DBusiness Daily Update: Sugar Factory Detroit Opens at One Campus Martius on Aug. 29, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
The King Kong Sundae serves up to 12 people with 24 scoops of ice cream covered with sprinkles, gummy bears, caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce and giant whirly pops. // Courtesy of Sugar Factory Detroit
The King Kong Sundae serves up to 12 people with 24 scoops of ice cream covered with sprinkles, gummy bears, caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce and giant whirly pops. // Courtesy of Sugar Factory Detroit

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

Sugar Factory Detroit Starts Serving Giant Sweets Downtown on Aug. 29

Sugar Factory American Brasserie, which claims to be “the most Instagrammed restaurant in America,” is bringing its overindulgent dining experience to downtown Detroit on August 29 in the One Campus Martius building at 45 Monroe St.

Guests can expect a one-of-a-kind dining experience at Sugar Factory, with over-the-top entrees, gigantic desserts, and Sugar Factory’s famous, celebrity-endorsed smoking candy goblet drinks. All of this is complemented by photo-worthy decor and the brand’s signature retail store with floor-to-ceiling candy walls and hundreds of candy options.

“We are excited to bring our decadent dishes, sweets, and treats, which have been enjoyed by guests around the world for over a decade, to the Detroit community,” says Larry Rudolph, partner at Sugar Factory. “The energy and atmosphere of downtown and the One Campus Martius building is the perfect place for Sugar Factory’s high-energy, family-friendly dining experience.”

Sugar Factory’s 223-seat space will feature a candy retail store, an indoor dining room, a bar area, and an outdoor patio dining space. Photo-worthy moments greet guests immediately upon entering Sugar Factory.

The entryway features a floor-to-ceiling candy heart wall perfect for posing, and the main dining area is filled with life size floral walls, neon signs, LED screens, and a candy dot wall. From the restaurant, guests can head into the iconic candy retail store, with plenty of sweets and surprises to take home.

Offering brunch, lunch and dinner, Sugar Factory’s menu features an array of dishes fit for any diner, including the Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed Waffle, a warm waffle stuffed with strawberries, New York Cheesecake, and topped with fresh strawberries, whipped cream and strawberry sauce.

The 24K Gold Burger meal, featuring a burger dripping in 24k gold leaves and served with gold dusted french fries, a 24K Gold Milkshake made with Ferrero Rocher golden truffles, and topped with a gold draped chocolate glazed donut. The Flaming HOT Cheetos Burger, is an eight ounce Angus burger topped with Flaming Hot Cheetos crusted pepper jack cheese, pickles, shredded lettuce, chipotle mayo and served on a Hot Cheetos crusted bun.

For dessert, Sugar Factory’s Insane Milkshakes include the Campfire Spiked S’Mores Milkshake, the Tie-Dye Milkshake, the Caramel Sugar Daddy Milkshake, and more, all lavishly decorated and served in chocolate-covered mugs. Guests can also try the King Kong Sundae, which serves up to 12 people with 24 scoops of ice cream covered with sprinkles, gummy bears, caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce and giant whirly pops.

Sugar Factory’s signature, celebrity endorsed smoking cocktail goblets, all of which can be made without alcohol), include the Soul Man by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made with fresh peach, fresh pineapple, lemonade, Teremana Tequila Blanco, Triple Sec and Hennessy, topped with gummy cherries, tropical drops, strawberry rock candy served in a green lay wrapped goblet.

Other drinks include 50 Cent’s Candy Shop goblet made with Branson Cognac, peach schnapps, Triple Sec, Teremana Blanco Tequila, Malibu Rum, pineapple juice, peach puree, orange juice and sour gummies; and Nick Jonas’ and John Varvatos’ Strawberry Cadillac Reposado Margarita crafted with Villa One Reposado, Grand Marnier, strawberries, triple sec, lime juice, simple syrup, and a dash of sweet & sour garnish of pink Cadillac gummies, gummy apple rings, and key lime fruit gummy slices.

Sugar Factory Detroit will be open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Friends of the Children – Detroit Receives $1.1M From MacKenzie Scott as Part of National Gift

Friends of the Children – Detroit announced that the organization received a $1.1 million gift as part of a $44 million gift to the national organization Friends of the Children from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

Friends of the Children is the only mentoring program in the country with paid, professional mentors (called friends) who walk alongside youth for more than 12 years no matter what. This gift offers momentum for the organization to serve more children in Detroit, many of whom are in — or at risk of entering — the foster care system.

“We are honored to receive this historic gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott,” says Brittany Merritt, interim executive director of Friends of the Children – Detroit and national chief development officer of Friends of the Children.

“Friends – Detroit launched in 2020 and our unwavering commitment to our youth and families positioned us as trusted sources of support in our community. We are especially excited for what this gift means to the youth and families we currently serve, and the many more we will reach. They have big dreams, limitless potential, and deserve to thrive – this gift will crystallize our promise to them.”

This is the largest single gift ever received by the chapter. The funding will allow the organization to sustain and accelerate the chapter’s presence in the community, expand the number of youth and families served, and build the chapter’s capacity by bringing on more Friends.

It will simultaneously offering critical resources to their families and caregivers to alleviate challenges that impact them daily, including housing, transportation, and food insecurity. In addition, the chapter aims to expand families’ access to behavioral and mental health resources.

“I know from my own experiences that children often face a lot of hard things as they grow up, and the love and support I received after my foster care experience allowed me to thrive and see myself for all that I could be,” says Simone Biles, youth advocate and gold medal Olympic gymnast.

“That’s why I believe the long-term mentorship that Friends of the Children provides is so meaningful—having just one person who believes in you can truly impact a young person’s life. I am excited that MacKenzie Scott is investing in Friends of the Children to empower more youth across the country! In supporting Friends of the Children, it is my hope that more children will have access to a ‘Friend’ and be inspired to pursue their hopes and dreams in all communities, including my hometown of Houston, Texas.”

Oak Park’s Forgotten Harvest Launches National Search for Next CEO

Forgotten Harvest, the food rescue organization based in Oak Park, is embarking on the next evolution of its mission to reduce hunger and food insecurity in metro Detroit and has begun a national search for its next CEO to build on the nonprofit organization’s growth and momentum.

Kirk Mayes’ intent is to remain onboard as CEO until Dec. 31, 2022, and to continue spearheading the strategic initiatives currently underway.

“This change in leadership is an excellent opportunity for Forgotten Harvest to deepen the sophistication and impact of the mission in metro Detroit,” says Mayes. “Forgotten Harvest has a terrific vision for the community to make a real difference in reducing food insecurity in metro Detroit.”

During Mayes’ tenure, the organization has grown into a leading nonprofit, and recently opened an innovative food distribution and volunteer center which will be used to reduce hunger and improve health outcomes even more effectively.

The new campus and distribution center is a pillar in Forgotten Harvest’s strategic plan and will enable increased volumes and other activities designed to:

  • Provide a healthier, more nutritious mix of food for food-insecure families, children, and seniors in metro Detroit.
  • Increase distribution to underserved communities and improve service, quality, and reliability to partner agencies.
  • Provide a more equitable distribution to food-insecure residents in the community.

Since 2007, Forgotten Harvest’s service to the community has grown exponentially and its rescued food volume has more than quadrupled. In 2021, Forgotten Harvest made more than 1 million distributions to metro Detroiters in need.

University of Michigan Health-West Adds New 3-D Surgery Technology to Toolkit

University of Michigan Health-West, a physician-led organization and innovative healthcare destination serving the Grand Rapids metropolitan area, announced it has obtained an Aesculap Aeos Robotic Digital Microscope.

This is a next-generation, high resolution, 3-D technology where the intricate work of neurosurgeons can now be seen by everyone in the operating room (OR). The Aesculap Aeos Robotic Digital Microscope, obtained with funding from the U-M Health-West Foundation, offers multiple advantages to the U-M Health-West Neurosciences team.

In addition to showing microscopic views on monitors in the OR, it provides precise robotic-guided positioning, 3-D imaging and “fluorescence” to light up tumors, aneurysms, tissues, or other target areas.

The new Aesculap Aeos Robotic Digital Microscope also provides better workflows for surgical teams and ergonomic relief for neurosurgeons. Thanks to a combination of robotics and augmented reality, neurosurgeons no longer need to hunch over microscopes for hours while twisting their bodies into the best angle to work on the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.

“This is an amazing technology for the innovative work we do and great support for our team,” says Dr. Ronald Grifka, chief medical officer. “In traditional microsurgery, the surgeon might have to keep their head tilted at a 60-degree angle for hours at a time. We know they can perform better for their patients — and have greater job satisfaction — if they are comfortable and relaxed when performing these intricate neurosurgeries.”

In a 2020 survey published in World Neurosurgery, more than 73 percent of neurosurgeons said they had experienced work-related musculoskeletal disorders. With procedures that can last 6, 7, 8 hours or more, neurosurgeons and their operating room teams must often endure physical pain but still perform with great precision.

The technology has potential applications for many other microsurgeries, such as plastic surgery, ophthalmology, or even reconstructive surgery of the hand. It’s also a great advance for teaching, as surgical residents can now see what the surgeon sees.

Grand Rapids’ BAMF Health and HealthBar Announce Medical Transportation Partnership

Grand Rapids-based companies HealthBar and BAMF Health announced their partnership in which they will be providing concierge health care services to patients who travel to BAMF’s Grand Rapids, location for their groundbreaking treatment.

The partnership will provide “white glove” nursing services for patients around their care schedules including transportation to and from appointments.

BAMF Health is actualizing intelligence-based precision medicine through artificial intelligence (AI) enabled molecular imaging and molecular targeted radiation therapy. The company’s flagship location opened inside Michigan State University’s Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building in August 2022 and claims to includes the world’s most advanced cyclotron-equipped radiopharmacy, molecular imaging clinic, and molecular therapy clinic combined in one location.

HealthBar, a nursing organization, helps people live healthier lives by providing nurse-driven health care services for school districts and businesses through onsite, concierge, and telehealth-based services.

School nurse programs help ensure students are better able to manage ongoing health issues on a cost-efficient basis. HealthBar also offers onsite services to help employees and their families better manage their preventative health care routines and manage chronic conditions.

With this new partnership, HealthBar will offer patients concierge clinical support as well as transportation services while they are in town for treatments. These services include:

  • Providing roundtrip non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services
  • Transportation included would cover a roundtrip to and from BAMF Health and other appointments
  • Concierge nursing services delivered to the patient at their place of residence/hotel as well as telehealth support and phone triage services

The partnership will deliver a true clinical concierge service for BAMF Health patients and their families.

“HealthBar and BAMF Health share a vision of making it easier for patients to receive high quality healthcare,” says Nathan Baar, HealthBar founder and CEO. “BAMF is achieving this goal through their intelligence-based precision medicine platform and HealthBar is doing so through our on-demand, highly accessible, and completely customizable, health care services that are designed to help people live healthier lives.”

“BAMF Health is focused on making life-changing advances in diagnostic imaging and cancer therapies accessible to everyone,” says Dr. Jeremiah Johns, vice president of medical affair for BAMF Health. “Along with providing these advanced therapies, we are also focused on providing a patient experience that is second to none. Our partnership with HealthBar and their concierge nursing services truly is the best of both worlds for our patients and their families.”