Detroit’s Jefferson East community gained a delightful new resident in July with the opening of Rose’s Fine Foods. This quaint diner not only serves up local and seasonal dishes, but also a different kind of business model.
When cousins Lucy Carnaghi and Molly Mitchell decided to open the diner, they went into it with a unique idea. They wanted to pay their workers a living wage, meaning one not based on tips that may or may not come in. The minimum wage for a server in Michigan is $3.10 an hour. This diner far exceeds that by paying their workers $10 an hour.
When the diner opened, they did not accept tips. They factored them in when creating their menu, and were built into the cost of each dish. After some experimenting, they decided to pool together tips and split them based on hours worked, bringing their workers’ wages up to $10-$13 and hour.
The fair-wage policy isn’t the only interesting thing about Rose’s! The diner itself is oozing with personality! All of the vintage plates, mugs and saucers are mixed and matched. The tables and counter are adorned with fresh cut flowers placed in cute glass jars. Everything about the place tells a story – even its name, which came from the co-owners’ grandmother’s favorite flower.
The menu is compiled with some of the diner’s staples, like Big Jim’s Chicken Hash. This hash is made up of pulled chicken mixed with potatoes, herbs and seasonal vegetables, and topped with two fried eggs and served with toast. Rose’s uses high-quality local ingredients, and the co-owners reserve the right to add or subtract to the menu due to seasonality.
You can find the specials, including their ESD (egg sandwich of the day), on a menu board hanging above the counter. It’s full of special dishes and desserts that change daily. Even their drinks are unique – you can add any of their house-made syrups to your favorite beverage. I suggest the Vernors with their vanilla syrup. Seriously – try it!
Rose’s Fine Foods is a welcomed addition to the Jefferson East community, and Carnaghi and Mitchell don’t take that warm welcome for granted. They offer a 10% discount to anyone living within a mile of their establishment.
You can stop in for a quality bite Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3p.m.