Detroit People's Food Co-op

The Detroit People's Food Co-op is a cooperatively owned grocery store coming to the North End, a startup project of Detroit Black Food Security.org.

Food Co-ops continue to be developed throughout the world as a way of increasing access to healthy, sustainably grown food while building community ownership and empowerment. In the United States, many of those food co-ops are located in college towns or affluent communities. The Detroit People’s Food Co-op, which will be located in Detroit’s historic North End, will be a unique model, serving and urban, predominately African American, low and moderate-income community.

The Detroit People’s Co-op will be a full-service grocery store, open to the general public, and cooperatively-owned by member/owners. Those member/owners 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 (DBCFSN), the non-profit organization leading the formation of the Co-op. That nine-person board will set policy and hire and experienced general manager. The Detroit People’s Food Co-op will create more than 20 jobs for community residents.

The Detroit People’s Food Co-op will be part of the Detroit Food Commons, a larger community development complex being spearheaded by DBCFSN. The complex will include an incubator kitchen where culinary artist and food entrepreneurs will be able to prepare foods in a licensed environment for retail and wholesale customers. The Detroit Food Commons will also include a healthy foods cafe and a space for community meetings, lectures, films, performances and other events.

The Detroit People’s Food Co-op and the Detroit Food Commons are significant community development projects for DBCFSN. They will require multiple funding streams including grants, loans from members, bank loans and the purchase of individual member/owner shares. Member/owners are the anchor of a true Food Co-op. Member/owners ensure that the values and integrity of the Co-op are intentional and maintained. The Detroit People’s Food Co-op’s goal is to have 1,200 member/owners by its projected opening date in 2018.

Detroit People's Food Co-op is a CGN Startup SEEDLING member—working towards having "doors on the store."

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