Suhel Kizi is always looking for ways to improve the shopping experience for customers at his Family Fair Food Center in Lafayette Park, so when he heard about the Green Grocer Façade Improvement Program from DEGC’s Olga Stella at a Chaldean Chamber of Commerce meeting, he was intrigued. Several years after their meeting, the Family Fair Food Center shines inside and out.
The DEGC Green Grocer Project Façade Improvement Program enables Detroit grocery store owners or tenants to enhance the visual appearance of their stores – and improve the grocery sector overall in the city of Detroit – by offering 50/50 matching grants. The Program also provides matching grants for building and parking lot improvements.
“Today we have windows where cement walls used to be. All of the exterior signage in new, including a tall sign at the corner of our new parking lot,” Kizi said.
The 27,000-sq-ft interior selling space of the full-service grocery store was completely renovated, including new freezers, lighting, aisle markers, signage and shelving.
Kizi also operates Harbortown Market on East Jefferson, Azteca Supermercado on Central, and Holly Foods in Holly. The Harbortown Market also received a grant from the façade program.
“It’s a great program that does a good job to help people improve the grocery stores in Detroit,” Kizi said.
For a second consecutive year, Detroit’s most innovative companies will open their doors September 18 to executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and future influencers during NewCo Detroit, and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is pleased that we were chosen as a presenting organization.
NewCo is a new kind of event experience: a mashup of an open studio tour and a business conference, with the vibe of a music festival. NewCo Detroit is designed to celebrate the spirit of innovation that embodies so many of the organizations in the city, including ours.
DEGC will be hosting its NewCo event at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 at our downtown headquarters. We will be presenting two innovative efforts to revive neighborhoods with retail businesses, REVOLVE and the Green Grocer Project. REVOLVE Detroit is our collaborative program that partners with local leaders, building owners, entrepreneurs and artists to activate vacant storefronts with transformational businesses and art installations. The goal of the program is to foster the evolution and vibrancy of Detroit’s neighborhood business districts.
The Detroit Green Grocer Project has helped support competitive, sustainable grocery stores in Detroit while improving fresh food offerings for residents. It has worked with independent grocers to improve stores inside and out and to plan moves and significant expansions. We invite you to attend and share in some Detroit-themed treats!
Overall, NewCo offers attendees a chance to meet innovators in their native habitat and hear from executives how they are trying to change the world with Detroit as their home bases. Investors, entrepreneurs, and anyone curious for a look inside Detroit’s resurgence is welcome to register. We hope to see you here! Visit www.det.newco.co to learn more.
With assistance from DEGC’s Green Grocer Project (GGP), Banner Supermarket at 14424 Schaefer Hwy. has begun a $5.6 million expansion project that will nearly double the size of the independent grocery store to 40,000 sq. ft.
“Our store is going to be an icon for the neighborhood — inspiring others to invest in businesses and homes right here in northwest Detroit,” said Sam Shina, one of the store co-owners. “We are working hand-in-hand with the Mayor and everyone else who is revitalizing our city by providing great food choices so people don’t feel the need to shop in the suburbs.”
The expansion project will essentially double the size of every department as well as adding a pharmacy, a bakery, a hot food deli, and a seafood counter. The store is staying open during two phases of construction. The first phase is expected to be completed in November and the second phase early next year. The renovation includes a new entrance and parking lot and landscaping improvements. Shina said, “When we are done it will look like a brand new store – inside and out.”
Shina also expects to double the staff at the store by adding 25 or more jobs. We recognize the way Detroit’s independent grocery stores can help lead the way toward neighborhood revitalization, providing jobs and keeping consumer dollars in the city, so we support that any way we can. GGP provided direct help through a technical assistance grant and facilitated financing through Invest Detroit, Chase Bank and a New Market Tax Credit set up by Capital Impact Partners.
“A strong and vibrant Detroit must ensure that its underserved communities have access to the vital services most of us take for granted,” said Terry Simonette, President and CEO of Capital Impact Partners. “That is why we are proud to have led the financing for this loan and created the opportunity for the Shina family to double the size of Banner Supermarket and bring new jobs and access to fresh and healthy food to the neighborhood. We also commend our partners including DEGC, Chase, Invest Detroit and WK Kellogg for their continued support of efforts like these to revitalize Detroit.”
Mimi Pledl Program Manager, Detroit Green Grocer Project
Parkway Foods opened their doors at their new location in the Shops at Jefferson Village March 31, moving from their Riverbend Shopping Center location into a building formerly owned by Farmer Jack.
“Our new store has allowed us the space to do the updates we’ve always wanted,” said Manager and Partner of Parkway Foods, Louay Nona. “We now have a deli and wonderful floral department. In a few months we’ll also be opening a pharmacy.”
Parkway Foods is also a part-owner of the Shops and is looking forward to filling the vacant strip with additional businesses. A Dollar General is due to move in soon and it is Nona’s hope that by the end of the summer the other stores will be occupied as well.
Parkway Food’s dedication to Detroit is unwavering. It is committed to excellent service in the community it loves.
“I am so proud of the new store. We have had excellent feedback from our customers that followed us to this store, and new customers exclaim they will never go anywhere else to do their shopping. We are truly honored to serve the people of Detroit and hope that our presence here will encourage other businesses to move into the community as well,” Nona said.
The store’s devotion to fresh food is another key feature. Nona shared that at any given time owners and managers are onsite at the store to personally check the meat, produce and perishables to ensure everything is fresh and ready for customers.
“My policy is that if I wouldn’t take something home to my family I won’t sell it. We always have the freshest products for our customers,” Nona added.
With Detroit pride, fresh food, excellent customer service and an additional twenty staff members at the new location Parkway Foods is certain to flourish.
Join Parkway Foods for their Grand Opening event on May 12.