Saving Detroit, One Bagel at a Time

Saving Detroit, One Bagel at a Time

—By Hannah Levintova
| Wed Jun. 15, 2011 1:05 PM PDT
Dan Newman (left) and his brother Ben in their home kitchen. Courtesy of Ben and Dan Newman

Detroit residents (and brothers) Ben and Dan Newman are working to improve the city's economic future—and their own. Their recession-busting kryptonite? Bagels.

The Newman pair launched the Detroit Institute of Bagels out of their home kitchen this year after completing an M.A. in Urban Planning and a B.A. in Business. Now, the DIB brothers want to expand. So, last week DIB launched an online "Save the Bagels" campaign to raise some of the $25 thousand in seed money they need to make their bagel store a reality. "I've always wanted to help others start food businesses in Detroit," Ben says. "I thought that the best way to do that is to start my own, to go through the process."

DIB is just the most recent enterprise in a line of Detroit-based projects. Local entrepreneurship has grown so popular that Open City Detroit—a forum for aspiring and current business owners in the city—runs courses like "Designing a Uniquely Detroit Business Image," or "Legal Fun, with a Detroit Twist." Four non-bagel ventures:

The Burton Theater: a movie house opened by four friends.
Leopold's Books: an independent bookstore.
Curl Up and Dye: a retro-themed hair salon.
Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and Café: a 19th century steampunk themed bookstore, situated just outside the city.

And those are just a drop in the urban bucket.

The Newman brothers hope that DIB will further Detroit's evolving entrepreneurial