Shopping local grocery markets offers several advantages. It’s convenient. It helps boost the local economy, offers locals a place to work as well as shop and sometimes serves as a place where neighbors run into one another.
A study commissioned by the American Federation of Food and Petroleum Dealers, which represents independent grocers, determined that local markets generate $15.4 billion for Michigan’s gross domestic product and supported 273,000 jobs in 2014.
According to the federation, there were at least 77 independently owned grocery stores in Detroit in 2015.
. “Grocery stores are part of a community’s infrastructure. They are just non-government infrastructures but still very important to the viability of a community,” federation CEO Auday Arabo said in a statement.
Because of the exodus of major supermarket chains from Detroit in the past, the public perception often is that Detroit is dominated by food deserts and with no place to shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. While that is true in parts of the city, some neighborhoods are well served by independent grocers. Currently, Meijer is the only major chain with stores in Detroit, opening a store on Eight Mile in 2013 and adding another on Grand River in northwest Detroit.
Here, in the Neighbors section, we feature some of the independent markets and a few of the people who shop in them..