Newly-opened Neighborhood Grocery in Detroit hopes to feed city starved of local food marts

The first day of business for Raphael Wright was a busy one after opening a community grocery store on Detroit's east side.

Long starved of local food stores, the city suffers from a lack of available places to buy food and produce. But with the opening of Neighborhood Grocery on Manistique, Wright hopes to see "neighborhoods that look like mine" restored.

"I had a vision of rebuilding the neighborhood and that starts with food," he said.

And rebuilding started off with a sprint. He sold through so much food Sunday that the second of business on Monday - the only day the grocery store isn't open - was mostly spent restocking. However, he still had time to open up and serve a few more customers.

"I got cleaned out pretty much. The support was unreal," he said.

Wright first spawned the idea of a community grocery store that community residents can buy into back in 2017. Now six years later and with the aid of an $85,000 Motor City Match grant to get him over the finish line, that dream is now a reality.

The community welcomed it graciously.

"Thank you, glad you're in the neighborhood," Karla Maddox, one of the few customers on Monday said at the checkout counter. "I don't have to go all the way out to Jefferson now to the market, now this is right in the neighborhood," she later told FOX 2. 

"This is just extremely a blessing, and it's very convenient for everyone in the neighborhood," said Ebony Hall, another customer.

Wright's grocery store is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and is located on 500 Manistique in Detroit. It offers chances for people to purchase equity in the store and sponsor grocery boxes for food-insecure families. Learn more here