DETROIT, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – What was once an area of vacant storefronts in the New Center area is now home to several small business including The Kitchen, by Cooking with Que, a place where vegans and meat eaters coexist.

(Credit: Zishan Ali)

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Owner Quiana “Que” Broden is on a mission to teach people how to “eat to live” and offer a variety of plant-based meals.

From “idea to open” as a Motor City Match Round 10 cash awardee of $60,000, Broden celebrated her years of hard work with a grand opening Friday including city officials, fellow entrepreneurs and her closest friends and family.

(Credit: Zishan Ali)

Broden says her business started from a post-it note.

“I have to let you know anything you really think of, you can do it. You have to be really persistent and you have to go for it. Don’t wait for a hand out, put in the work,” said Broden.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said one of his favorite things to do is stop by grand openings for small businesses in the city. With the start of Motor City Match – which provides businesses with funding and tools to fuel the city’s entrepreneurial revolution – Duggan said since the beginning, the Detroit City Council has backed the idea to take vacant storefronts and “make them sites of dreams.”

“City Council backed this from day one. Que has had this dream for four years, it’s not easy to start a business or to expand a business. For four straight years she stuck with it, she went on Motor City Match, she lined up her finances, got her location and now we’re starting to see one storefront after another in areas across this city go from vacancy to vibrancy and Cooking With Que is going to be a great addition to this neighborhood,” said Duggan.

(Credit: Zishan Ali)

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Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones presented Broden with a Spirit of Detroit Award and City Council President Pro-Tempore Mary Sheffield welcomed her to District 5.

Placing her mark on the walls with green and orange ceramic tiles to display her favorite things, “kale and carrots,” Broden says the space was built from love.

“In our kitchen, you can’t come in here if you don’t have love in your heart that day. Everything here is healthy, we make it fresh for you every single day,” she said.

(Credit: Zishan Ali)

Along with her business ventures, Broden is employing Detroit youth during the summer and also started an Eat To Live Foundation to bridge the gap on what’s missing in schools and teach children how to eat healthy.

“If we want them to be our next generation and we want them to thrive, we have to teach them while they’re young,” said Broden. “We created the Eat To Live Foundation to bring the inner city kids to The Kitchen. I want them to come to a nice place, I want them to know what a complete meal looks like and how to make it, so they can take that information back home to their parents.”

Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Kitchen offers smoothies, entrees and some of Broden’s favorites including vegan mac n cheez, sauteed kale and lavender lemonade.

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