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June 11, 2024 3 min read


Hey, everyone! Brendan here, yapping once again.

Part of the weekly tradition for me when I get into work here on Monday is to ask Evan and Steffani how Eastern Market went; I enjoy hearing the different stories they share and how vivid of an event it's always made out to be. This, plus kind words and support from fellow entrepreneurs out there, have got me thinking a bit about the role that Nakee-- and small businesses as a whole-- play in the community.

It's universally acknowledged that small businesses are important, but not always why, what it is they provide that is so utterly indispensable-- factors that, rather than being rendered moot by the steady rise of mega-corporations, are instead amplified. I think those aspects of small business are worth talking about on their own, because they in many ways reflect our beliefs about our country and ourselves.

Look up any article that discusses this topic (here's a few) and the thing that always comes up is how small businesses create more local jobs and how money is fed back into the local economy. Money indeed makes the world go 'round, and that is critical. In my case, I get to support local games stores and bookshops and thrift stores; adding it all together, there's a vast web of connections between the businesses in a community. That sort of thing is given a nod sometimes, but to me it helps foster further a sense of community that can sometimes feel a bit absent nowadays.  

That sense is what's been on my mind lately. It involves, as those articles I linked mention, a sense of pride. That's something I certainly feel on my way to work, when I look out the car window and see the many different startups and entrepreneurs forming that web of connections. These businesses provide more than just their product or service, though.

They frequently look out for one another, providing support and knowledge to keep one another afloat. I know for a fact that the bosses have both received and shared some of the most critical information they've heard on small business from fellow entrepreneurs around Detroit and beyond, who've provided insight seasoned with valuable experience. 

This is something we believe in with Nakee as well, and it's part of why we write blogs in the first place! Sharing information, helping people stay aware of things they may need to know-- that's a critical part of the vision to us, not just creating a snack that is both healthy and tasty (and available at your local Meijer now, by the way!). Small businesses are often described as akin to patchwork quilt, forming the fabric of a community-- but those quilts are blankets too, keeping one warmer and safer than they might otherwise be. That's part of the value as well, and it's something I'm proud to be a part of working here.

Something else worth appreciating, especially in a city as beautifully diverse as Detroit, is the sheer variety of perspectives and products that you can find in that quilt. It's a quintessential part of the immigrant culture for a diaspora to be supported by small businesses tapping into aspects of their former countries, and that is valuable in ways beyond measure.

Bodegas and groceries dedicated to the tastes of different nations, regions and cultures provide not only that support, but also a much more vivid sense of variety to the community. To me, all of this also reflects why Eastern Market in itself is so important. It's a way for entrepreneurs to remain connected not only with their customers, but also their compatriots!

With that in mind, hoping that y'all will come to see us at EM this weekend! It really is one of the most amazing events in Detroit. Regardless, thanks for hearing me out today, and don't forget to patronize and support small businesses. This is Brendan, signing off for now! Best wishes!


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