Green Grocer: Remodeled food stores abound on Detroit's West Side

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation's Green Grocer program exists to strengthen the over 80 independently-owned full-service grocery stores in the city of Detroit. Each week for the next several weeks, Model D will profile a selection of these stores in neighborhoods throughout the city.
This week we're focusing on the West Side.  

Grand Price Food Center

The Grand Price Food Center on Grand River is currently undergoing a massive nearly $2 million remodel that should be completed in the next week. They're still open during the remodel and the exceptionally friendly staff is still there to help. You can see where the store's footprint has expanded: the remodel has added 8,000 square feet to the store (adding about 50 percent more space), expanding the back into what was formerly storage space, adding an addition to the front, and raising the height of the ceiling, allowing them to significantly expand several departments. Dozens of people were busily bustling about working on stocking the coolers and finishing the construction. Brand-new equipment includes energy-efficient coolers and freezers with LED panel doors, including the dairy section which also has doors – to their knowledge they are the first independent grocer in the city to put doors on the dairy section, significantly reducing energy waste. Once the remodel is completed, shoppers will find an extensive selection of fresh meats that includes a large selection of pre-packaged skinless, boneless chicken; a variety of lamb – breast, shoulder chops, center cut chops, and loin chops; smoked pork neck bones and jowls; turkey necks and sliced drums; and more. They also have a very nice produce section with a selection that includes all the basics as well as mini watermelons, kiwi, avocado, mango, cantaloupe, and honeydew. There is also a large customer service center for services like Western Union and check cashing in the front built out of attractive stone block.
Lance's Hometown Market

Lance's Hometown Market inhabits a large brick building on Wyoming and they have done extensive renovations on the interior, adding infrared heaters, energy efficient coolers, and replacing overhead lights with energy efficient bulbs. Inside you'll find a pharmacy, a customer service center for bill paying and cashing payroll checks, and a full selection of liquor, beer, and wine. This comprehensive grocer has everything you need in one stop: household items, pet food, party and outdoor barbecue supplies, charcoal, greeting cards, light bulbs, motor oil…a little bit of everything. The large meat section includes an assortment of smoked pork and turkey products (tails, drums, wings, necks, jowls), lots of chicken, split pig feet, salt pork, pig ears, pork spare ribs, oxtail, beef liver, pre-cut pepper steak, and whole spiral sliced ham, as well as fresh fish include catfish, tilapia, and salmon. If you have a sweet tooth, they have a large variety of fresh cakes and pies from different independent producers. They also have a small but very nice produce section with attractive displays and items like bags of fresh greens and heads of cabbage. They also have good pricing with plenty of sales and specials signed throughout the store.  
US Quality Food Center

US Quality Food Center is a large, clean store located in a large shopping plaza on Joy Rd. The spacious store also has a small customer service counter for bill paying, another counter where they keep their beauty and healthcare products, and a Boost Mobile outlet. They sell as large variety of household items including everything from pet food and party supplies to cookware, socks, and greeting cards. They also have a large, well-stocked dairy section and their fresh meat department is stocked with an impressive selection including buckets of pork chitterlings, pre-made London broil, eye of round Montreal steak, Denver steaks, lamb breast and shoulder chops, Chinese style pork spare ribs, sliced pigs' feet, smoked ham hocks and skins, pork fat back, whole frozen turkeys, ducks, hens, and Amish chickens, a large variety of frozen fish, and fresh farm-raised catfish. There is also a large produce section with big bays of mustard, turnip, and collard greens, rutabaga, Brussels sprouts, turnip roots, okra, whole pineapple, and fresh flowers. This store also sells beer and wine.
Saturn Super Foods

The Saturn Super Foods on Joy Rd. is now celebrating its grand opening after a beautiful remodel. This Spartan store affiliate carries all the Spartan products as well as a variety of household products. They have bottle return machines; a customer service counter where all the health, beauty, and household cleaning supplies are sold; beer and wine; party and outdoor barbecue supplies; baby food, formula, and diapers; and pet food and supplies. They have a nice produce section with big bins of fresh produce and bags of fresh greens. They also have a nice meat section with lots of beef, smoked salt pork, pigs' feet, whole spiral sliced ham, catfish fliets, and ready-to-cook items prepped in-store like stuffed whole fryer chicken, stuffed chops, corned beef points and flats, and pepper chicken. There are sales and specials everywhere in this store, making for some of the best value-shopping around.

Nicole Rupersburg is development news writer for Model D.

Photos by Marvin Shaouni

Read more articles by Nicole Rupersburg.

Nicole Rupersburg is a former Detroiter now in Las Vegas who regularly writes about food, drink, and urban innovators. You can follow her on Instagram @eatsdrinksandleaves and Twitter @ruperstarski.