The Jeuns

New Grocery Co-Op Opens in Detroit after Years of Preparation

May 3, 2024 | by The Jeuns

A new Black-run grocery store has just opened in Detroit’s North End, serving the community with fresh and local products. The Detroit People’s Food Co-Op officially opened its doors on May 1 after years of preparation, aiming to provide quality grocery options to the predominantly Black city. Anyone can become an owner by becoming a member, with over 2,740 members already signed up at the opening.

Managed by the Detroit Black Community Food Sovereignty Network (DBCFSN), the 15,000-square-foot supermarket stocks fresh produce from four Black-owned farms, along with herbs, spices, condiments, meat, dairy products, vegan options, baked goods, and other grocery items. Membership costs 0 for a lifetime, with additional amenities like food samples, a deli, and a coffee bar available for shoppers.

The president of the co-op’s board of directors, Lanay Gilbert-Williams, emphasized the community ownership aspect of the store, highlighting the difference from major grocery retailers like Kroger. The store aims to address the lack of Black-owned grocery stores in Detroit, where nearly 70% of residents are considered “food insecure.”

Celebrity visits from actor and author Hill Harper, who is running for U.S. Senate for Michigan, added excitement to the opening day. Hill Harper stressed the importance of investing in communities and praised the efforts of the co-op in providing fresh produce and empowering the local community.

While the opening day was a success, DBCFSN executive director Malik Yakini noted that there is more work to be done to ensure the store’s sustainability. The official grand opening celebration, scheduled for May 18, will feature speakers, live bands, children’s activities, and workshops to engage the community further. The store aims to become a staple in the neighborhood, providing access to quality groceries for all residents.


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