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12 Businesses That Are Putting Detroit On The Map

Don't call it a comeback! Business is thriving in the Motor City, and these businesses are definite proof. Discover more job opportunities in Detroit and other parts of Michigan at!

1. Sister Pie

Photograph by Valerie Zelin / Courtesy of Sister Pie / / Facebook: sisterpie / Instagram: @sisterpiedetroit
Photograph by Valerie Zelin / Courtesy of Sister Pie / / Facebook: sisterpie / Instagram: @sisterpiedetroit

Started in 2012 by Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie is bringing authentic baked goods back to the Motor City. Each creation uses locally sourced, seasonal products to create one-of-a-kind pies such as Grapefruit Black Pepper Meringue, Salted Maple, and a savory Black Bean & Green Chile. And after winning the 2014 Hatch Detroit competition, Sister Pie will go from an order-by-email food business to opening their first shop in the West Village in April 2015!

2. Detroit Bus Company

Photograph by David Lewinski / / Courtesy of The Detroit Bus Company / Facebook: detroitbus / Twitter: @detroitbus

After the long-awaited M-1 rail system was momentarily placed on hold, entrepreneur and Detroit native Andy Didorosi knew what the Detroit residents needed. He began renovating old busses and employing local drivers and mechanics, providing people with charter bus service and tours of Detroit. Best of all, free rides are given to children to get home safely from after-school programs — and their innovative tracker system even influenced the Detroit bus system to start using the feature on their busses.

3. Loveland Technologies

A small startup that's doing some pretty big things, Loveland could be the solution for getting Detroit properties up and running again. By working with governments and neighborhood groups, Loveland creates property information to the public in clearer, more actionable ways. And thanks to projects like Why Don't We Own This? and the Motor City Mapping Project, it's now easier for people to get detailed information about their communities.

4. Batch Brewing Company

Courtesy of Batch Brewing Company / / Facebook: batchbrewingcompany / Twitter: @batchbrewing

Cheers, Detroit! After a career in marketing came to an end, founder Stephen Roginson followed his passion and began the process of creating Detroit's first nanobrewery. Located in Corktown, Batch Brewing Company aims to produce seasonal quality beers by using a four-barrel nano outfit. And if that's not impressive enough, the brewery was the winner of the Hatch Detroit Competition and has recently been named one of the top breweries to watch by Draft Magazine.

5. Shinola

Courtesy of Shinola /

As the first U.S. company to build watches at scale in 40 years, Shinola is quickly becoming one of Detroit’s most well-known businesses. Aside from watches, they’re using their back-to-basics craftsmanship model to create leather goods, bicycles, and fine woolen blankets. And as a thank-you to the city that gave them their start, Shinola installed Shinola City Clocks at several destinations throughout Detroit in the style of their future pocket watch design.

6. Hugh

Courtesy of Hugh / / Instagram: @thankhugh

What started out as the first popup retail store in Southeastern Michigan, Hugh gained popularity by introducing the Detroit area to classic bachelor-pad-style products. After winning the fist-ever Hatch Detroit retail prize, Hugh opened up their permanent shop in Midtown, bringing stylish decor options that the Motor City hadn't seen before.

7. Grand Circus

Courtesy of Grand Circus /

Offering "training with a purpose," Grand Circus is the go-to place for Detroit entrepreneurs to grow their tech skills to the highest level. Organizing classes and events, Grand Circus hopes to expand upon the thriving tech scene already being established. They also provide coding classes to Detroit youth, giving them the tools they need for a successful future.

8. Bon Bon Bon

Photograph by Chris and Michelle / Courtesy of Bon Bon Bon /
Photograph by Chris and Michelle / Courtesy of Bon Bon Bon /

Opened just months ago, Bon Bon Bon is quickly bringing the international chocolate-making experience back to the City of Detroit. Open on Saturdays to the public, guests can enjoy beautifully crafted artisan chocolates and candies made by experienced chocolatiers. And with an industrial and minimalist approach to everything (but the bonbons), it's a truly one-of-a-kind business that's proud to call Detroit its home.

9. Signal-Return Press

Photograph by Tim Thayer / / Facebook: SignalReturn / Instagram: @signalreturn / Twitter: @SignalReturn

Located in the Eastern Market, Signal-Return is an authentic handset printmaking shop that acts as a hub for the growing print community. Aside from preserving the tradition and art of letterpress printing in Detroit, Signal-Return offers its space for free public art programs and as a retail shop for local artists to sell their original-edition prints.

10. City Bird

Courtesy of City Bird / / Facebook: City-Bird / Instagram: @citybirddetroit or @citybirddetroit / Twitter: @citybirddetroit or @citybirddetroit
Courtesy of City Bird / / Facebook: City-Bird / Instagram: @citybirddetroit or @citybirddetroit / Twitter: @citybirddetroit or @citybirddetroit

Founded in 2005 by siblings Andy and Emily Linn, City Bird has become the go-to retail store for Detroit- and Great Lakes-themed products any Michigander can proudly own. All made in their on-site studio, the apparel can also be found in 50 other retailers around the Great Lakes region. And if that's not enough, the siblings opened a complementary store, Nest, and are also behind Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An insider's Guide To Detroit, a guide that makes it easier than ever for people to enjoy all that Detroit has to offer.

11. TechTown

Courtesy of
Photograph by Gabriela Santiago-Romero / Courtesy of

For any small business trying to make it in Detroit, TechTown is the place that'll get them to where they want to be. Labeled "Detroit’s business innovation hub," TechTown provides programs and networking opportunities for all Detroit entrepreneurs looking to make their unique ideas into a reality. They also provide programs that help entrepreneurs pick the perfect location in the Detroit area as a mission to rebuild the city. As they state so well, "As Detroit reinvents itself, so TechTown works to reinvent Detroit."

12. (revolver)

Photos by Andrew Potter from Ambassador Magazine
Photos by Andrew Potter from Ambassador Magazine

Opened by Peter Dalinowski and Tunde Wey, (revolver) offers a unique dining experience Detroit has never seen before. The concept is simple: every night a completely different multi-course prix-fixe dinner is served, or as they put it, a "revolving menu." More importantly, this always-changing menu gives up-and-coming local chefs the opportunity to showcase their culinary skills in an intimate dining atmosphere.

Feel inspired yet? Check out all the great job opportunities Detroit and Michigan has to offer at

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