Food & Drink

Video: Detroit People's Food Co-op on Woodward Aims for April Opening

January 16, 2024, 2:09 PM by  Allan Lengel

Photo from Co-op website

The Detroit People's Food Co-op, which has been in the making for well over a dozen years, plans to open its doors in April at 8324 Woodward Avenue at Euclid in Detroit's northend neighborhood.

The co-op, which will be owned and operated by the membership, plans to bring fresh and healthy food options to the general public. Its aim is to serve people of low and moderate income in Detroit, a community that has long suffered from a dearth of fresh grocery stores. It's expected to produce more than 20 jobs for community members. 

The co-op will carry meats, fish, groceries, frozen foods, baked goods, dairy, bulk items, health and beauty products and beer and wine, according to the website. Approximately 80 percent of the store’s products will be natural and organic and 20 percent will be "clean conventional" items. Additionally, there will be a deli/prepared foods department.

The project is being financed through a combination of donations, grants, loans, and new markets tax credits obtained by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.

"The Detroit People’s Food Co-op is an African American led, community-owned grocery cooperative," the website says. "The co-op’s purpose is to provide improved access to healthy food and food education to Detroit residents. Meeting the needs of the community is achieved through the democratic control of the co-op by its member/owners."

Members will elect six of the nine members of the Co-op’s Board of Directors. The other three board members will be appointed by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. The board will set policy and hire an experienced general manager, according to the website. 

So far, the co-op has about 2,100 members from Metro Detroit. The one-time membership fee is $200.

The co-op plans to support local businesses to keep as much money in Detroit. If the store is profitable, the co-op board can decide to share profits with members. 

On the second floor, there will be four incubator kitchens to help food entrepreneurs, along with a conference center, cafe and a community space for meetings. 

To join the co-op, click here.

Below is an interview with founder and CEO of Sweet Potato Delights Dr. Velonda Anderson, a nutrition professor and cookbook author. a woman veteran owned enterprise. She is a co-chair of the co-ops's Membership and Outreach Committee.

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