Curt Malouin is at home amongst the code
IN THE CASS Corridor section of Detroit, Michigan, you will find a bit of vibrance in a city that has been short on that commodity for several years. The financial crash of the late 2000s saw an immense amount of strain put on the city’s manufacturing jobs, chiefly in the automotive industry. Many of those jobs left town, and did not return, leaving the city in a sort of paralysis. Stories of mass foreclosures and homes on the auction block for as little as one dollar started spreading. It was not the best of times. Today, things are better in the Motor City, but there are still pockets that have yet to bounce back. Cass Corridor has a rich art and music history. It acted as a sort of epicenter for hippies and folk rock in the 1960s. The White Stripes played their first concert there. There is a university nearby — Wayne State University, and a proliferation of small boutiques and eateries thrive in the area.
Towards the north end of the neighborhood is Green Garage. Built in the 1920s it was originally occupied by a company that built cars based on Model T chassis. Later, it was a warehouse for a company that built shoe repair supplies. Today, Green Garage is a co-working space, inhabited by about 50 small businesses. Most are just renting desks and doing computer-based work, but back in one of the three workshop areas of the building is the current home of Red Panda Lab — Curt Malouin’s pedal lair.
The 700-square foot space hosts little manufacturing itself. Most of Red Panda’s products come into the shop ready for assembly and testing prior to shipping.