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Motor City Match awards $500K to Detroit businesses

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — After years of preparing fresh, raw juices for herself Karen Fenny had the desire to share the healthy drinks with others.

Thanks to a $60,000 Motor City Match cash grant announced Wednesday, Fenny and her husband, Freeman, are poised to open their own restaurant, Blessed And Highly Favored Juice Bar, in October on Livernois Avenue.

“I am really excited,” Karen Fenny said. “Truly it’s been a blessing. Through the whole process, we’ve met great people, and I’m sure there are more great people we’re going to meet. We’ve learned a lot. Motor City Match has been there for us and educated us along the way.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan

Blessed And Highly Favored Juice Bar is among 14 new Detroit businesses across nine neighborhoods to share in a total of $500,000 in grants awarded through the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.’s Motor City Match program.

The winners of the 12th round of the program’s funding were to gather Wednesday afternoon at Pharmacy 4 Less on E. Seven Mile in the Osborn neighborhood. The community pharmacy, walk-in clinic and business center was a second-round cash award winner.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he considers Pharmacy 4 Less and owner Belief Emadamerho as a model for the Motor City Match program. Emadamerho has two pharmacies and has created jobs for 10 Detroiters. The business offers healthcare services to low-income residents and free prescription deliveries to the elderly and homebound in the community. 

“Residents want to live near thriving commercial corridors, and Motor City Match is a key part of our strategy to bring more goods and services to our neighborhoods,” Duggan said in a statement Wednesday, “It also helps small business owners like Belief create jobs and make their community more attractive for other businesses to locate."

Emadamerho said he plans to offer services for local residents to access the Internet, make copies and send faxes for free.

“With the help of the program, I was able to take a building that had been abandoned for over a decade and revitalize it to meet the demands of the neighborhood and residents,” he said.

The Motor City Match program launched in 2015 and has awarded $6 million in cash grants to 139 businesses in 29 Detroit neighborhoods.

The process of opening the restaurant has been three years in the making for Fennys, who in past years received business plans, space and design awards through the program. The Fennys previously sold their juices at Karen's brother's former restaurant on Livernois, 1917 American Bistro.

"We got to know the community," Freeman Fenny said. "They were really receptive to what we were doing. We got good feedback from them." 

Fennys say they plan to employ a minimum of 12 people — many from the community — when they open in a 2,700-square-foot space at 18999 Livernois. They'll serve raw and traditional smoothies, sandwiches and salads.

"We plan on digging in," Karen Fenny said. "Freeman and I speak all the time about getting involved with the community. Being able to educate them. Being able to offer our facility for classes. Being able to go into the school and hopefully starting a program to educate the kids on how to eat well."

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN

Motor City Match Round 12 cash awardees

Blessed And Highly Favored Juice Bar – $60,000
Café and juice bar
18999 Livernois Ave.
Past Plan, Space and Design Award winner

Coriander, LLC – $55,000
Restaurant and collaborative farm
14601 Riverside Blvd.
Past Plan and Space Award winner

Baobab Fare – $50,000
Restaurant and community space
Woodward Ave.

Red Door Digital, LLC – $50,000
Office and event multi-use space
7500 Oakland Ave.

Charlevoix Studio and Gardens, LLC – $45,000
Artist workshop and tenant space
6811 Charlevoix St.

Good Cookies, LLC – $45,000
19001/19007 W. McNichols Rd.

Good Times on the Ave. – $40,000
Bar and restaurant
19416 Livernois Ave.

GrindGrind, LLC – $40,000
Clothing and athletic wear retailer
18931 W. 7 Mile Rd.

See You Tomorrow – $35,000
Casual dining restaurant
7760 Woodward Ave.

Detroit Soccer District – $30,000
Multi-sport facility
5157 Stanton St.

Max Henry & Associates – $25,000
Cable TV music video channel
15933 W. Eight Mile

Ella Mae’s Place– $15,000
Carry-out restaurant
2251 S. Fort St.

Flamingo Vintage, LLC – $5,000
Clothing and accessories boutique
5449 Vernor Highway

Rebel Cycle Studio, LLC – $5,000
Indoor cycling studio
3401 E. Lafayette St.
Past Space Award winner

Motor City Match Round 12 business plan awardees

• Angelique's Natural Nail Care
• Babies Wonderland Childcare
• Basketball Development Program
• BBQ Gourmet 4 U
• Best Chefs of Tomorrow
• Blue Horizon Construction
• Celestial Healing Massage Therapy
• Configure Beauty Detroit
• Creative Cheesecake Collection, LLC
• Creative Empowerment Counseling Services
• Creative Expressions
• Credible Tax Services
• Detroit Demolition
• Detroit Nomads
• Detroit Playcare
• Divine Bath & Beauty Co.
• Divinely Well Beauty and Wellness
• Erogance The Collection
• Freckle Face Frank Fun Factory
• Greg’s House of Beauty
• Hill Real Estate Development and Investment
• Hiptique Resale & Gifts
• Honesty Open-Minded Willingness
• Indi Rene
• JMP Care Network

• KZW Communications
• Luxgiere Skincare
• Major Connections
• Mardi Du Bois
• Most Famous Hair Salon
• Motor City Fun Center
• Mylan Hicks Life Center
• Pastry Luv Bakery Café
• Petite Sweets Detroit
• Precious Embellishments
• Pretty Bouquet Flowers Gifts & Balloons
• Razzle Dazzle Nail Supply Store
• Sammies Burgers and Fries
• SBC Healthy Hair Lounge
• Sharmell's Salon
• Shoe Doc Sneaker
Laundry, LLC
• SPINNERS Premier Cycle Studio
• Sugar Sweets
• Sweet Spots Too
• Tajree Petit Sweets
• The Event
• The Suites
• Total Cleaning Pro
• Will Print
• Will Work

Motor City Match Round 12 space awardees
• 7 Day Carrier
• Ask Jennyfer
• Beauty Couture by Xtian
• Belle Detroit, L3C
• Black Business Finder
• Castle Connextions
• Davis Care Network
• Discount Candles and Blessings
• HM STYLE Lounge & Chill Room
• Jeron Benson Construction
• JimBob's Smokehouse BBQ
• Just Dessertz
• Krispy Addicts
• Maurice London Wardrobe Studio
• Mealtime
• Michbruc Multimedia Production Co.
• MVP-Mobile Video Party, Inc.
• My Sistah's and Me 24 Hour Hair Braiding
• Ohh Sweet Detroit Cafe
• Photography by Tramaine Seay
• Pour Baby
• Queen Butterflies
• Simply Shrimp
• Skinphorea Facial Bar and Acne
• The Counter/Simple Goodness
• Superior Care Solutions
• TerryWorldWide
• The Detroit Riot
• Xstreme Xcursions
• Zad T. White & Company

Motor City Match Round 12 design awardees

• 2801 Perry Street
• Brix Wine & Charcuterie
• Detroit Recordings Company
• ExpanSHEn Lifestyle Company,
• Hair Lab Detroit Inc
• Morningside Café
• The Red Hook