Cinnaire Serves up Culinary Arts Education in Flint, MI

New Markets Tax Credit Provides Financing to Support Mott Community College Culinary Arts Institute 


The mission of Mott Community College (MCC) is to provide high quality, accessible and affordable educational opportunities and services that cultivate student success and individual development and improve the overall quality of life in a multicultural community. The Mott Culinary Arts Institute provides students with the opportunity to complete an associate degree in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, Food Service Management or to complete a one-year certificate in Professional Cooking or Professional Baking. As the degree program grew in popularity among students, Mott identified the need for an expanded facility.

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, a foundation that began in 1926 with a focus on Flint, donated the iconic Woolworth Building to serve as the new home for the Mott Culinary Arts Institute. Cinnaire, in partnership with Chase, provided a $9 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to support the project. Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, a non-profit development organization, partnered with MCC to extensively renovate the 100-year old building.

The new Culinary Arts Institute allowed MCC to expand their curriculum and to more than double their program capacity to serve approximately 400 students, bringing new students to the area and creating secondary economic impact in downtown Flint.

The Details

Total Development Cost

$11.9 M

New Markets Tax Credit Investment

$9 M

Type of Deal

Community Facility

Population Served

Low-income students


Uptown Reinvestment Corporation

Fresh from the Classroom to the Kitchen

The Culinary Arts Institute provides a first-class education experience. The state-of-the-art facility boasts multiple culinary and baking laboratories, including a chocolate and confections lab, a grade manger lab, a dry-aged meat room and a temperature-controlled wine cellar. Courses are taught by award-winning, certified executive chefs, and food service professionals.

After working in banking for many years, I decided to return to school and get my degree in baking and pastry arts. I currently own a cupcake and speciality baked goods catering business. I’m enjoying learning new skills here at Mott and really love the labs we get to use. – Michelle, Mott CC student

Students gain real-world experience by participating in classes in the onsite Coffee Beanery and Applewood @ Saginaw Street restaurant. The Coffee Beanery serves as a working laboratory, with students responsible for operating the coffee shop as part of their training. Students prepare freshly baked pastries, serve hot beverages and handle the business side of the Coffee Beanery.

Next door at the Applewood @ Saginaw restaurant, students are busy training in positions from the back of the house to the front, serving as line cooks, dishwashers, servers, guest hosts and more. Open to the general public for limited hours, Applewood @ Saginaw serves an upscale menu in a beautifully adorned space. The restaurant features a fresh new menu monthly to give students the opportunity to learn and expand their culinary knowledge.

I love taking classes here, in the labs and in the restaurant. I’m just getting started here and I’ve already learned so much. It’s cool that we get to work in all the different restaurant positions. I’m learning now about working at the front of the house. I might like to create my own restaurant someday. – Martina, Mott CC student

I’m not yet sure what I would like to do in the food and beverage industry but going to school here gives me the chance to learn about a lot of the different career options. Right now, I’m enjoying my time taking several different classes and exploring the many options an education at Mott Culinary Arts Institute provides. – Zachary, Mott CC Student

I retired from General Motors after 36 years and decided to go back to school. My family works in the restaurant industry. I never thought I would want to work in a restaurant! I love to cook at home and when I came to Mott, I realized my passion for fine dining, upscale cooking and serving others. My dream is to one day launch my own ramen food truck! – Ray, Mott CC Student