Spotlight on Cowork Entrepreneurs

Six months ago you probably heard about Auburn Hills utilizing its Downtown Education Nook, The DEN, as a coworking space during the day. The DEN is open to the public for evening study hours and is available for a small fee to freelancers and entrepreneurs looking for a small space to call their office.

Here is an intimate look at two of the businesses that call The DEN their home.


Inkwell English Education began in 2005 as a one-woman initiative. Soon after, owner, Karen Boniface, expanded her team of passionate educators dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. Inkwell is a small company that provides highly qualified tutoring programs that fit all student’s needs. Their passionate team focuses on mastery-learning beginning with the fundamentals and increasing the knowledge set. The individualized approach Inkwell offers students equates to insurmountable achievements in conceptual understanding.

The tutoring team may be small, but they have a powerful and global reach. Although based in Rochester, Michigan and focused on Oakland County Students, Inkwell has offered instruction via Skype as far away as India, Taiwan, and Hong Kong!

Inkwell focuses on three main services; tutoring, class instruction and document services. Tutoring is private and helps with personalized and individual educational goals. Tutoring is offered in person, shared or virtual. Classroom instruction is a concentrated study in a small classroom setting. This service has the added benefit of peer interaction, feedback, and support not found in a one-on-one setting. Finally, document services is an electronic service to help assist a student with writing a final paper. This service includes an overall review of the content, style, structure and mechanics. You could opt to receive support throughout the entire writing process or help with brainstorming or proofreading.

Inkwell hosts some of its classes at The DEN all throughout the week. Visit the website above and learn if Inkwell may be the right fit for you or a student you may know!


Beans & Blends is what is called, “perfectly engineered coffee”, for a great reason. Its co-creators, Dan Sallen and Tim Blocker are actually full-time engineers at FCA. Like true coffee connoisseurs, Dan and Tim worked hard during the day at their 9-5 and even harder at night with their moonlighting gig and mission to create premium, yet affordable blends of coffee beans.

After two years of product testing, family product testing and officially jumping through certification and licensing hoops, Dan and Tim approached the city about hosting their official Launch Party at The DEN. The DEN was where Beans & Blends set its roots and became what it is known as today. It seemed only natural to host the Launch Party at the place where it all began!

Dan and Tim thought out each and every detail, each room of The DEN represented one of their five coffees. Each coffee blend boasts a quirky theme that represents the not only the style of these two gentlemen and the flavor of the coffee itself.

The first coffee is “Common Man.” It’s is an outstanding coffee at an affordable price, this medium roast is smooth and equitable to the coffee that, well…a common man would drink. “That’s It,” is a dark bold blend with strong aromas yet a smooth finish. I would tend to believe that this coffee gets its name because when you take your first sip, you find yourself saying, ‘mmmm…that’s it.” “My Love,” is a coffee blend that Tim designed for his wife. It is naturally sweetened with natural caramel and hazelnut flavors. Enjoy with cream and sugar for an extra treat. “Low Joe,” is just that, a decaffeinated coffee that does not compromise on flavor. A decaf-take on a morning blend, if you will. Finally, last but not least, my personal favorite, “93.” 93 is a high energy blend and is Beans & Blends’ highest caffeine concentrate to date. Inspired by the Motor City and volatile fuel in high performing cars, this drink will keep your engine running strong all day.

Visit the website above to purchase coffees and even some samples. If things keep going so well, maybe Beans & Blends will be found in an Auburn Hills’ Downtown storefront!

Samantha Mariuz, Director of Authorities

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