Oprah and Toyota Support Detroit’s Food Entrepreneurs with $25,000 Grant

By Amanda Lewan on September 15th, 2014 / Comments

Every once in a while we meet an inspiring leader in the Detroit area who’s making an impact in entrepreneurship that can’t be ignored. Devita Davidson is one of those Detroiters.

We’re thrilled to learn that when Oprah was in town this past weekend for her motivational “The Life You Want Weekend” event she presented Davidson with a $25,000 Toyota Standing O-Vation award to support her work with Detroit Kitchen Connect. The organization is a network of shared commercial kitchens for Detroit food companies.

Born and raised in Detroit Davidson left to work in marketing and advertising in New York City. Her dream was to start a gourmet grocery store. She left her job to open shop but only to be set back by Hurricane Sandy, which wiped out her store and her home.

“In 2012 Hurricane Sandy ravished through my neighborhood. You know your life changes when you’re up in an attic with seven feet of water in your home,” said Davidson.

She called her parents and told them if she made it through the storm she was heading home. After returning to Detroit, she started Food Lab Detroit a group of food entrepreneurs that offers the shared kitchen space program. In one year 13 new businesses have opened in Detroit thanks to Davidson and her team.

The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” award recognizes extraordinary people who are making positive changes in their communities and inspiring others to do the same.  Oprah Winfrey and Toyota honored Devita Davison of Detroit Kitchen Connect on Saturday for her support of local food entrepreneurs.

Toyato also put together this powerful video below sharing Devita’s transformational journey back to Detroit.



To learn more about Oprah’s motivation tour check out the event at www.oprahweekend.com. You can also see others honored online here.


About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.