Locavore shopping list: Our guide to Detroit vendors at WFM

There are a whole bunch of local food entrepreneurs represented on the shelves and refrigerated cases at Whole Foods Market in Midtown.

We profiled several in the lead feature. Here are some more to look for during your next shopping trip to the store at Mack and John R.  

Avalon International Breads

Avalon is a Cass Corridor staple that helped bring the neighborhood to where it is today. Sure, you can pop into the bakery just a few blocks from the Whole Foods, but if you’re shopping for groceries it’s nice to have the convenience of getting it at the store.

Beau Bien Fine Foods

Beau Bien makes small batch preserves, chutneys and mustards in a range of innovative flavors, using local fruit and half the sugar of conventional products. The business operates out of the kitchen at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, so they’ve been known to make deliveries to Whole Foods on foot -- it doesn’t get much more local than that. (Editor's Note: Author Noelle Lothamer is co-founder of Beau Bien Fine Foods.)

Chugga's Bakery

Although Chugga’s has been around for a decade, the bakery had a growth spurt last year as a result of a commercial kitchen pilot program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Chugga's Monkey Bread and other baked goods have a devoted following at the Eastern Market; now, fans in the neighborhood can get their fix seven days a week.

Ellis Island Tea

The youngest entrepreneur on this list, Ellis worked tirelessly to perfect her tea recipe before launching the product, taking a slow but steady approach. We think it was worth the wait. Her refreshing tropical blend, which includes hibiscus and spearmint, comes in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties.


Germack was founded in the late 1920s, and was responsible for the widespread introduction of pistachios to the American population. The family company is now in its fourth generation of ownership. Look for their Motown Mix, a Whole Foods exclusive.

Good People Popcorn

Good People produces decadent flavors like Caramel Apple and Bacon Cheddar popcorn out of a charming Bricktown storefront. In addition to being addictive, their products double down on the local aspect by using Michigan butter and sugar.

Maria's House Made Salsa

From a single variety of mild salsa that they made in their former Hamtramck restaurant, Maria’s has expanded its line to include spicier offerings like Roasted Habanero with Mango and, for the truly brave, Smoked Ghost Pepper. Their Whole Foods Detroit exclusive flavor is Mango Cranberry.

McClure's Pickles

Formerly manufactured in Troy, McClure’s officially became a Detroit product earlier this year with their move to a much larger production facility on St. Aubin, just south of Hamtramck. The company’s product line is small and focused, but they agreed to add a Sweet and Spicy pickle for the Whole Foods opening; after a 30-day period of exclusivity, you should now be able to find the new flavor more widely.

Nikki's Ginger Tea

The ginger concoctions made by Monique "Nikki" Sasser are not actually teas, but a line of lightly sweetened beverages containing ginger alone or in combination with apples, carrots or mint. Whatever you call them, they’re zippy and spicy and delicious.

Simply Suzanne

In just four years, Suzanne Vier has grown a humble granola business into a nationally distributed brand. Although flavors like So Very Cherry and Lotsa Chocolate have their devotees, Whole Foods’ new flavor Apricot Spice is sure to give them a run for their money.

Sweet Potato Sensations

It all started in 1987 with a cookie that Cassandra Thomas developed for husband Jeffrey to satiate his love for the orange tuber; Sweet Potato Sensations has been providing the city with tasty, "not just for the holidays" baked goods ever since. Pop into their storefront on the Northwest side for access to the full range of goodies.

The Water Station

The Water Station offers delivery of alkaline drinking water to the tri-county area and was part of a campaign back in November with the Detroit Public Schools to get kids to pledge not to drink soda for a month.

Read more about Noelle Lothamer's take on the Detroit food scene on her blog Simmer Down!

Photos by Marvin Shaouni
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