Since 2017, I’ve been on a journey to open a full service grocery store in a underserved community in Detroit. The grocery store concept I’ve developed in this time is that of a “smart” grocery store which is smaller format, tech-driven, community engaging, and culturally connected. A store that truly represents the community it serves is my company Neighborhood Grocery.
In the summer of 2020, Neighborhood Grocery took over the former Manistique Market in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood and started construction. Our developer/partner Method Development shares a similar vision of redeveloping neighborhoods in an inclusive way which is perfect for us. The 6k space will include additional retail and an apartment above the anchoring store.
Regarding this neighborhood, there is a serviceable market of over 18,000 Detroiters but there is no immediate grocery store in the area. However, there are several fast food chains, coney islands, and convenience stores nearby, making this area a food swamp.
In addition to the store, the company has an urban garden about 5 minutes from the store. Currently, food being grown will stock our upcoming store, as well as be sold and delivered throughout the neighborhood and surrounding communities.
We are expected to be done with construction in June 2022, with a grand opening coming later in the season. This campaign is designed to fill the gap and fulfill our startup requirements which are to finalize the space buildout, purchase new equipment, reconfigure current equipment, buy initial inventory, labor, marketing, and other admin expenses. We raised all of our funds via GoFundMe and through our local crowd-investing efforts which has over 330 local investors. Due to inflation, our startup costs have risen a bit so every contribution counts!