Butchers, Bakers, & Candy Makers

Locals aim for a slice of the food industry pie


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Dawn DeMuyt

Company: Labrosse Farm

Products: Heirloom tomatoes and peppers, plants, and (coming soon) Heirloom Tomato Ketchup

Distribution: At various farmers markets and on facebook.com/labrosse.farm or labrossefarm@gmail.com

Back story: From seed to harvest, Dawn DeMuyt and Patrick LaMourie are cultivating 30-plus varieties of heirloom vegetables — mainly tomatoes and peppers — on a small Corktown farm they bought in 1997.

They’ve expanded beyond the backyard of the house they moved into a few years ago, branching out to nearby lots a neighbor lets them farm.

In 2006, Labrosse Farm started off selling excess tomatoes at farmers markets. The following year, they started selling plants.

This fall, Labrosse Farm is taking the next step: They plan to partner with a certified kitchen and produce a line of three small-batch heirloom ketchups using this season’s harvest.

“They’ll all be fresh, nothing from a paste,” says DeMuyt. That also means using honey instead of sugar.

“Detroit is a great place to be in the food world right now,” says DeMuyt, citing a growing network of resources for small producers.

Urban farms are part of the “big picture” of producing local food rather than buying it “packed from a large corporation from the other side of the country,” DeMuyt says.

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