Food And Drinks

Detroit People’s Food Co-op Signs Purchase Agreement for North End Location


A food cooperative that has been in business for over 10 years is a little closer to making it come true. The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN) has signed a purchase agreement, paid a down payment, and is awaiting city approval for a property at 8324 Woodward Ave. in Detroit, the future location of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op.

It will be a full service grocery store that emphasizes what the industry calls natural and organic food, ”says Malik Yakini, CEO of DBCFSN and a board member of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op.

Listen: Hear from Malik Yakini, board member of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op, about the vision of the black-run, community-owned grocery store.

The store will also include some conventional groceries as well as a deli with hot and cold options for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and meat eaters.

As part of the cooperative model, buyers can become part of the business by purchasing a member’s share of $ 200. More than 1,100 people have already done this. Buyers don’t have to be members, but if they choose to, they can choose a percentage themselves at the end of the year when there are profits, vote to bring the profits back to the store, or vote to donate the proceeds to a non-profit organization.

It’s a very important model, especially given the developmental style we’re seeing in Detroit right now, which is usually owned and run by very wealthy white men. “- Malik Yakini, board member of the Detroit People’s Co-op


Malik Yakini

When you have more money in a company, you can buy more shares, which gives you more votes, ”says Yakini. “A cooperative is a flat horizontal structure in which each person only has one vote. So it is an exercise in democracy in which we come together with other residents of our community and make decisions together that contribute to the good of the entire community. “

There hasn’t been a cooperative in Detroit, says Yakini, since the Cass Corridor Food Co-op closed in 2004 after decades of closure. He says that means there are a whole generation of Detroiters out there who are probably unfamiliar with them.

It’s a very important model, especially given the style of development we’re seeing in Detroit right now, which is usually owned and run by very wealthy white men who are developers who either have the capital themselves or have access to the capital to driving this kind of development development we’re seeing in Detroit, ”says Yakini. Cooperatives are fairer, he says. “We think it’s an important alternative that is really community based and allows community members to be owners.”

The complex that houses the Detroit People’s Food Co-op has been known as The Detroit Food Commons. It is being built in partnership with DBCFSN and Develop Detroit and will include incubator kitchens, meeting rooms, offices, and outdoor stalls in the warmer months.

DBCFSN A recent newsletter says that the main property and seven others it needs for parking will be closed over the next 60 days. If everything goes according to plan, construction is expected to start this summer.

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Dusty Kennedy