As of Tuesday, Jan. 10, COLORS-Detroit will serve up an eclectic lunch and dinner menu that offers superbly and ethically prepared meals at 311 East Grand River, Detroit, across from Paradise Valley (formerly Harmonie Park).
It is the second such restaurant in the country. The first COLORS restaurant was opened in New York City in 2006 by restaurant workers from the World Trade Center who were displaced by the 9-11 tragedy.
The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan (ROC-Michigan) founded the restaurant and training center to help hundreds of Detroiters secure living wage jobs, promote access to fresh and healthy food, including sourcing food from the city’s flourishing urban farms, and to incubate collectively owned food enterprises.
“We are committed to improving the working conditions for Southeast Michigan’s 134,000 restaurant workers, many of whom work for low pay with little to no benefits,” said Minsu Longiaru, director, ROC-Michigan. “COLORS-Detroit is just one way we can champion better working conditions for restaurant workers.”
While diners will enjoy knowing they’re supporting a novel community effort, at the end of the day, the food needs to taste great – and COLORS-Detroit delivers.
“We are celebrating the wonderful multicultural cuisine in our community while highlighting local ingredients,” said Phil Jones, executive chef and general manager, COLORS-Detroit. “For example, our Greek Meatballs are a tribute to the history of Detroit’s Greektown community made from local grass-fed beef and lamb, feta cheese from Zimmerman’s Creamery and fresh herbs sourced from GROWN IN DETROIT and D-Town Farms.” Jones continued, “Although our menu is international in scope, it’s accessible. It is an opportunity to expose metro Detroiters to food with international flair in a non-intimidating way.”
COLORS-Detroit was made possible by grants from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems, Detroit LISC, the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Keeping the Dream Alive (the UAW Foundation) and the United Way of Southeast Michigan.
About the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan With over 750 members, the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan (ROC-MI) is the state’s largest organization of restaurant workers. ROC-Michigan is an affiliate of ROC-United, a national restaurant worker organization founded after September 11, 2001 by restaurant workers displaced from the World Trade Center. ROC-United seeks to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s low-wage restaurant workforce. ROC-United is the only national restaurant workers’ organization in the United States. Despite having more than 10 million restaurant workers and an economic impact of $1.7 billion annually, the restaurant industry is less than 1 percent unionized nationwide. Until ROC-United’s growth and development, the lack of organization left millions of restaurant workers vulnerable to abuse and exploitation around the country. Through participatory research and policy work, employer engagement, workplace justice campaigns, membership and leadership development, and more, ROC-United has become a powerful national vehicle for restaurant workers to lift their collective voice on issues affecting all low-wage workers, including the minimum wage, paid sick days, compliance with basic employment standards, and lack of health care. For more information on ROC-Michigan please visit, www.rocmichigan.org.