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The People Behind the Detroit Comeback: Part 2

Posted on Monday, September 26 2016 in Culture

Two James

Detroit, perhaps more than any other city, was founded on innovation. Now, young entrepreneurs are contributing their own ideas and energy to America's greatest comeback story. Here are just of few of the many people helping to shape the city's future:


Bottling the Spirit(s) of the City

Two James Spirits is the first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition. Located in Corktown, the city's oldest neighborhood, Two James creates small, handcrafted batches of premium spirit, using locally sourced ingredients.

Founders David Landrum, Peter Bailey and their team are committed to producing high quality, unique and consistent spirits and to add to the energy of Detroit.

Distillery tours are offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Sample flights and cocktails made with all craft spirits produced in house, at the Tasting Room, where you can also purchase bottles or cases of Two James spirits to go.

On starting Two James Spirits in Detroit, partner Andy Mohr says, "It was the perfect location for us because of the energy and spirit in the city that embraces new ventures and allows people to experiment, explore and take chances with whatever they are creating. We are also from the area, so Detroit and Michigan is home for us and we are proud and excited to be a part of the amazing energy and beauty that the city and people of Detroit have always embodied. We are humbled to be connected to Detroit's manufacturing past and honored to continue this tradition and legacy into the future."

Well said!

Providing Warmth and Second Chances

Social entrepreneur Veronika Scott, founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, was inspired to start her local nonprofit by an assignment at Detroit's College for Creative Studies to create a product that filled a need in the community. After spending some time at a warming center for the city's homeless population, she designed a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag at night and an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use.

More importantly, The Empowerment Plan hires single parents from local shelters to produce the coats, giving them jobs and hope, so that they can regain their independence and break the cycle of homelessness.

Since starting in 2012, Scott and her incredible work have been hailed in national media including The New York Times, CNN, NPR, Forbes, The Oprah Magazine and Readers Digest. A wealth of accolades range from The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum 2012 New Frontier Award Recipient to the Clinton Global Initiative 2016 Acknowledgement of Commitment to Action.

Detroit couldn't ask for a better ambassador!

 Photo courtesy of The Empowerment Plan.


Baking a Better Business

Sister Pie owner Lisa Ludwinski maintains a commitment to employees, the local economy and the environment, all while creating seasonally driven pies and other baked goods in unexpected flavor combinations.

Ludwinski launched Sister Pie as a cottage food business in 2012, and was able to open a brick and mortar bakery in 2015 after winning Hatch Detroit's $50,000 development grant.

As an official FoodLab member, Sister Pie actively participates in the mission to support the growth of Detroit food entrepreneurism.

Take a glance at their Facebook page for some delicious food photos.

Sister Pie
 Photo courtesy of Sister Pie.


Did you miss the first edition? Check out The People Behind the Detroit Comeback: Part 1

By: Michelle Fusco

Photo credit: Two James Spirits 

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