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We're restoring a vintage diner to provide from-scratch food with quality local ingredients to strengthen our community in Detroit.
We're restoring a vintage diner to provide from-scratch food with quality local ingredients to strengthen our community in Detroit.
248 backers pledged $19,181 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$19,181

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Rose's Fine Food is located on the east side of Detroit, in an area that has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Our dream is to be a part of bringing stability back to this neighborhood by providing a spot where its easy and comfortable to access delicious food made from scratch with quality ingredients. The items on our menu will boast produce from many of the farms in the city, and we will bake our own breads, pies, cakes, pastries, and anything else we can think of in a wood burning oven. Picnic baskets stuffed with the bounty of summer will sail out the doors in the arms of hungry patrons, bound for a lunch on historic Belle Isle. Instead of building a new building to house our dream, we chose a vintage diner with all the charm and memories still intact. Unfortunately, you can't cook food with charm alone, otherwise we'd be all set. The reality is that the kitchen in this otherwise lovely little restaurant basically doesn't exist. There is no working stove, there is no oven to make our pastry with, no fryer, there is a gaping hole in our ancient freezer wall, and all of our gaskets on the cooler doors need replacing. We are in the diner every day now vigorously scrubbing away the 50-plus years of grease and cigarette smoke, but the pros need to be called in to clean ancient grease from the places we simply cannot reach. The list goes on, and it is all a labour of love. Each day that we've been in the diner we've been greeted with a steady stream of neighbors passing by who stop in to tell us how happy they are that the place will be open again, how exciting it is to finally have something in the neighborhood to be proud of. They share their stories of eating at the diner 30 years prior, what the old days of Detroit were like, and how pleased they are that it seems to be headed in the right direction once again. All these people have made such an impression on us that we just can't wait to get open to serve them our home cooking! 

Risks and challenges

Since we've already signed a lease on the diner, we're in this for the long haul, and glad to be! The most tangible risk in our area of town is safety. Our diner is a metal scrapper's dream, and while we do have an alarm system and are installing further security, it remains that safety is an issue. We are hiring an off-duty Detroit Police unit to patrol the area on our behalf, and are getting our neighbors involved in keeping an eye out for anything unseemly. We've also had safety assessments done on the area, which have produced a snapshot that appears much more quiet that it seems like it would be. Fortunately, it looks worse than it really is, but we are erring on the side of cautious.

Another potential snag is the permitting process that we face in a city that is reinventing itself as a more functional municipality than it once was. Detroit's bankruptcy is no secret, but the processes we face to get open might be more difficult because of the bankruptcy changing the way departments have done things in the past. The great news is that we are not alone in opening a restaurant in Detroit, and we have a very close-knit food community here with lots of information and mentoring available. Everyone shares what they've learned and how best to navigate the bureaucracy, because in this town the rising tide floats all boats!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A certificate redeemable for a cup of great coffee, or a house-made beverage such as an egg cream or herbal soda.

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    38 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A certificate redeemable for an amazing fresh baked good of your choice!

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    37 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    A certificate redeemable for Rose's signature picnic service for two...Detroit's premier picnic destination, Belle Isle, is a short mile from Rose's Fine Food. Grab a date on a sunny day and stop in to claim your reward!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A Rose's Fine Food t-shirt, screen printed with our elegant logo. Show your Detroit diner pride!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    A certificate redeemable for the same picnic service as above, but for a group of four! A basket with all the trimmings to impress your guests as you take in the lovely Detroit riverfront or wherever the road leads you!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    We'll work hard to come up with a special that features key elements of your favorite food, and then we'll name it after you and send you a printed menu with your dish on it. Plus, you'll be able to bring four friends to enjoy the dish at the diner!

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    Pledge $1,800 or more About $1,800

    A private dinner for 10 guests with all the trimmings at Rose's Fine Foods. The ambience is exquisite, and the food is transcendent. This is actually a total deal!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    A private party at Rose's Fine Food for you and 25 of your guests! Wow your friends with stunning food, incredible service, great music, and all the vintage charm of the diner at night!

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Funding period

- (30 days)