May 7, 2021


Food the meaning

The D Loft Cafe brings multiple food vendors together under one roof

When Jackie Jackson started a baking business with her mother in 2011, she had no idea that the company would come to mean much more to her than making and selling rum cakes and other decadent treats.

“I would bake and she would decorate,” Jackson said of the mother-daughter origins of Flavor for the Soul, a small food business specializing in liquor-spiked desserts.

Jackson’s mother, a 32-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, died of breast cancer in 2014 and Jackie found herself baking both as a way to deal with her own mounting anxiety and to preserve her mother’s legacy.

“It’s more than just money for me,” Jackson, 45, said. “I share my mother with the public when I sell.”

Kemia Faulkner poses for a portrait at The D Loft Cafe, a commercial brick-and-mortar space for pop-up cooks to grow their business on Dec. 3, 2020, in Oak Park. The business employs teenagers in order to help them gain entrepreneurial skills.

In the past, that’s meant delivering the holiday pies she bakes to customers herself. But this season, she’s been able to direct customers to a central pickup location: The D Loft Cafe in Oak Park.

A sort of food-business incubation space or collective, the D Loft Cafe is the food-focused spoke of the growing D Loft brand, which now includes five “social spaces” spread across Ferndale, Oak Park and Hamtramck that provide flexible venues for events and creative gatherings.