While work continues on social justice group Allied Media Projects’ Love Building campus at 4641 Grand River Ave., new details have emerged about its forthcoming food program which is to be led by Chef Nezaa Bandele of Paradise Deli and Marketplace.
Chef Nezaa Bandele, aka “Mama Nezaa,” a Jamaican chef who has made a name for herself feeding social justice movements since the 1980s; with Allied Media Projects, Bandele developed her business Paradise Natural Foods into Paradise Deli and Marketplace, a catering and plant-based community meal eatery. Now this business will feed its community inside the walls of Allied Media Project’s Love Building.
Chef Nezaa has been committed to feeding her community and family a plant-based diet has been sharing community food stories, curating them through Paradise Natural Foods catering and pop-up shop services.
According to a press release, in its new home, Paradise Deli and Marketplace offers “plant-forward” meals, including grab-and-go catering orders. It will also have a marketplace featuring local producers, a coffee and juice bar, kitchen space for other food makers, and offer nutrition classes.
“The deli and marketplace will be a place rooted in community where people can come, explore, expand their knowledge of healthy food and get educated about adopting a healthy lifestyle,” Bandele said in a statement. “We want to create opportunities for people to grow and come together in a space we call a third place, which isn’t your home or your office, but somewhere that feels communal.”
Paradise Deli and Marketplace says it also plans to hire local Detroiters from the surrounding neighborhood. While the opening won’t be made official in The LOVE Building Paradise is open for catering as well as pop-ups and community events.
Mama Nezaa and Paradise will be at D-Town Farms Harvest Festival on October 29 from 11a-5p and will be doing a pop-up at the Holiday Marketplace at Live6 Alliance on 6 mile every Friday 5-8p and Saturday 10a-5p during the month of December.
Nezaa Bandele has been a natural food chef and community health educator for several decades, specializing in plant-based, vegan, vegetarian cuisine and clean seafood and poultry. Her catering company Paradise Natural Foods is well known in the Metropolitan Detroit community for creating healthy food that represents her Caribbean roots and creative dishes from the global table. She is passionate about embracing food as a carrier of cultural values, and as a storytelling vehicle, as it migrates across borders to form a mashup of eclectic modern taste profiles. Her food convinces clients that healthy cuisine can be satisfying and delicious.
At Paradise Natural Foods they love to listen to the stories of our community and share their own, curating them through the cuisines they prepare for our customers. With each bite, Chef Nezaa hopes you can find yourself either as a nod or homage to tradition. Her food is a reminder that home can always be found wherever you are.