On the rooftop of one of Detroit’s swankiest loft buildings – the space the party was thrown in currently is listing for $1.4 million – Hatch Detroit announced that the winner of their seventh annual contest was Baobob Fare.
Baobob Fare idea is a a restaurant, market and juice bar that plans to offer prepared menu items, groceries, juices and other retail products unique to East Africa. The people behind the idea are a married refugee couple from Burundi, Nadia Nijimbere and Hamissi Mamba.
They fled the county amidst political violence and were for a time residents at Freedom House in Southwest Detroit.
The couple will receive $50,000 from Comerica Bank as a cash prize, and more than $200,000 in support services like public relations, IT, and legal counsel.
The three other finalists were Detroit Blows, a blow-dry salon that’s already found a space in the Z Garage, Bar Botanica, a craft cocktail bar that plans to open in the Jefferson-Chalmers area, and the Lip Bar, who had an appearance on the national television show Shark Tank.
The final decision after a round of public voting was made by the four judges in shark-tank style. More than 200,000 votes were cast.
Previous Hatch winners and runners-up are a who’s who of the local food and retail scene, like Batch Brewing Company, Sister Pie, La Feria, Hugh, Detroit Vegan Soul, Detroit Institute of Bagels, and Bumbos among others.