- Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) helping more Detroit businesses open in 2021; 121 brick-and-mortars opened since program’s start
- Motor City Match (MCM) Round 12 $45,000 cash grant awardee
- Café and bakery among several Detroit resident and minority-owned businesses receiving support from MCM, City of Detroit, DEGC
DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit City Councilmember James Tate and Kevin Johnson, President and CEO, DEGC, joined Jeffrey Gisstennar, owner of Good Cookies, to celebrate the grand opening of the Detroit-based café and bakery today.
“Motor City Match grantees like Jeffrey are following through with their plans to open their businesses, even though COVID-19 has made it more difficult,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We are extremely thankful to Detroit’s small business community for their commitment to the City, especially business owners like Jeffrey who are hiring Detroit residents. Now we ask the community to come out and buy some really good cookies.”
Years ago, Jeffrey Gisstennar began baking cookies to help relieve the stress of his daily job. What evolved was a talent to create great cookies and a reputation that developed a customer base throughout the city. Encouraged by friends and family, Gisstennar purchased the building at 19007 W. McNichols Rd. to transfer his home-based business into a brick-and-mortar cookie shop in the very neighborhood where he grew up. While considering business names, Gisstennar’s friend took a bite of one of the cookies, and exclaimed “Wow, that is a Good Cookie,” and the rest is history.
In 2019, he began a complete remodel on the building, a former hair salon that had been vacant for nearly six years. The 1,400 sq.-ft. building is now a vivid, modern, well-appointed cafe with seating for 20 and available street and rear parking. It will soon have designated outdoor seating as well.
Located in North Rosedale Park, Gisstennar currently has four employees and plans to hire three more in the coming years. He is committed to hiring local residents as he builds the café and bakery’s communal atmosphere. His goal is to create a place within walking distance for residents to socialize, study, enjoy music and poetry, and enjoy his delicious treats. Good Cookies is partnering with Great Lakes Coffee to provide customers with the very best in hot beverages.
“Good Cookies shows what Detroiters can do with determination and passion,” said Councilmember Tate. “Even with the hardships small business owners often face, especially due to the pandemic, Jeffrey has continued to pursue his dream. He’s not just baking good cookies; he’s creating a welcome space for neighbors and investing in his community.”
Gisstennar arrived at this venture following years in real estate and operating a number of businesses. A Round 12 Motor City Match cash grant awardee of $45,000, he said he is grateful to Motor City Match, Michigan Women Forward, TechTown and Wayne County for their grants, loans and other support.
“The cash award from Motor City Match was the spark that got this all started,” said Gisstennar. “On top of that, the program staff has continuously provided support and help. This team has believed in me throughout the entire process. For that I am extremely grateful.”
Good Cookies is located near several open Motor City Match-supported businesses, including Detroit Vegan Soul restaurant, Fit4Life Health & Fitness gym, and Artesian Farms, grower of pesticide-free, non-GMO produce.
Good Cookies is one of 121 open brick-and-mortar Motor City Match businesses that have received support from the program. Of those businesses, 81 percent are minority-owned, 71 percent are women-owned and 64 percent are owned by Detroit residents. The program continues to have a large and positive impact on Detroit’s small business community, including:
- Roughly 20 more MCM businesses are expected to open in 2021
- Around 1,000 jobs have been created as a result of open MCM businesses
- $9.5M has been awarded in cash grants through MCM and Motor City Re-Store, which has leveraged $44.1M in additional investment into Detroit’s neighborhoods
- Nearly 300 additional home-based and mobile businesses have started or expanded with the help of Motor City Match
“Motor City Match continues to have a tremendous impact on Detroit,” said Kevin Johnson, DEGC President and CEO. “More Detroiters are on a path to economic mobility, have been given a chance to pursue their passions, and have access to goods and services in their neighborhoods. We are using the lessons we learned from MCM to create even stronger support for Detroit’s small business community – the heartbeat of our City.”
About Motor City Match
Motor City Match is a unique partnership between the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions and corporations. Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in Detroit.