Downtown juice bar wins $50K Michigan Good Food Fund

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Jermale Eddie recently moved Malamiah Juice Bar from the Grand Rapids Downtown Market to Studio Park.Photo by Teri Genovese

A local juice company recently was awarded $50,000 for its efforts to promote healthy food.

Malamiah Juice Bar was one of five Michigan food enterprises awarded $250,000 in Catalytic Investment Awards from the Michigan Good Food Fund.

Of the $250,000 available in Catalytic Investment Awards, each business was guaranteed $10,000. Businesses presented their projects to the group composed of community leaders and fellow award recipients. They then had $40,000 to allocate across the awardees.

Located in the Studio Park development in downtown Grand Rapids, Malamiah Juice Bar provides fresh, healthy juices based on principles of sustainability and community wellness.

“This award gave us the confidence and financial boost that we needed to take our business to a new level,” said Jermale Eddie, owner of Malamiah Juice. “Frustrations and disappointments are part of being an entrepreneur, but the fund team’s guidance, knowledge and social capital have been next to none.”

The fund is a statewide initiative working to increase healthy food access and spark economic development and job creation in communities that need it most.

This is the fourth round of Catalytic Investment Awards, which are designed to help entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level, including preparing for financing. To date, the Michigan Good Food Fund has provided a total of more than $1.1 million to 29 Michigan companies.

The fund used a new participatory process for this round of Catalytic Investment Awards wherein community stakeholders were engaged to select enterprises from the application pool, and selected businesses themselves worked together to determine the final award amount each business would receive.

Other winners for this round included:

  • Emma Hearth and Market, Benton Harbor
  • Fresh Corner Cafe, Detroit
  • Northend Christian Community Development Corporation, Detroit
  • Sprout Urban Farms, Battle Creek

The Michigan Good Food Fund was created in partnership by Capital Impact Partners, Fair Food Network, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Since its launch in June 2015, it has provided more than $13 million in financing and business assistance supporting more than 160 enterprises.

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