Need a cold popsicle during the hot summer months or a healthy cup of Kombucha or even a bouquet of flowers? Maybe you do not have time to stop inside a traditional store. Students at the Brightmoor Maker Space have created three mobile trikes for local entrepreneurs to sell their goods around the metro Detroit area.
Funded by the Quicken Loans Community Fund, Bedrock connected the entrepreneurs to the program, which launched Thursday afternoon on the front patio outside of One Campus Martius. The three local businesses include Sweet Dreamz Creamery, Made Floral, and Detroit Kombucha Brewing Company. The three trikes will be stationed in downtown Detroit four days a week, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. throughout the summer.
Carla Quarm is the owner and creator of Sweet Dreamz Creamery, a local company that specializes in homemade, handcrafted gelato, sorbet, alcohol-infused, and vegan popsicles. She originally applied for Bedrock’s Downtown Detroit Markets over the summer, but was not accepted. Bedrock gave her a call back two weeks later and now she finally has her business in the heart of downtown for thousands of Detroiters to experience.
Quarm was downtown with her daughter, Zaria, setting up their trike, which is equipped with a deep freezer to keep product cool and a purple canopy umbrella.
“We wanted something fun, with graffiti, and contemporary, that went with our brand,” Quarm said about the design process of Sweet Dreamz’s trike.
All of Sweet Dreamz’s products are made by Quarm at a licensed commercial kitchen, and are all natural, diabetic and vegan friendly, and gluten free. The Pure Popz are available in a number of flavors, including Vegan Cookies and Cream, Strawberry Mint Lemonade, and Mango for $3 and for the Tipsy Stickz, which are $4, they are available in Tequila Sunrise and Mango Mimosa flavors. She currently has an order for 580 of her pops through her connection with the program and is thankful for the opportunity she did not receive last summer. Sweet Dreamz Creamery can be found on Instagram at sweetdreamzcreamerydetroit.
“Do you know how much red tape you have to go through and the money it takes to get a spot downtown?” said Quarm, who calls herself the Queen of Pops. “For Quicken and the Brightmoor Maker Space to be backing us, it has created a tremendous opportunity for my business.”
On her break, Bedrock employee Kimberly Hakeem stopped by the Made Floral trike to grab a small bouquet of roses. Owned by Martha DeFlorio and her husband Mike Moegelin, Made Floral is a floral and event styling company. Since moving to Detroit five years ago, she has designed florals arrangements for weddings and events at some of Detroit’s most notable venues such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Central Station, and Eastern Market, among others. This is not DeFlorio first time in a pop-up setting. She operated a flower pop-up shop inside of the Shinola midtown Detroit location from May 2016 to October 2018, servicing the city with floral bouquets and plants.
“I’m really excited about the project,” said DeFlorio, who has serviced events for Bedrock in the past. “I think it’s a fun way to meet new people, it gives me a different project to do for the summer, and I think it’ll bring a lot of awareness to our business.”
“I try to do items that are long-lasting, as well as a mix of florals that are popular and trendy. I have sunflowers, some stock, carnations, roses, tulips, and freesia. You can buy a single stem flower for $2 up until $7 a stem. If you wanted something more full and have a budget of $20, I can wrap a bouquet for you.”\
A collaboration between Detroit Community Schools and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, the Brightmoor Maker Space transformed a formerly vacant 3,200 square-foot building at 12675 Burt Road into a place for youth and adults to build their creative making skills and incubate business ideas. Each entrepreneur worked with students to brainstorm specific needs for their respective trike, building each one from scrap.
“It was awesome that we were included in the project from start to finish,” said Kelly Davis, owner of Detroit Kombucha. “The kids were very enthusiastic, hard workers, and creative. This was no small feat getting this trike made. I allowed them to have free reign on my trike and they did an impressive job.”
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. It is rich in beneficial probiotics, contains antioxidants, and can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases. Davis has been brewing Kombucha since the 1990s in Los Angeles and when she moved back to Michigan, founded Detroit Kombucha Brewing Company four years ago. Her Kombucha is on tap inside of the Roasting Plant coffee shop and will serve a 32 ounce cup for $5 on her trike fresh from the tap, available in a number of flavors and Detroit-themed names, such as Woodward Avenue, Dequindre Cut, The Big Three, and Cadillac Gold.
“Kombucha is definitely not a trend anymore in Detroit,” said Davis.