Lex and Jazz of Char’latte Coffee Company Detroit (photo by Char’latte)
* The sisters will be located inside Eastern Market’s Shed 5 during Detroit Bookfest. Come check out their amazing coffee! Please bring small bills, especially $1’s and $5’s.
I love coffee. The aroma, flavor tones, nuances, trimethylxanthine, and accelerated association of ideas that results after gulping down a cup or pot of it. So, when I heard that Char’latte Coffee Company is bringing some liquid deliciousness to Detroit Bookfest, I was ecstatic.
Officially opened in February 2022, Char’latte Coffee Company is run by two Metro Detroit sisters and former baristas who saw a need in the market and decided to fill it.
Alexis Hallam (aka: Lex) and Jazzmyne Cansler (aka: Jazz) are very close siblings. Lex is four years older, likes photography, plays the drums, and started working at a coffeehouse. She got her sister, Jazz, who plays the strings, a job at the coffeehouse and they both “fell in love with the Art of Coffee,” says Jazz.
Alexis Hallam (aka: Lex) and Jazzmyne Cansler (aka: Jazz) of Char’latte Coffee Company Detroit (photo by Ryan M. Place)
“After working in different coffeehouses, we decided to pool our talents, love of coffee, and entrepreneurial spirits,” says Lex. “We created our brand and started our own operation. The coffee is sourced from Stumptown Coffee Roasters and all flavored syrups are created in-house.”
Currently, the sisters offer specialty pop-ups, and their operation consists of an 8-foot-long mobile coffee cart.
“We offer drip, pour over, iced, cold brew, espresso, teas, hot chocolate, and lemonade,” says Lex. “We are hoping to add some pastries in the future.”
Some top sellers right now are:
Brown Sugar Lavender Oat Milk Latte
Hot chocolate with whipped cream
And the Madagascar vanilla bean
Char’latte Coffee Company Detroit
“We love the freedom of mobility,” says Jazz. “In the future, we’d like to add a large trailer and our ultimate goal is to eventually open a brick-and-mortar coffeehouse, most likely in the heart of Detroit.”
This is a true family operation. “Our Uncle Shane built the cart for us, outfitted it and he even helps transport it to events in his truck. His wife and kids all help contribute greatly to our success and we are very thankful for their love and support,” says Lex. “And the name Char’latte is in honor of my two-year-old daughter, Charlotte.”
The sister’s coffee cart can be booked for events. “We politely request a minimum of 50 people,” says Jazz. “There is no maximum. We do weddings, office parties, house parties, graduations, corporate events, community events, all sorts of different things.”
The sisters are trying to make this gig full-time. Help them out by booking them for your next event!
Lex (left) and Jazz (right) of Char’latte Coffee Company Detroit (photo by Char’latte)
Iconic photo of Detroit Bookfest taken by Debbie Maciolek in 2018 (Eastern Market, Shed 5, Detroit)
Native Detroiter, Debbie Maciolek, runs Debography, a local photography company. She expertly photographed some early incarnations of Bookfest for us in the past. And now, thankfully, she’s back!
The quality of her work is superb, and we are immensely fortunate to have her documenting the event.
You will see her running around at Detroit Bookfest taking photos. Please treat her with courtesy and respect.
Debbie Maciolek self-portrait (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
“I’ve got lots of books to donate. I can’t throw out a book. It goes against everything I believe in.”
“My early years? Wow, well, I grew up on Detroit’s Upper Eastside. I lived on Lansdowne, between Yorkshire and Grayton and attended Guardian Angels at Kelly and Whittier and also Bishop Gallagher.”
“I attended Wayne State University, studying business and have my certificate of Photographic Arts from Macomb Community College.”
“For the past 28 years, my husband Bob and I have lived in Macomb. He’s a Colonel in the National Guard and we’ve owned a software business for 16 years now called Static Line Software.”
Abandoned Detroit building (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
“We have a son and a daughter, Blake and Claire, both finishing up college at Western Michigan and University of Michigan respectively and two furry kids. Our two dogs are Bella – a Lab-Pit mix, and Dexter – a Great Pyrenees-Siberian Husky mix.”
“I come from three generations of Detroit firefighters. My grandfather and father both retired as Chief of the city and my brother is a current Sergeant on the Eastside.”
“When I was young, my dad used to race stock outboard boats all over the state in short courses and marathons. This is actually how I started photography. To this day, I love photographing live sports, especially hockey, and capturing the raw in-the-moment action. Traveling frequently allowed us to camp all over the state. There is nothing like Michigan in the summer, the forests and lakes are incredible.”
“Debography was started November 2016. I was able to leave my job with a software services company and move into being a photographer full-time. I shoot senior photos, lifestyle, off the beaten path type stuff, abandoned buildings, nature photography, events, etc. Not weddings, never weddings.”
Detroit River photo (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
“My camera setup consists of a Canon 5D Mark IV and I use primarily Canon lenses, and Sigma Art lenses. My preferred editing software is Photoshop and I’ve found the absolutely best company for lighting supplies and support – Flashgear.net.”
“My advice for aspiring photographers is to understand the manual settings and remember that lighting is everything, it will always make or break your shots. Take the time to understand how light affects your subject.”
“As for hobbies, I love traveling, seeking out new adventures, experiencing off the beaten path type stuff. I’m an avid reader, mostly mysteries. I belong to a book club that’s…really more of a wine club, but hey, it’s fun. I’ve also been getting back into running, I’ve completed four half marathons and am looking to fit in a fifth one.”
“Michigan is a wonderful state, we love it here; there is always something new to do. My husband and I have a cottage in Gladwin on Secord Lake and have made some fabulous friends up there. I grew up going to Burt Lake and Indian River, which are about a half hour south of Mackinaw City, and will always be one of my favorite spots. The State Park is great and the swimming and hiking can’t be beat. Locally, we love spending time outdoors at Stony Creek Metropark and Dodge Park. Favorite restaurants near our house include Da Francesco’s Ristorante for Italian food and Golden Fleece in Greektown for Greek food.”
“Outside of Michigan, my favorite spot hands down is Ireland. Stunningly beautiful country. I recommend renting a car and driving around southern Ireland, especially the Killarney area. And yes, for some reason, the Guinness really does taste better over there, the rumors are true! It tastes like Irish Magic.”
Castle in Ireland (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
Contact (hire Debbie for gigs here)
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Owl in the trees (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
Nature photo (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
Fire hydrant encased by tree (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
Photo of a Horse (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
Capturing the Sunset (photo by Debbie Maciolek)
Based in Metro Detroit, Corinne VanOstran, is a talented and well-traveled lifestyle photographer who especially loves action photography.
You can hire her for portraits, events, engagements, boudoir, school and other photography gigs.
You will see her at Detroit Bookfest taking photos. Please treat her courteously and respectfully.
Corinne VanOstran (Photo courtesy of Cori Kay Photography)
Interview with Corrine
What got you interested in photography and how long have you been shooting?
I’ve loved photography since I was a little kid. My aunts gave me their used Polaroid cameras and I basically never stopped taking photos. After that, I was snapping pictures everywhere I went. It wasn’t until high school that I got my first entry level DSLR and I was so excited. I cherished that thing and used it heavily until my senior year of college, when I finally needed to upgrade my camera. I still use it sometimes, along with the old film camera’s that I have from when I was a kid. So, I guess I’ve been shooting since I was 7, but I wasn’t paid or recognized for it until I was about 16.
I love documenting the world and its moments. I think that people forget how fleeting moments are. Photographs help us do that. Photographs also help us see moments in new ways. Photos are preserved slices of our lives and I’ve always thought that was awesome.
Hobbies? What do you do for fun?
Unsurprisingly, I love taking photos for fun. I actually take photos of miniature painted models for a game called Warhammer for my friends and fell in love with taking macro photos of miniatures!
I also love swimming and reading, so it isn’t especially rare to see me trying to protect my books from water while lakeside or poolside. I love new experiences and going new places, so chances are if someone ever asks me to go somewhere the answer is an emphatic “yes!”.
Favorite hangout spots, restaurants, bars, experiences, etc, in the Detroit area?
I love doing Haunted Tours of the Detroit 6th Precinct (McGraw Ave, Southwest Detroit) when those were going on. It’s a great way to support local history, legally explore a cool old building and do something off-beat. I actually try to frequent as many tours of historic old buildings in the area as possible, especially those that need the funding and try to take my family on them as well when they come into town.
The Standby (225 Gratiot Ave, Detroit) is probably my favorite cocktail bar, and the Two James Distillery (2445 Michigan Ave, Detroit) was super fun to tour! I found both of those places while trying to find a place to live in Detroit and they quickly became favorites.
Also, you also didn’t hear it from me, but if you visit the Pringles vending machine in the back of El Topo (113 Mill St, Fenton) after 5pm between Tuesday and Saturday, you might get more than just a trip for tacos.
Corinne VanOstran (Photo courtesy of Cori Kay Photography)
What do you like most about the Metro Detroit area?
It’s hard to pick one thing. Metro Detroit is such a unique experience. I think the overall experience of the city of Detroit is what I like best.
For instance, the first time I visited downtown Detroit was when I was on Spring Break and looking for a place to live after graduation. This random guy recognized my college (I went to Michigan Tech) from my sweatshirt and started talking to me about how he raps about Astrophysics and that I should check out his flows. Then we chatted about MTU’s physics department and some kids he tutors. On a side note, I checked out his BandCamp and he raps better about Astrophysics than any Bill Nye video ever could. I’ve been to so many other places and you literally don’t get that anywhere else.
I feel like Detroit has a community that is so uncommon for a city its size and people really want the metro area to thrive! I can do almost anything here and meet just about anyone (including someone who always says they know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa). This tangible feeling of community doesn’t exist everywhere. The metro area feels like a beautiful clashing of history and the modern day. The Detroit experience consists of unique events, people, and cultures that will leave an indelible impression on you.
Any upcoming projects, developments, new announcements?
I’m currently working on two pet projects:
Digitizing film (for family and archival reasons) and Southern Gothic novel-inspired photoshoots.
For the Southern Gothic Novel inspiration, I couldn’t get the images from the novels I was reading out of my head but I’m also a terrible drawer. So I started working on setting up photoshoots instead. Now that I’ve collected most of my props and found the appropriate locations, I’m trying to rope in my friends to pose for me. My challenge to myself will be recreating scenes from one book per month for 12 months straight. Hopefully, I don’t run out of willing participants by then!
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Corinne VanOstran (Photo courtesy of Cori Kay Photography)