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Behind The Counter - Detroit Small Business
23 minutes | Dec 12, 2017
Café d'Mongo's Speakeasy
On this episode of Behind the Counter, host Andy Didorosi talks with Larry Mongo, owner of Café d'Mongo's Speakeasy. He tells the story of his family and their business of running after-hours joints during the Prohibition, and what it was like to run a bar in downtown Detroit in the 1990s. Produced and edited by Eli Newman. Intro music: "Axe Blues" by The Potions; Outro music: "Sugar Notch, PA" by Loose Koozies.
17 minutes | Dec 5, 2017
This first episode of Behind the Counter, host Andy Didorosi talks with Ryan Landau, founder of re:purpose, a job-matching startup in downtown Detroit. He touches on his business beginnings as a teenager, the ups and downs of the startup world, and returning to build a new company in Detroit. Produced and edited by Eli Newman. Intro music: "Axe Blues" by The Potions; Outro music: "Sugar Notch, PA" by Loose Koozies.
22 minutes | Nov 28, 2017
Germack Pistachio Company
On this episode of Behind the Counter, host Andy Didorosi talks with Frank Germack III, the third generation owner of the Germack Pistachio Company located in Detroit's Eastern Market. He shares his family's journey from Armenia and the origin of the company's red shelled pistachios. Produced and edited by Eli Newman. Intro music: "Axe Blues" by The Potions; Outro music: "Sugar Notch, PA" by Loose Koozies.
12 minutes | Nov 21, 2017
Brix Wine & Charcuterie Boutique
For this episode of Behind the Counter, host Andy Didorosi talks with Mikiah Westbrooks, owner of Brix Wine & Charcuterie Boutique. She talks about how taking over the big bank building in Detroit's West Village was a culmination of many years of wine-tasting with friends. Produced and edited by Eli Newman. Intro music: "Axe Blues" by The Potions; Outro music: "Sugar Notch, PA" by Loose Koozies.
34 minutes | Nov 15, 2017
Avalon International Breads
For this first episode of Behind the Counter season two, host Andy Didorosi talks with Jackie Victor, co-founder and CEO of Avalon International Breads. She talks about how social activism and a bunch of bread hippies from up north Michigan led her to open a bakery in the Cass Corridor in 1997. Produced and edited by Eli Newman. Intro music: "Axe Blues" by The Potions; Outro music: "Sugar Notch, PA" by Loose Koozies.
3 minutes | Oct 31, 2017
Season 2 Preview
We know it's been a while but Behind the Counter is back with a whole new lineup of guests. This season, we're focusing on how Detroit's diverse pool of business owners got their start. This podcast is a production from the Detroit Bus Company.
30 minutes | Feb 14, 2017
LO & BEHOLD! Records & Books
In this episode of “Behind The Counter,” your host Andy Didorosi talks with the man behind LO & BEHOLD! Records & Books, Richie Wohlfeil, about getting his start by publishing a bus driver's book of poems and the depletion of one of Detroit's most prized resources: its records. Produced and edited by Eli Newman. Intro music by The Potions; Outro music by Richie Wohlfeil.
34 minutes | Jan 11, 2017
Russell Street Deli
17 minutes | Dec 28, 2016
23 minutes | Dec 14, 2016
In this episode of “Behind The Counter,” your host Andy Didorosi talks with Greg Mudge, the owner of Mudgie’s Deli and Wine Shop in Corktown. Episode Credits: Edited by Annamarie Sysling and music by Broke for Free
18 minutes | Nov 30, 2016
In this episode of "Behind The Counter," your host Andy Didorosi talks with Drifter Coffee Founder Alleah Webb about how she turned a 1971 Serro Scotty trailer into a coffee shop on wheels. After spending six months fixing up a trailer with her dad, Alleah established a mobile coffee shop in May 2015. She says she knew she wanted to start her own business after taking a class on entrepreneurship at Central Michigan University. However, even though Alleah was determined to be her own boss, she couldn’t decide on a location for her business, which is why the trailer she found on Craigslist was a perfect fit. Since launching Drifter Coffee, Alleah says she’s learned some valuable lessons that weren’t covered in the class she took in college. She starts her days at 5 a.m., and hasn’t had much time to relax-- she’s developed “some serious grit” from the grueling schedule, and also, how to effectively balance her life. “Every six weeks or so, I take a weekend off and do the things that 26-year-olds are supposed to do,” she says. Alleah sets up at Eastern Market and various events around town. She says the majority of her work is in Detroit, but early on, she was regularly traveling around the Metro area. Banter and friendship are important factors in her business partnerships, which is part of the reason she uses the Ypsilanti-based Hyperion Coffee Company as her primary java source. The other crucial factors that went into her decision to use Hyperion beans are simply that “their coffee is really good,” and they deliver, which saves some time for her each week. Next season, Alleah says she’s planning to hire a manager, so that she can look after other aspects of the business, while allowing it to expand and grow. Currently, Drifter does three to four days of events each week, but by next season, Alleah hopes to increase that to six or even seven days. Toward the end of this episode, we decided to try something new: a totally ridiculous pop quiz related to absolutely nothing concerning Alleah’s profession or business. It was pretty fun, and we’re hoping to continue tuning the show’s format to make it as fun to listen to, as it is to put together each week. Additional topics in this conversation include sticking ice cubes down your shirt on hot days, potential beef with “big coffee,” Stephen King, professional rally driver Ken Block and John
19 minutes | Nov 15, 2016
Public Lumber Company
In this episode of “Behind The Counter,” Andy Didorosi and Annamarie Sysling sit down with Christa Sarafa of Public Lumber Company. Before taking an active role in her family’s business, Sarafa says she practiced law, sold pharmaceuticals, advertising and helped to organize and launch the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. It wasn’t until her father passed away that she became involved in the family business. “I was really only supposed to do it for six months and it’s been five and a half years,” she says of her time at Public Lumber. Established in 1927, it's one of the last remaining lumber yards in the City of Detroit. Public Lumber shifted away from being a traditional lumber yard in the 1990s, and currently specializes in custom millwork for historic homes throughout the city. In 2015, the company was awarded the Detroit New Economy Initiatives NEIdea’s $100,000 Challenge grant. Throughout this conversation, additional topics include Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson, Tallulah Bankhead, pseudonyms, dollhouses and marine plywood.
20 minutes | Oct 27, 2016
Brooklyn Street Local
In this episode of "Behind The Counter," your host Andy Didorosi talks with Brooklyn Street Local Co-founder and Toronto native Deveri Gifford about how she and her partner made their way to Detroit, opened a restaurant in Corktown and became a part of the city’s locally-sourced food movement. Deveri says when the restaurant first opened in 2012, "there were people walking in expecting it to be a Coney Island-type place." And, while those Coney expectations were not met, she says there were many people who readily visited BSL, making her and her husband/business partner Jason Yates feel warmly welcome. In the future Brooklyn Street Local will likely expand their hours of operation and potentially their space. Other topics addressed throughout this conversation include urban farming, canadian culinary competition, green cards, crappy lawyers, breakfast quiche, wicked dinner game and neighborhood vibes. Episode credits: Intro and Outro music by Broke For Free. Episode edited by Annamarie Sysling
26 minutes | Oct 18, 2016
In this episode of “Behind The Counter,” your host Andy Didorosi and co-host Annamarie Sysling go to Source Booksellers to talk with the shop’s owner Janet Webster Jones. In the 27 years that Source has been in business, Janet has gone from selling books at community events, to having an area in the shared retail space The Spiral Collective to finally having her own shop on Cass Avenue in the Auburn Building. Aside from the evolution of her non-fiction book business, Janet has also had a front-row seat in the transformation of Midtown. She remembers annual art fairs organized by Wayne State University, designed to encourage people to visit the area surrounding the campus. And, in the last 15 years, she says the work of Midtown Inc. has created a nest of retailers in the district; the kind of place she’s always wanted to have a business. “I like to think that bookstores in particular bring a special texture to a place,” says Janet, who considers book shops like hers, “an integral community gathering space,” where people don’t have to buy anything to come and enjoy it. Episode Credits: Intro and Outro Music by Broke For Free. Episode edited by Annamarie Sysling.
32 minutes | Oct 18, 2016
Cyberoptix Tie Lab
In this episode of “Behind The Counter,” host Andy Didorosi speaks with Bethany Shorb, the founder of Cyberoptix Tie Lab. Bethany tells Andy about moving to Metro Detroit to study sculpture at Cranbrook Art Academy, becoming an website designer in the early days of the Internet and the creative journey that led her to creating a life and business in Detroit. “I feel like i succeeded at being an early adopter in a lot of things,” Bethany says, citing the Internet, Etsy and her now-enviable Detroit studio as evidence. As Cyberoptix Tie Lab --home of the original ties that don’t suck-- turns 10 this year, it counts several fashionable NASA astronauts as fans. For the foreseeable future, Bethany says she will continue working hard to expand her vision and her company. Episode Credits: Intro and Outro Music by Broke For Free. Episode edited by Annamarie Sysling
27 minutes | Oct 18, 2016
Great Lakes Coffee Detroit
In the inaugural episode of “Behind The Counter,” your host Andy Didorosi and co-host Matt Nahan, sit down with Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company Co-Owner James Cadariu and GLCRC’s former General Manager Andrew Hansen. Andy and Matt sample a few esoteric beverages and talk with James and Andrew about the evolution of Great Lakes and what it’s like to operate an upscale coffee shop and bar in Midtown. James, a lifelong Detroiter and self-described "tippler," explains that he was initially compelled to take on the massive responsibility of co-founding a coffee shop for personal reasons: “That’s essentially my business model, I wanted a place that I wanted to hang out at,” he says. Episode Credits: Intro and Outro Music by Broke For Free. Episode edited by Annamarie Sysling
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