can vote by visiting their website, click here. The Hatch Off, this Wednesday August 20th,is where the winner will be announced. The crown will be awarded by 50% popular votes and 50% Hatch Off Judge votes. If there happens to be a tie the winner will be determined by the total number of popular votes from both rounds of voting. Tickets for the Hatch off being held at Ford Field can be purchased by clicking here.

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Hatch Detroit Voting in Full Swing

Hatch Detroit 2014

By Jeffrey Buck

The 2014 Hatch Detroit Contest Top 10 we’re announced last week and are now looking for your vote. Voters may choose up to four business for the first round of voting and participate once per day. The lucky ten semifinalists looking to win your heart are the following:

Alegria Pops – Authentic paletas (Mexican ice pops)

Bumbo’s – Polish bar/cuisine

Cockadoodle – Breakfast/Lunch concept on Avenue of Fashion

Gabriel Hall – Live New Orleans style entertainment bar & restaurant

McClary Bros. Outpost – Tasting room/Soda shoppe

Rocco’s Italian Deli – Midotwn deli

Sister Pie – Bakery including pies, cookies and more

Third Wave Music – Instrument retail store

Uncle Bug’s Organic Creamery – Ice cream manufacturer

1701 Bespoke – Custom clothing

You can vote by visiting their website, click here. Past winners have included Hugh, La Feria and Batch Brewing. The top four finalists will be announced on August 15th at which point Round Two of voting will begin. The Hatch Off and winner will be announced on August 20th.

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A conversation with the guys behind Corktown Cinema

corktown_cinema_logo

By Patrick Smith

It has been a hard, frustrating few years since The Burton Theatre in Detroit was forced to close its doors due to a dispute with its landlord. Since then we here at the Spine have been following the ups and downs of their quest to find a permanent home with the same anticipation and attachment as the rest of Detroit. Now it looks like our days of waiting may soon be over. But first you have to go vote for Corktown Cinema in the Hatch Detroit contest. Like right now, go vote on Facebook and at Hatch.com, then wait 24 hours and one minute and do it again. Repeat until August 29.

And you need to do this everyday because Corktown Cinema is proof that all the nice stuff you want to believe about Detroit is true.

During its too-brief run, The Burton was the sort of place people are talking about when they talk about the possibilities of Detroit. Too often all that bluster about the freedom and space to make what you want of the world just ends with Dutch people buying shitty houses, but the people behind the Burton actually took an old school and turned it into a really special place to watch movies. And then they showed incredible and unique films there. The Burton wasn’t just about having a movie theatre in Detroit that was like theatres in other cities, it was about having one that was better. Which is the idea after all, right?

Any confusion or frustration felt by fans of the former Burton, now Corktown is understandable. For a long time it looked like they had a spot in an exciting new complex in Corktown (hence the new name) but that development has hit some snags. It is understandable that people set themselves up for failure, or brace for expected disappointment. But the Corktown guys haven’t stopped working. Since the Burton closed, Brandon Walley joined Jeff Else as a part owner. Walley was the director of the Detroit Film Center and is a filmmaker himself, so he brings valuable knowledge and perspective to the operation.

This week both Else and Walley answered some questions for the Spine. Their edited answers are below.

Woodward Spine: The Hatch contest winner gets $50,000. What are you going to do with the money?

Brandon Walley: Corktown Cinema will become a reality. It has become a singular mission for Jeff and I. Winning Hatch Detroit will put us on the fast track to purchasing the building that will be a perfect fit for us in Corktown. Having our own space as oppose to renting, as was the case with Burton Theatre, will allow us to do everything Burton did but on steroids. So much more opportunity to have unique programming and events that aren’t offered in Detroit currently.
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Jeff Else: We will be using the $50,000 in conjunction with some private investment we have committed towards the purchasing of a building to house the cinema, and the expenses involved in adapting the space.
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WS: Why should people vote for you?
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BW: We are offering something that is singularly unique to Detroit right now. Anyone that lives in the city knows that going to see a movie usually means driving to the suburbs. But mainly, we will offer programming that isn’t even offered anywhere in Michigan. Major cities in the US have options for unique cinema, we’ll bring it to Detroit but also do it better than most. Basically, we’re all friends working towards the same goal… cinema not otherwise offered in Detroit. The mantra remains.
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JE: We think watching movies in a social setting (with a beer maybe) is an essential part of any vibrant community.  As anyone who lives in the city can tell you, far too often seeing a movie involves going to the suburbs.  There are only 4 functioning movie theatres in the city, most of them on the outskirts.  We think that’s tragic.  Also, we’ve proved that this idea works.  We were open for almost two years as the Burton Theatre, and developed a loyal following when we were forced to close due to a dispute with our landlord.  We have card-carrying members.. Detroit wants this.
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WS: What else you guys working on beyond this contest?
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JE: Well we’ve been working hard towards finding a suitable building for the cinema, which is a bit more challenging than just finding your average storefront, that’s really been our focus this year.  We kept up a fairly consistent pop-up schedule after the Burton closed, but we’re really trying hard to find a permanent home now.
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BW: Beyond my role as Program Director for Corktown, I’m lucky that I get the opportunity to program (when asked) for other organizations. I’m curating the next Mothlight Cinema here in Detroit, which is a really great outlet for avant garde cinema (bridging the gap until CC opens.) Programming at Nightingale Microcinema in Chicago this fall and continuing to be the regional programmer for Media City in Canada.
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Then, well I’m a filmmaker. Keep working. Hopefully my first feature, loosely based on the Detroit music scene, will be done by the end of the year.
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WS: It has been a while since you closed, what has been going on since then? Why the hold up?
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JE: Oh boy, so many things.  We had been working with some developers from New York for about a year and a half to be part of a big complex of independent retail, food etc.. they are doing in Corktown, but their development hit some snags and is sort of in limbo.  Earlier this year we were in a prolonged bidding war for a building that we ultimately lost.  So, you know, just mundane stuff, but we’ve been working hard all the while to make it happen, and there’s no stopping us.
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A Chick So Nice They Hatched It Twice

Penguin Hatch Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoo celebrated the birth of a macaroni penguin chick on May 25 – and celebrated its rebirth the next day. Using a rare and little-known technique previously employed with success on other bird species at the Detroit Zoo, animal care staff placed the incubator-hatched penguin chick back in its egg to be “hatched” again by a set of foster parents.

Typically, penguin eggs are incubated and hatched and the chicks hand-reared by animal care staff off-exhibit at the Detroit Zoo’s Penguinarium to better ensure their survival. The youngsters join the mature penguin colony about three months later, after they have fledged or grown their adult feathers for swimming.

“This is a rare opportunity for our visitors to see penguins rearing a chick,” said Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Birds Tom Schneider.

The chick’s parents are 25-year-old Needles, who laid the egg on April 19, and 8-year-old Diego. Because their nests are next to the habitat’s pool – a risky location for raising chicks – keepers pulled the egg for artificial incubation. After 36 days, a healthy chick was hatched, weighing 4.6 ounces – the Zoo’s largest macaroni chick ever. A DNA test will be conducted soon to determine the hatchling’s gender.

After observing that the chick was healthy and strong, keepers put it back in its egg and secured the top with tape. The egg was placed in the nest of 30-year-old Purple Girl and 12-year-old Tubby, who had made a nest in a safer location and were diligently incubating infertile eggs. Shortly after being placed in the foster parents’ nest, the chick “hatched” once again.

“The foster parents seemed a bit surprised by it all, but their parental instincts kicked in right away and both have been observed feeding ‘their’ baby,” said Schneider. “The chick appears to be thriving and we are very encouraged and excited.”

The macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus) is a sub-Antarctic species found on islands surrounding Antarctica. Also known as a crested penguin, the macaroni gets its name from the bright yellow crest feathers that adorn its head. These plumes reminded early English explorers of an 18th century man, called a “macaroni”, who wore flashy feathers in his hat.

The Detroit Zoo currently has 27 macaroni penguins, including the latest addition, and is one of seven institutions in North America that is home to macaronis. The Penguinarium also houses rockhopper and king penguins and features a circular pool that allows the birds to swim continuously through their habitat.

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Now Accepting Applications: 2013 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest

Hatch Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. – Applications can now be submitted for the 2013 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest. Entrepreneurs, new and experienced, are encouraged to submit their concepts for Detroit’s newest retail business at www.hatchdetroit.com.

The winning business pitch will receive a $50,000 grant courtesy of Comerica Bank and legal, marketing, accounting and IT support from Hatch Detroit.

“It’s amazing to watch these business plans evolve from mere ideas to brick and mortar retail shops around Detroit,” said Vittoria Katanski, Hatch Detroit executive director. “What’s even more exciting is that the contest has hatched more than just the two previous winners. Past contestants have been so inspired by the overwhelming community support during the competition, they’ve continued to move their business plans forward, turning their ideas into retail realities all over the city.”

Here’s a look back at some of the past contestants who have or are preparing to open up shop in Detroit:

2011 Contest

  • Hugh, a male accessories shop concept, won the 2011 contest and has opened in Midtown.
  • pot & box, a boutique flower shop, is currently operating a pop-up shop in D:Hive and plans to open a storefront in Corktown in the near future.
  • Alley Wine recently received zoning approval from the City of Detroit and is moving forward at a Midtown location.
  • Detroit Institute of Bagels is in construction mode at a location in Corktown.

2012 Contest

  • La Feria, a Spanish tapas concept, the 2012 winner, is well on its way to opening this year in Midtown.
  • Rock City Eatery, a locally- sourced artisan pie company, is in the process of opening a storefront in Hamtramck.
  • Detroit River Sports, a river sporting company offering tours, lessons and rentals, has plans to open along the river this summer.
  • Detroit Vegan Soul, a vegan soul food restaurant concept, plans to open in West Village this July.
  • Pho da Nang, a traditional Vietnamese restaurant, is in the process of opening a storefront in Midtown.

“Comerica has a long history of supporting businesses in Detroit, from small to large, newcomers to century-old institutions,” said Mike Ritchie, president of Comerica Bank-Michigan. “Our hope is that investments like our grant to Hatch Detroit will continue to encourage others to explore new and creative ways to improve enterprise in the City of Detroit and across the region.”

This year, the contest submission period is limited to just six weeks and the application process now requires a supporting visual to better illustrate the business idea. For complete submission guidelines and contest rules, visit www.hatchdetroit.com. The deadline for submissions is July 13, 2013.

About Hatch Detroit

Hatch Detroit is a Michigan based 501(c)(3) organization that champions and supports independent retail businesses in Detroit through funding contests, education, exposure, and mentoring. Hatch Detroit was co-founded by Nick Gorga and Ted Balowski, Detroit natives who are passionate about the revitalization of the city and inspiring others in the community to create change.

About Comerica Bank

Comerica Bank, with 215 banking centers in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated. Founded in Detroit in 1849, Comerica continues to invest in Michigan. Comerica’s $17 million renovation of its building at 411 W. Lafayette in Detroit was completed last year and the renamed Comerica Bank Center is now the bank’s Michigan Market headquarters. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. To find us on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares. Follow us on Twitter at @ComericaCares.

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Final day of voting for Hatch Detroit final four

By Jeffrey Buck

If you haven’t heard yet the final voting for this year’s Hatch Detroit contest is underway. The field of potential winners has been narrowed down to four—Detroit River Sports, Detroit Vegan Soul Cafe, La Feria and Rock City Pies—with voting continuing through noon today.

Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd are on a mission to introduce Detroit to a concept that is popular in cities like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles—vegan food. What was created initially as a home delivery and catering business specializing in vegan soul food could very soon become a cafe right here in Detroit. It’s been a lot of work over several months but the duo are fighting to win $50,000 to make the Detroit Vegan Soul  Cafe a reality through the Hatch Detroit contest.

“We got started in February of this year,” said Ussery. “People can go online and order either lunch or dinner from us and we deliver to them and we cater events. We joined the Hatch contest to try and win funds to open up a store front, but our meal delivery and catering have been a good test of the market and people are very into this and excited to have another option for vegan food.”

Without a dedicated space for the business, Detroit Vegan Soul makes due with what they have and are ready to move forward with their dream of opening a cafe.

“We are at home right now but are using a kitchen until we can find a more permanent space,” said Ussery. “Our goal is to within the next year be able to open a cafe.”

Having recently become a vegetarian myself I was surprised to find out that a majority of customers are in fact not vegan, but are instead looking for a more healthy option when it comes to food.

“We were pleasantly surprised,” said Ussery. “It’s been a very good reception because I’d probably say about 70 percent or more of our orders come from people who aren’t vegan. They just really love the food and I think people like the idea of being able to have something full of taste and healthy.”

Ussery and Boyd found it difficult at first when they decided to become vegans and are now using their knowledge to help others thinking of making the change.

“We came up with this idea because when we transitioned to vegan it was food like this that helped us and so we wanted to expose people to a different kind of vegan food,” said Ussery. “You can still have vegan food and feel satisfied.”

Ussery, who also works in public relations and Boyd, a hair stylist, have catered events throughout metro Detroit that include the Canfield Street Market, community events and an event for the D:hive. Their business has grown substantially over the last several months by word of mouth and through friends and family. They were also featured on a vegan blog, who’s author visited them while on a trip across the US and fell in love with their vegan pulled pork.

The menu offered now is quite simple but would expand significantly when they open a cafe. They offer meals for a single price of $12 which includes a main dish and two sides. They offer  both lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday. For more information regarding food options and news be sure to stay up to date through their social media:

Website: detroitvegansoul.com

Twitter: @detvegansoul

Facebook: DetroitVeganSoul

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