IMPACT

Jerome B. Brown & Samuel VanBuren | Black History Month

February 18th, 2021

The entrepreneurial bug has always been in the Brown family. Jerome Brown and his brother Samuel VanBuren went to school and worked in “corporate America,” but he had the drive to do more. A natural passion for food inspired Jerome and  Samuel to  launch a catering business in 2015, where they provided catering for different events like family reunions, weddings, etc. When they were ready to take the next step, Jerome and his brother received guidance and training from ecosystems in Detroit, such as TechTown, Build Institute, Osborne Business Association, and ProsperUs Detroit. They developed a business plan, learned business skills, and received the help they needed to transition from an informal catering service to settle into a brick and mortar. 

Jerome and his brother Samuel took the time to get to know the community in the neighborhood where they planned on establishing their business to better understand their needs, and Detroit Soul was born. A farm-to-table Soul food restaurant with healthy food options made available to folks who often lack access to these choices. 

During the pandemic, Jerome was determined to keep Detroit Soul open. He fought hard to keep the same menu, hours, turning the restaurant into “a light at the top of the hill for the city.” In spite of the challenges, Detroit Soul held solid for their community. Employees were able to keep their jobs and community members struggling with COVID-19 or facing financial hardship due to this pandemic were able to get trays and pans of comfort food. It is of great importance to Jerome to be able to set a good example to other Black young folks.

Jerome Brown plans on increasing the hiring process of younger folks of color to plant the entrepreneurial spirit into them and branch out and bring the farm-to-table to another neighborhood within the city. 

For more info, check Detroit Soul’s website at detroitsoul.net.

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