I had the chance to sit down with Bryan Baker Signal-Return’s printer-in-residence. The moment you start talking letterpress with Bryan, you can feel his passion for the art of printing. A Hamtramck resident, Bryan started teaching workshops and classes at the studio two years ago, and he’s been with Signal-Return full time since February. Here’s Bryan’s take on this unique Detroit business.
As critically-acclaimed artists who are responsible for large-scale art installations all over Detroit, Steve and Dorota Coy have been leaving their mark on the city for years. The husband and wife team relocated here from Hawaii in 2008, and Brush Park serves as home base for their artistic adventures worldwide. Last winter, inspired by their love of fresh juices, the creative duo teamed up with Detroit-based McClure’s Pickles to produce and bottle a line of all-natural drink mixers, Wolf Moon Mixers.
Dorota says they were inspired to start their new venture in Detroit “due to the amazing network of people and strong sense of community that is present in Detroit right now.” Says Dorota, “We saw the opportunity and took it. This business really could have been opened anywhere and probably would make more sense in terms of branding and food sourcing to be somewhere warm, but we are proud to have it here. The support and infrastructure in Detroit is unparalleled for budding entrepreneurs.”
Opening a new business in Detroit, the Coys have found that they’ve benefited from publicity and support that wouldn’t happen in other markets. Dorota says, “I think new businesses get more attention in Detroit than in other cities of equal or larger size. People love the underdogs and the comeback stories. That is why I think the media tells these stories of people doing creative things and starting new businesses in the city. That kind of marketing can’t be bought.”
Wolf Moon Mixers are made in Detroit from seasonal fresh fruit (sourced as locally as possible), and they have no sugary additives or preservatives. Dorota says the city’s skilled workforce has been a huge benefit to the success of their operations, and they hope to continue to grow and employ even more people moving forward.
Flavors rotate and change seasonally, but recent offerings include pineapple jalapeno, hibiscus margarita, watermelon mint, carrot ginger, citrus margarita and cucumber basil. If you’ve ever been disappointed by the artificial flavors in a bottled drink mix, or if you’ve ever made a mess trying to create your own fancy cocktails, Wolf Moon Mixers will make your day. They taste great, last for a while on the shelf or in the fridge, and are super easy to use. The juice is delicious on its own, or it can be mixed with the liquor of your choice and served over ice. The label on each bottle of Wolf Moon Mixers also includes a recommended spirit for mixing.
Wolf Moon Mixers are available in Detroit at Germack in Eastern Market, Hugh in Midtown and throughout the Detroit metro area and beyond, with new locations being added regularly. In the future, the folks at Wolf Moon Mixers would like to host cultural events throughout the city. Says Dorota, “This would create another way for people to get together, leave the stress of their daily life behind and share ideas. These gatherings would also contribute to the growing social and cultural fabric of our city.” Future Wolf Moon plans also include more locally-sourced seasonal mixes and a possible venture in the liquor business with a secret family recipe.
For more information on Wolf Moon Mixers, drink recipes, the latest news on new flavors and generally gorgeous photos of Detroit living, follow the Wolf Moon team’s gorgeous Instagram @WolfMoonMixers or visit them on Facebook.