Man raising money to open Detroit's only black-owned grocery store
DETROIT (WJBK) - For many Detroit residents, finding a grocery store in their neighborhood means taking a trip out of the city. Some residents say if they do find a small market near their home, they're still not satisfied.
"(I'm) very frustrated because some of these markets around here, they sell spoiled food," said Charnetta Shirrley, a concerned resident.
But a 28-year-old Detroit businessman is working to end what he calls Detroit's food desert.
Raphael Wright says he wants to purchase a building on East Warren in Detroit, and by doing so, he says it will be the city's only black-owned grocery store.
"This grocery store is an attempt to take a crack at ownership and empower the people in a way that hasn't been done in a very long time," Wright said.
As a kid growing up in this same community, Wright says his family had to travel to the suburbs to get groceries. Wondering why things had not changed, he decided to make the change himself.
"You will get ethnic-appropriate cuisines as well -- everything that we live by will be here," he said.
Wright says his plan for this space includes much more than a grocery store.
"Not just a grocery store, an economic center -- a meeting place for the community, a building place for the community," he said.
He says the asking price on this building is $600,000.
Wright says he will invest some of his own money, but he's also applying for grants and he started a GoFundMe to help get support. Click here if you'd like to learn more and make a donation.
"It's a difficult venture financing but we wanted to come with something so we started the GoFundMe for that," he said.
And this location is just the start of what Wright sees as a chain of markets.
"Want to create a franchising dynamic, create a group investment platform for the community and buy shares in each store," he said.