Little Liberia Wins $100,000 Comerica Hatch Detroit Competition Powered by TechTown


Little Liberia is an ephemeral afro fusion restaurant that seeks to find a permanent space to present from Liberia rich multicultural cuisines to the people of Metro Detroit. They serve authentic Liberian dishes, a cuisine whose heritage is a blend of African cuisine, Caribbeanand Antebellum-American South African influences and would serve as the first Liberian restaurant in Michigan.

Owner and Founder of Little Liberia, Ameneh Marhaba, decided to open a business in 2016 when she started hosting pop-up dinner parties to pay her bills. She has continued to pursue her business and her love of cooking and hopes to open a storefront in Midtown, Greek Town or Corktown. Marhaba is inspired by the business of Hatch Detroit alumnus Mamba Hamasi after his success in the Detroit small business community with Baobab Fare.

“We look forward to supporting and spotlighting Little Liberia as the newest addition to the city’s growing small business environment,” said Vittoria Katansky, Executive Director, Hatch Detroit. “After 10 years of Comerica Hatch Detroit competitions, it is so evident how strong and deep the entrepreneurial spirit is in Detroit short, and Little Liberia is a great example of tenacity and hard work that pays off. As an organization, Hatch Detroit continues to support its alumni and winners even after the competition, and we can’t wait to see where this victory takes Little Liberia. »

Little Liberia was announced as the winner in front of a live audience at the competition’s Hatch Off event which took place Thursday July 21 to Wayne State University Industry Innovation Center at Detroit. The event operates similarly to a “Shark Tank” style pitch contest where the top five companies had the opportunity to pitch their business pitch to a panel of judges as well as a live audience. The public vote, along with the deliberation of the judges, determined that Little Liberia was the winner.

“Comerica Bank congratulates Little Liberia as they join the nine previous winners and Hatch’s special alumni network after a momentous and well-deserved win,” said mike ritchie, president of Comerica Bank’s Michigan Market. “After a decade of Hatch Detroit competitions, we are still amazed and impressed by the innovators and talent this competition inspires. That’s really what makes this partnership with Hatch Detroit and TechTown so rewarding, and we’re thrilled to be supporting Little Liberia. and the other finalists as they work tirelessly to open their doors and join from Detroit a vibrant small business community. »

Ten Comerica Hatch Detroit competition semi-finalists were announced to the public for voting in early June. After tens of thousands of votes, the five finalists, COLFETARIE, Detroit Farm and Cider, Gajiza Dumplins, Lily’s & Elise and Little Liberia were selected and presented to the public. A second round of public voting took place and each finalist pitched their business idea live to a panel of judges and an audience of their peers at the Hatch Off event.

“The overwhelming support and continued success of Hatch alumni is a testament to the sense of community and drive for innovation in Detroit. We are confident that we will see great things from Little Liberia and the other four finalists,” said Ned Staebler, president and CEO of TechTown. “We are so lucky to be in a city like Detroit where the community rallies around self-employed people and rewards ingenuity, and we’re thrilled with the results of TechTown’s first year leading Hatch Detroit. »

Little Liberia joins previous Comerica Hatch Detroit contest winners The Feria (2012), Sister Pie (2014), Live Cycle Delight (2015), Meta Physical Massage (2016), Baobab rate (2017) and 27th letter books (2019). Together, Hatch Detroit alumni have opened 49 businesses, employ more than 500 people and have invested more than $7 million in their businesses.

To learn more about Little Liberia, visit

About Hatch Detroit

hatch Detroit supports existing and new retail initiatives in the cities of Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck. hatch Detroit was founded in 2011 to give residents and budding entrepreneurs a voice in neighborhood retail development and joined TechTown Detroit’s suite of entrepreneurial programs and services in 2022. Beyond the competition, Hatch Detroit provides funding, exposure and mentorship in support of its alumni. contractors. With the support of Hatch Detroit, 49 alumni opened businesses. They employ over 500 people and have invested over $7 million in economic development. To learn more, visit

About Comerica Bank

Comerica Bank, a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated, served Michigan longer than any other bank with a continuous presence dating back over 172 years Detroit foundation in 1849. It is the largest banking employer in the metro Detroit and more than 4,500 employees (FTEs) statewide. With one of the largest networks of banking centers in Michigan, Comerica maintains enduring relationships with unwavering integrity and financial prudence. Comerica has a positive impact on the lives of Michigan residents by helping customers succeed, providing financial support that helps hundreds of charities, and actively participating in from Detroit downtown revitalization. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned with three lines of business: commercial banking, retail banking and wealth management. Follow on Instagram:@comerica_bank.

About TechTown Detroit

TechTown is a nonprofit business service organization that provides programs, training, and resources for small businesses and technology entrepreneurs in the early or growing stage. By building bridges for entrepreneurs to succeed, TechTown is accelerating an inclusive economy for Detroit and Southeast Michigan. Since 2007, TechTown has supported more than 4,500 companies, which have created 1,600 jobs and raised more than $172 million in seed and growth capital. For more information, visit

SOURCE Comerica Bank


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