Bandhu = Friend
BANDHU is the Bangla word for FRIEND. We are growing friendship in our neighborhood.
Bandhu Gardens recognizes the existing gardening and culinary talents of Bangladeshi women living in Detroit. As neighbors, we work together to amplify and expand economic opportunities.
We sell vegetables, offer catering, do pop-up events and teach cooking classes.
Many women in our neighborhood grow vibrant, dense vegetable gardens. The South Asian vegetables they grow, like Bitter Melon, Long Bean and Water Squash are now just as local to Detroit as Michigan Cherries. By working as a decentralized network of home gardens, we are able to "meet people where they are", allowing women to manage their households as well as earn some money.
Our name is half Bangla and half English, because our business is, too.
It all started in 2015 when Minara Begum and Emily Staugaitis met and became fast friends, despite not speaking a word of each other's language. Through our shared interest in gardening and cooking we have both learned a lot about each other's culture and language. We have built this business together slowly and carefully to ensure that it is always done with respect, cultural sensitivity and appreciation. We each bring different skills, resources and needs to the table and by working together, we are able to do things we couldn't do alone.