DBusiness Daily Update: Milk & Froth in Detroit Expands from Ice Cream Truck to Shop, Movie Nights in the D are Back at Campus Martius, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Milk & Froth has opened a brick-and-mortar storefront in downtown Detroit. // Courtesy of Bedrock Detroit
Milk & Froth has opened a brick-and-mortar storefront in downtown Detroit. // Courtesy of Bedrock Detroit

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Milk & Froth Expands from Ice Cream Truck to Downtown Detroit Shop

Milk & Froth, which started as an ice cream truck, has opened a brick-and-mortar storefront in downtown Detroit.

Located in Bedrock’s historic Buhl Building at 535 Griswold St., Milk & Froth makes vegan and classic dairy ice cream from scratch in small batches, using high-quality ingredients and proprietary techniques. Its ice cream is made without pre-manufactured mixes, chemical stabilizers, or artificial colors/flavors that have become the norm in ice cream shops around the country.

“We are really excited to be opening our first scoop shop downtown,” says Alexis Matteson, co- owner of Milk & Froth. “The number one question our customers have been asking is how they can get our ice cream year-round, so we are very happy to finally meet that need with our new storefront.”

Co-founders Matteson and Deion Cao were inspired to launch Milk & Froth after living downtown and struggling to find ice cream that could measure up to artisanal scoop shops found in other major cities. They started with an ice cream truck that popped up all over Detroit three summers ago, steadily built a loyal following, and now are committed to their store.

“Small businesses are at the core of what makes Detroit’s retail and dining scene so special,” said Ivy Greaner, COO of Bedrock. “We are so excited to witness these two young entrepreneurs provide visitors a unique Detroit ice cream experience.”

Milk & Froth will serve more than a dozen rotating ice cream flavors: Honeycomb, Butterscotch Brownie, Butter Pecan, Matcha Pistachio, Malt Cherry Chocolate, Orange Cream, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Hazelnut, Roasted Strawberry, Milk Chocolate, Peppermint Patty, Coffee & Cream, and Blue Magic.

It is open Monday-Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. and Friday-Sunday 1-10 p.m.

Movie Nights in the D are Back at Campus Martius

The Downtown Detroit Partnership is bringing back its free Movie Nights in the D outdoor movie series at Campus Martius Park at 8 p.m. on Saturday evenings through August.

Sponsored by Capital One Café with support from Faygo and McDonald’s, the 2021 series begins July 10 with a showing of “The Photograph,” a 2020 American romantic drama.

A special screening of Cars 2 on Friday, Aug. 6, with a live “Michigan Philharmonic Goes to the Movies” orchestral concert featuring the scores of popular films as part of the Motor City Car Crawl festival.

Attendees can bring a chair or blanket to set up on the lawn. Popcorn is available for purchase courtesy of sponsor Detroit Popcorn Co.

The movie schedule is as follows:

  • July 10: “The Photograph” (PG-13)
  • July 17: “Over the Moon” (PG)
  • July 24: “Minari” (PG-13)
  • July 31: “Nomadland” (R)
  • 6: “Cars 2” (G)
  • 14: “Amazing Grace” (Documentary)
  • 21: “Raya and the Last Dragon” (PG)
  • 28: “Onward” (PG)

For more information, visit here.

Hospitality Group Brings HOPES Reentry Program to Michigan

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association in Lansing announced that it is partnering with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) to bring the HOPES (Hospitality Opportunities for People (re)Entering Society) program to Michigan.

NRAEF was awarded $4 million from the U.S. Department of Labor toward the program and will use the funds to launch HOPES in four states — Michigan, Delaware, Ohio, and Texas. HOPES is a job skills program that trains and prepares justice-involved individuals for jobs and careers in the restaurant, food service, and hospitality industries. The MRLA will be working with Peckham Inc., Operational Able, Spectrum Services, and SVRC Industries, Inc. to launch the HOPES program.

“We are honored to play a role in bringing the HOPES program to communities in Michigan to both create a pathway for justice involved individuals into an industry that can become a lifelong career and provide solutions to restaurants and hotels facing a statewide workforce shortage,” says Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the MRLA.

The unemployment rate for individuals leaving the justice system is five times the national average. Programs like HOPES provide skills training, mentoring, and job placement services to justice involved individuals, enabling them to re-enter society and build a pathway to financial stability and independence.

“The hospitality industry is known for being a first job opportunity and offering second chances to people from all backgrounds,” says Amanda Smith, executive director of MRLA Educational Foundation. “With more than 30,000 industry job openings currently in Michigan, the HOPES program providing training and employment opportunities to justice-involved individuals is a viable way to support communities while helping operators hire. Our partnership with the NRAEF allows us to bring life-changing programs like HOPES to Michigan.”

HOPES partners with departments of corrections, community-based organizations, state restaurant associations, and workforce entities as part of a community collaborative model. These partner organizations provide case management services and industry-recognized credentials utilizing an NRAEF training framework focused on the competencies needed to enter the restaurant and hospitality industry.

HOPES partners with interested individuals at participating correctional facilities, as well as after release and during parole. Once a HOPES participant completes training, the individual will be placed in a local restaurant or foodservice position and receive follow-up support for one year. Hospitality apprenticeships are also available to participants.

MSU to Honor 2020 Graduates with Special Ceremonies

Michigan State University in East Lansing will conduct special, in-person commencement ceremonies this September for 2020 graduates whose graduation events were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, there were 13,852 total MSU graduates across the spring, summer, and fall semesters.

“We promised these graduates an in-person celebration and are proud of the contributions from faculty and staff across the university to make this a reality,” says Teresa K. Woodruff, MSU Provost. “The 2020 and 2021 classes persevered through a time of unprecedented challenge. These celebrations are as much about these graduates’ fortitude and resilience as their academic accomplishments.”

All degree level graduates from 2020, as well as spring 2021 master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral graduates, will be invited to ceremonies Sept. 17-20. All degree-level graduates from the summer 2021 semesters will be given the option to attend in September or participate in the fall 2021 ceremonies in December.

“Last year, we were all incredibly disappointed to not be able to celebrate together in person the incredible graduates,” says Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “While we did present virtual options, we realize it was difficult for many of the graduates and their families to not gather together in person. We are proud of each and every Spartan graduate and look forward to the positive impacts they will make with their outstanding MSU education.”

All the ceremonies will take place at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, 534 Birch Rd. in East Lansing. Commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed and can be watched via MSU’s commencement website.

Varnum Law Firm to Begin Mansfield Rule Certification Process

The Birmingham-based Varnum law firm has announced it will participate in the Mansfield Rule 5.0 certification process to further its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Mansfield Rule is a program for law firms designed to boost the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in firm leadership. The program measures whether women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities have been considered for leadership opportunities, promotions, lateral positions, and career-enhancing work opportunities. The certification process is a national and international program run by Diversity Lab.

“We are committing to this process as part of our ongoing effort to increase diversity and to ensure that all people have the opportunity to succeed at our firm,” says Scott Hill, executive partner at Varnum. “We’re excited to be working with Diversity Lab and to be part of the 5.0 program.”

To achieve Mansfield Rule Certification, law firms are required to demonstrate year-long progress in increasing diversity in senior recruitment and leadership decisions and consider a minimum of 30 percent diverse candidates for these roles. Based on the premise that “you get what you measure,” the process includes establishing and tracking certain data points in more than a dozen areas which are evaluated and discussed at regular intervals throughout the year.

Varnum partner Luis Avila, who chairs the firm’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, said the undertaking is a significant commitment by the firm.

“I’m proud of our firm for seeing the value and committing to this process,” says Luis Avila, chair of the firm’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee. “While the program will require significant firmwide effort, we believe it will help us transform our commitment into measurable change.”

The Mansfield Rule is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first female lawyer in the U.S., and was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies. Diversity Lab is an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law.

Ollette Boyd Assumes Expanded COO Role at Detroit Public Television

Ollette E. Boyd will assume an expanded role at Detroit Public Television, adding chief operating officer to her current duties as chief financial officer. The announcement was made Tuesday by Rich Homberg, president and CEO of the station.

Boyd came to Michigan’s largest public television station in January 2018, having served previously as CFO at Focus: Hope.

“With her extensive experience and knowledge of Detroit, Ollette has brought great value to DPTV,” Homberg says. “Having spent her career in both the media and the nonprofit worlds, she knows all aspects of our business. Combining her role as COO and CFO will position her to provide the great leadership we have come to expect from her to all aspects of the station’s operations.”

Boyd says, “I appreciate the station’s confidence in me and I certainly look forward to working with the wonderful staff, board, committees, and volunteers that make this such a special place.

“We have just come off a challenging yet rewarding year in which we had the opportunity to show what we can do for the community in a time of crises — launching the statewide Michigan Learning Channel, providing unparalleled news and essential information that the public desperately needed, and serving as a communications hub for so many nonprofit and grassroots organization, as well as expanding our regional and national initiatives like ‘PBS Books’ and ‘Great Lakes Now.’

Prior to Focus: Hope, Boyd was CFO at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for nine years and before that worked at the Detroit Newspaper Agency.

JVS Human Services Offers Free Skills Program for Women

JVS Human Services in Southfield is once again offering Women to Work, a free four-week course that provides skills to women needing immediate employment, as an in-person program.

The Women to Work course is eight sessions and runs from July 27 through Aug. 19, with classes from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Topics will include in-depth vocational assessment, employment-related group counseling, emotional support, information and referrals to support services, help with networking, resume writing and interviewing, financial management advice, and stress management.

An informational meeting for the Women to Work course will be conducted July 21 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

In addition, a summer networking event entitled WOW: Women, Opportunities, Work will take place from 6:30-8.30 p.m. on July 22 at JVS Human Services (29699 Southfield Rd.).

Featured business leaders in the WOW event are Tonia Williams, CEO of Universal Special Events Inc.; Linda Schlesinger-Wagner, founder and swner of skinnytees; Amanda Lewan, co-founder and CEO of Bamboo Detroit; and Carolyn Krieger, founder and president of CKC Agency.

Register for Women to Work here and the WOW networking event here