I like to consider myself the promoter of good in Detroit. As a born and raised Detroiter, Detroit Public School alum, self proclaimed retired engineer, returned expat and now a social entrepreneur, I’m always looking for ways to get involved and take action in the city I love. Since ‘retiring’ from engineering in 2010, I’ve moved back to Detroit and have been doing everything in my power to be an asset to everything that makes Detroit home. In this journey, I’ve taken advantage of many programs such BUILD Institute, Techtown, New Leaders Council, Center for Progressive Leadership and more. I don’t just want to build businesses to make money, I want to become economically empowered to create opportunities in our community, invest in others that remind me of myself and promote those that are taking action for the betterment of our communities and youth. Over the past 5 years, I’ve put together many events to connect people, places and resources, I’ve done community engagement on a number of levels and have been in attendance and supported thousands of events, town-halls, fundraisers and more. All of this was to develop real relationships with real people. I use my online persona to spread a positive message of what’s happening around us and encourage people to get offline and DO. My dream for the future is to be involved in missions and movements to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for all here in Detroit.
Social Sushi will be a sustainable sushi lounge developed out of shipping containers built and designed by college and high school students. Over the past 3 years, we’ve done networking and catering events across the city with zero funding and from scratch. We’ve been able to develop a brand that people connect to, respect and fully support. Social Sushi was a networking concept designed to bring a diverse group of people together to connect and build relationships. What started as a networking event morphed into a social catering experience. After hearing from literally hundreds of people about the void of good sushi in Detroit, we were encouraged to open our own space. My team consists of experience in restaurant management (both front of house and back of house), retail management, community engagement, event planning, sales and even manufacturing management in terms of developing systems and processes. More than anything we each blend our unique passions together to develop a concept that is different, sustainable, refreshing and damn right delicious! Our customers mostly consist of professionals between the ages of 23 and 45. Our future goal is to open multiple locations that each embrace the vibe of the community its in and become a hub for social interactions, community engagement and simply an amazing place to come for delicious and sustainable sushi. What I’m most proud about is that Social Sushi has created such a brand that the word of mouth has grown well beyond our personal networks. People are raving about their experience with us and even for some their first foray into the sushi world. I’m proud to be more than a restaurant but an exciting place for people to come together, meet new people and learn about sustainable sushi so that we can work to save our oceans.
We’ll be using this loan to purchase our seafood from sustainable fish suppliers (which come from various coasts, direct from farmers and has to be flown in), vegetables from local urban farms and other various ingredients. This loan helps us get the needed capital to begin to make money and pay wages for our first employees. This is the opportunity we need to truly prove that our concept is one that is profitable as well as desired by the sushi eating population that we feel has been under-served in Detroit. For myself, this is the start of a entrepreneurial legacy that I want to create for my family. For our chef, it gives her the opportunity to take her passion to the ultimate level and have creative control while also being paid for it.