Detroit Reborn in Colors Worker Owned Restaurant
I was a disbeliever.
Growing up in the shadow of Detroit, I had an image of food there as Greek Town, Coney Island or high-end unaffordable chic restaurants but little in-between. But this was different. The concept?A restaurant called “Colors” serving local food prepared by worker owners who were training in the restaurant business and were earning a living wage. What? I had to shake my head. Those terms are traditionally not found in the same sentence let alone in one that has real potential to create social change. I just didn’t believe.
At the Making Good Food Work conference held in Detroit Mi, April 19 the Colors team presented their project “Colors” with verve and energy that shook the room, they were enthusiastic, flipping and shouting and pounding the beat to “We Will Rock You”. As members of the conference we were asked to join a group whether project based or issue based and the presentations were to entice us. Although normally a somewhat boisterous person, I was a little taken aback by the level of enthusiasm and the youth, it seemed sort of naive ………………..
But the concept was intriguing. As a chef, food educator and having been a restaurant worker for years, I wanted to know more. So a group of us came together; community organizers, chefs, community gardeners, food coop staff,sustainable food systems outreach educators, marketing directors, students- people from all walks of life. And it was life they breathed into this lofty concept and brought it to earth and helped to give it limbs and a brain and marching orders.
Watch out for delicious, fair food, showing up at “Flash FOOD Mobs” in Downtown Detroit, lunch pedaled to your office door in earth friendly food carts and a place you can feel good about supporting.
Did I say, I was a non-believer? Not anymore……………
The restaurant “Colors” will open September 11, 2011 in Harmony Park in Downtown Detroit. Watch for it, it’s going to change the way you think about a decent lunch. The Spirit of Detroit, manifested in food…………….
COLORS; A worker owned restaurant that will provide not only jobs, but job training to underserved marginalized food service workers, sustainable and affordable local food to the community and contributing to the economy of Detroit’s growers.
Office for ROC Detroit (Restaurant Opportunities Center)
Minsu Longiaru, ROC Detroit Co-ordinator
ROC New York