I recently sat down at a table with Stephanie Selvaggio to discuss entrepreneurship over a hot cup of organic tea. This is something that many Metro Detroiters will be able to do in the near future, when the Woodbridge Gypsy Den and Tea Room (@WBGyspsyDen) comes to Detroit. The Woodbridge community is a very progressive, tight-knit community. Stephanie is capturing that community spirit and applying it to her new business.
The Gypsy Den will feature locally grown, organic, vegan food as well as a large selection of teas and coffee. They will also offer beer and wine, education and catering services as well.
The Den renders culture, amity & a commitment to the slow food movement.
The environment at the Gypsy Den will be that of the Woodbridge community itself. By both recycling and focusing on local sustainability, the community will play a more active role in the Gypsy Den’s success. According to Stephanie, there are currently 8,200 people living in the Woodbridge district, who spend $7.4 million a year in retail establishments. That’s enough to support 20,000 sq ft of restaurants. She aims to keep as much of that money in the local community as possible, and believes that she shares those values with the Woodbridge residents.
Stephanie would also like to reach out to the people who do not follow the vegan lifestyle as well, by providing delicious, local, sustainable food and drinks, even if they happen to also qualify as vegan. She is approaching this business with a compassion and kindness toward the environment, and believes these are some of the questions that should be asked when patronizing a local establishment: Where are they getting their goods from? Is it local? Is it sustainable? Is the local community involved? Perhaps we should all raise the bar on the quality we expect from the places we eat.
Fortunately, the community can get involved with helping this business get off the ground. This week, on Wednesday, October 26th, the public will be able to vote for the Woodbridge Gypsy Den and Tea Room in the Hatch Detroit contest. They will be competing against three other teams for a chance at winning $50,000 in startup funds for their business.
As a new resident of Detroit, I believe this is what we need in our community. Not only will this create jobs and keep money here in Detroit, it will give us metro Detroiters a great place to go to work on your laptop, enjoy a nice book or meet up with your friends. I look forward to supporting Stephanie and enjoying many cups of tea in Woodbridge!