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Lafayette Foods plans early summer opening

A new grocery store is coming to downtown Detroit, offering customers 14,000 square feet of shopping.

Lafayette Foods will open by early summer on E. Lafeyette Blvd. between Orleans and Rivard, in a shopping center that currently houses Cottage Inn, Metro PCS and Bahn Mai Thai.

Store manager Lance Atisha says Lafayette Foods will offer customers a fresh meat counter, hot and prepared foods, a deli counter, and fresh produce, much of which is sourced from Eastern Market. "It's good quality stuff, and we'll offer some organic selections," he says.

And amid recent media and community debate over the viability of opening a While Foods grocery in Midtown, Atisha says Lafayette Foods' prices will reflect the needs of the community. "It's definitely affordable. We're going to try to cater to the community," he says. "There will be high-end products, but it's not going to cost as much."

He says he's spent a lot of time on local online forums, talking to members of the community about prior ownership of the store and what he can do differently. He says the new owners are listening hard to what local residents say they want from a grocery store.

"People are always talking about, 'Detroit is a food desert.' I don't believe that myself," Atisha says. "But a new store is definitely needed down there, especially with the towers around, and having the security -- it's a whole different story."

He and his partners currently own two markets in Detroit and a third market in Farmington.

Source: Lance Atisha, store manager,  Lafayette Foods
Writer: Ashley C. Woods
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