James Griffioen's "Yes There Are Grocery Stores in Detroit" is a look at the oft-repeated "truth" that "Detroit has no grocery stores." Griffioen points out that while there aren't any national chains in the USA's 11th-largest city, there is a large regional chain, several good independent stores, and at least one fantastic local, community-oriented store:
What surprises most people who've heard that there are no grocery stores in Detroit is that there are actually independent stores far more appealing than any chain. One of the nicest grocery stores in Detroit is Honeybee La Colmena (I wrote an extensive profile about the store here). Honeybee is owned and operated by individuals who grew up and still live in the neighborhood where the store is located and they have created dozens of jobs for their neighbors. Honeybee has some of the best produce and prepared foods in the metro area, and it is actually a Detroit supermarket where people from the suburbs come into the city to shop.Griffioen admits that many of the areas of the city are un- or underserved and living in "food poverty", but wants the press to focus on the innovative solutions the community has come up with to remedy this, like a church-owned ice-cream truck full of fresh produce.
In addition to Honeybee, Southwest Detroit is also served by several other excellent Supermercados, including E & L, La Fiesta Market, Gigante Prince, Ryan's, and dozens of smaller mom-and-pop grocery stores. The far east side has Joe Randazzo's Produce Market for extremely affordable produce, and the far westside has Metro Foodland, a fine independent supermarket serving Rosedale and Grandmont for more than 25 years. An individual recently purchased a vacant storefront in the middle class neighborhood of Lafayette Park (where I live) and plans to open a full-service supermarket there this Spring. He's bullish on its prospects despite another supermarket operating three blocks down the road and the neighborhood's close proximity to Eastern Market. A family that's been in the Detroit grocery business since the 1950s is reopening their Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe on Woodward Avenue in a new Midtown location this year, complimenting the offerings at Kim's Produce just down the road, as well as Goodwells Natural Foods a few blocks over.
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