Food And Drinks

Where to Buy the Best Locally Made Face Masks in Detroit, According to Restaurant Workers


To help small businesses at the start of the pandemic, the city of Detroit established Detroit Means Business with resources, personal protective equipment and expert advice. Applicant restaurants were given a handful of disposable masks worn by many kitchen workers and waiters who worked long hours on hot patios. The “lightweight design and the ability to have a fresh one on hand at any time” make them perfect for restaurant service, says Chef Matt Johnson of the Batch Brewing Company.

During this health crisis, many local manufacturers also stepped up and donated masks to key employees in the industry. Keep Growing Detroit’s Lola Gibson-Berg loves wearing the masks made by Lesley DiPiazza, the owner of Detroit Hand Sanitizer, on the farm. “She made a few for us at the start of the pandemic, and they’re my favorites,” says Gibson-Berg.

With the industry’s new mask makeover, employees can quickly find their favorites when working long shifts in the heat of the kitchen or on patios. With a hyperlocal focus on helping movers and shakers in the city of Detroit, here are some of her favorites.

Sustainable and naturally colored

$ 26 from Rosemarine Textiles

Rohani Foulkes of Folk loves the breathable, two-layer mask made of organic cotton from Rosemarine Textile. The ties over the head make it easier to wear and ensure no tension behind the ears during long shifts. There are even handy washing instructions to keep the plant colors vibrant and to keep the mask clean and hygienic.

Tie dyed

$ 15 from Brightly Twisted

Local makers really went out of their way to support important workers and those in the restaurant industry. Kristen Calverley of Michigan & Trumbull says her team received masks from Brightly Twisted and that they love them for their buttery texture and bright colors. Customize the look with a blank mask and DIY home coloring kit.

Ederique Goudia [Courtesy photo]

Statement pieces

$ 20 from Make the Hood Again Great

Ederique Goudia of Gabriel Hall, Foodlab Detroit, and Detroit Food Academy prefers a disposable mask in the heat of the kitchen, but she also loves making a statement with masks like Make the Hood Great Again when giving cooking classes, visiting a farm, or in Supermarket shopping. And as the description says, no labeling is required.

Comfort, style and a filter bag

$ 15 from Blackfokapparel

April Anderson of Good Cakes and Bakes says her team wears a variety of Blackfokapparel’s custom cloth masks. Each mask is made up of three layers of material, including a filter bag. A self-adhesive back-end nose strip and adjustable ear straps allow comfort and easy communication without the mask constantly slipping.

Melanie Mack wears glasses and a black and white printed mask in front of liquor bottles at the bar.

Melanie Mack [Courtesy photo]

Wearable art

$ 16 from the Armageddon Beach Party

Think of these as a collectable historical memento of the 2020 global pandemic: Detroit-based bartender Melanie Mack from Menjo rocks one behind the bar and loves the character each piece of art brings to her outfit. They are now sold out but may be back in stock in the future.

3D knitting and hand disinfectant or double-foamed cloth

$ 16.99 from Pingree Detroit | $ 10 from Pink Flamingo

Pingree Detroit is a worker-owned cooperative that specializes in zero-waste design. Each mask order comes with a 2-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer. Meiko Krishok of Guerilla Food and Pink Flamingo says the Pingree mask is best for cooler temperatures as it gets a little warm when you talk. In cold weather along the way, this mix of black polyester and spandex could keep faces from going numb during outdoor service in the fall. Krishok’s restaurant also sells its own flamingo-printed masks. One of our employees makes fabric masks with a vertical seam in the middle that are two-layer and very comfortable, ”says Krishok.

Face mask made of organic cotton

$ 12 from Object Apparel

Speaking of employee-made masks, “One of our employees actually owns a great company that makes masks,” says Kyle Hunt of Huddle and Cøllect. “They are breathable, washable and adjustable on your face.” The masks are available in red, pink and purple polka dots or white. Object Apparel also has floral print masks and turmeric colored masks.

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Dusty Kennedy