project leader
Jeffrey L
16451 E. Warren Ave.
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the project

My name is Jeffrey D. Lewis II, and I am working to open Morningside Cafe, a coffee, and entertainment cafe at the historic Alger Theater located in Detroit's Morningside neighborhood. My goal is to provide the residents of the three contiguous communities of Cornerstone Village, East English Village (EEV), and Morningside with their very own local coffee shop. 

This venture will restore a missing amenity that has been absent for far too long, as well as stimulate the neighborhood economy. We will also create jobs for residents of Cornerstone, EEV, and Morningside and provide educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for our youth. 

Every neighborhood deserves to have a gathering space where they can meet up with friends, have access to free wifi, and on top of that, have a refreshing cup of coffee and a delicious baked good! With Morningside Cafe, we will provide that and more! Our neighborhood has been without a coffee shop for quite some time now and our neighbors usually have to hop in their cars and travel to suburban communities such as the Grosse Pointes, or even as far as downtown and Midtown for their coffee needs. We want to give our community that space where everyone can gather together and enjoy the atmosphere of a new, local coffee shop. With Morningside Cafe, we look forward to being your new, local coffee destination! 

the steps

My project is an awardee of Motor City Match (MCM), Detroit's premier small business grant and resource program that's designed to connect small businesses with brick and mortar locations, technical assistance, and grant funding up to $100,000. Our goal for Morningside Cafe is to raise $40,000. With the funds raised through ioby, we will be able to purchase coffee equipment (i.e. coffee makers, an espresso machine, coffee grinders, etc.) and secure the matching grant needed for Motor City Match of $40,000 to open for business in 2018 and begin our journey with a hefty cash balance. 

why we're doing it

We're launching this venture because our community has lacked a coffee cafe for over a decade now. Our residents have to travel outside of their community to purchase a quality cup of coffee. Far too often our hard-earned money is benefiting other communities. With Morningside Cafe, we look to curbed that trend so those dollars can remain within our communities of Cornerstone, East English Village, and Morningside. This venture will generate economic growth, spur business development along the East Warren commercial corridor and rejuvenate the community all at the same time.

I am extremely passionate about this project and excited for what it will do for our community. Growing up in Morningside, I vividly recall what a thriving commercial corridor did for our community. There was a sense of unity amongst our neighbors as the East Warren corridor was walkable with a variety of different shops to patronize and on any given day this corridor was bustling with activity.  With Morningside Cafe, we will be apart of restoring the excitement of patronizing small businesses along the E. Warren commercial corridor and restore the pride of residents who reside within the Morningside neighborhood and beyond!


Morningside Cafe is seeking to raise $40,000 that will go towards the purchase of equipment and the continuation of our storefront buildout. We will need to purchase items such as an automatic coffee maker, espresso machine, a coffee grinder, and a refrigerator system (i.e. Milk Cooler). To give you an idea of how much those items will cost, see the below expense item budget list:

Simonelli Aurelia Whole Bean Espresso Machine: $11,154.00

Simonelli High Volume Coffee Grinder (2x):             $1,560.00

Bun Twin Airpot Coffee Brewer:                               $1,100.00

Simonelli Thermolec Milk Cooler:                                $819.00

Solware Commercial Microwave:                                $359.00


Budget Subtotal:                               $40,000

ioby Platform Fee:                                   $35

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%):  $1,200

Total:                                                  $41,235


Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Eric L
  • Anonymous
  • Sheila Lewis
  • Jacqueline Perkins
  • Ken C
  • Joyce D.
  • Anonymous
  • Alexander B.
  • Anonymous
  • Ian M.
  • Jeffrey L.
  • Anonymous