I first wrote about this two years ago in Whole Foods to be an oasis in Detroit's Food Desert. Here's what I thought of it then.
If you had asked me last week which major supermarket chain would have been the first to come into Detroit, the last chain I would have expected would have been Whole Foods. Instead, I was expecting it to be Meijer, which is slated to open a store in the old State Fairgrounds area on Woodward and 8 Mile. Looks like I was wrong.I still think it's a good start, as it is part of the gentrification of Midtown, which is also a good start, but not the only thing that needs to happen to revitalize Detroit.
Honestly, this entire thing doesn't look like an effort to bring produce to the people in the neighborhoods, which is desperately needed, and something a chain like Meijer or Kroger could do. Instead, it looks like a plan to spur on the revitalization of one of Detroit's existing bright spots and make it more attractive to investors and people moving in from outside the area. That's not a bad idea at all, and it might make for a good start, but it would only be a good start.
It's also a good PR move. Right now, this article is the most read on the site... It also has 719 likes on Facebook. One of them is mine.
Here's to Whole Foods living up to its promise of bringing hope and comfort to the residents of Detroit.