DETROIT – Two homegrown entrepreneurs recently celebrated grand openings in Detroit -- one downtown and one on the west side.
The businesses are miles apart and yet both symbolic of new opportunities for local business people looking to expand and be a part of Detroit's comeback.
Ten years ago, prior to the Super Bowl, they painted storefronts to make it looked like the buildings were occupied. Now the city has seen 40 new businesses open in the past 3 years, and this is just the latest.
Heart of Pure Vin opens downtown
They are raising a glass to the House of Pure Vin, which is the dream of three women, two of them single Moms. They offer 3,000 bottles of wine and more than 500 brands. They have the help of Claudia Tyagi, who is one of only 25 female master sommeliers in the world.
They expect to service the explosion of new downtown dwellers.
"It's huge because a lot of the people we are meeting are not from here," said Regina Gaines, owner of House of Pure Vin. "They've just moved here. They want something central and want to experience something they experienced at home."
Imperial Fresh Market expands on west side
Across town is a $6.2 million expansion of Imperial Fresh Market. The 25-year-old family business is doubling in size. Its produce section is four times larger. They have a deli and pharmacy on the way and are adding 50 new jobs. Shoppers like the large aisles, wide selection and convenience.
"We'd have to drive way out in the suburbs to get some," said Mitchell McCrackins.
"With the rebirth of Detroit, we just thought this was the time to do it," said owner Sam Shine.
With few lenders willing to invest in Detroit in the past, these deals would be self-financed or heavy incentives would be necessary. However, now interest is building with fewer sweeteners. It's the largest deal yet for the city's Green Grocer project.
"This is what Detroit's all about -- growing the ones who have been here, and bringing new businesses in," said Mayor Mike Duggan.