Former NBA players join forces with family to launch one-of-a-kind “cafe” in historic Detroit neighborhood

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Detroit welcomes the latest Motor City Match small business, CRED Cafe, as Mayor Mike Duggan and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) gathered to celebrate the new Rivertown establishment with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Owned and operated by the Crawford family, the café is a coffee shop, speakeasy and event space all in one.

By day, patrons can enjoy a selection of pastries, snacks and an array of fresh coffee options sourced from Coffee Uplifts People, a java company owned by radio personality Angela Yee. By night, a hidden door leads to a speakeasy reminiscent of prohibition-era establishments. The bar lounge and event space, accommodating around 75 people, further enhance the cafe’s versatility.

Former NBA players and Detroit natives Joe Crawford and Jordan Crawford conceived the idea for CRED Café after encountering cafe-bar fusion establishments during their professional basketball travels abroad. Noting a lack of similar spaces in Detroit, the Crawford brothers pitched the idea of transforming their family-owned event space into such a cafe to their parents and younger brother.

Their mother, Sylvia Crawford, recalls driving her boys to school discussing Detroit’s comeback and instilling a desire in her family to contribute to the city’s resurgence. Those words became reality and the Crawfords are now helping to fuel their hometown’s revival.

“Our story is one of passion, commitment and a genuine desire to contribute to Detroit’s growth,” said Mrs. Crawford, who also serves as the cafe’s president and CEO. “We started with a dream and transformed a vacant, blighted building into a multifaceted space that reflects the spirit of our community.”

CRED Cafe’s commitment extends to the employment of Detroit residents, with all staff members hailing from the city. The establishment also partnered with several Detroit-based contractors on the build-out of their new space.

“Today represents more than just the opening of a beautiful new neighborhood business inside what used to be a vacant building along E. Jefferson,” said Mayor Duggan. “It represents how individuals like Joe and Jordan who have achieved success at the highest levels outside of Detroit and Michigan are coming back home to reinvest in the city that raised them. I’m so proud of what they have done with CRED Cafe and I just know the community will support them.”

The establishment, located at 6340 E. Jefferson Ave., received a $60,000 grant from Motor City Match which assisted with renovations and the purchase of equipment.

“From morning coffee to evening cocktails and everything between, there is always something happening at CRED Cafe,” said Sean Gray, vice president of Small Business Services at the DEGC, responsible for managing the Motor City Match program. “Those conversations years ago as Momma Sylvia drove her boys to school, cultivating their dream of uplifting Detroit, have truly blossomed. Now we all get to be part of the special community space this ambitious family has created right here in our amazing city.”

About Motor City MatchMotor City Match is a unique partnership between the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions and corporations including, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, Ford Foundation, Hudson Webber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, New Economy Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Motor City Match applications are available quarterly. More information is available at

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