Green Grocer: East Side expands with fresh food choices

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 East Side. 

Krown Supermarket

Located just on the outskirts of Hamtramck, Krown Supermarket is a well-stocked store with some of the friendliest staff around – you'll be happily greeted by several employees upon entering the store.
Krown is a full-service supermarket with a Western Union, Boost Mobile, bill paying and other services. The bright, clean store is large and stocks pretty much everything you might need for your household. They have a large produce section with all the staple items, a full deli, a small hot foods section with fried chicken to go, and tons of extras including cleaning supplies, pet food, and everything you need for an outdoor barbecue since we Detroiters do love our barbecues (there's even a huge amount of shelf space dedicated solely to a variety of BBQ sauces). Over in the fresh meat section you'll find signage signifying their popular items for outdoor barbecues and everything from beef heart and sliced liver to Australian lamb, crawfish, and a variety of pork including pig feet, tails, ears, pork hock, whole pork shoulder, smoked neck bones, and smoked pig skin. They also have a large frozen foods section and one of the biggest selections of beer and wine out of all the independent grocers in the city, including liquor (which most of the other grocers do not carry).
Pick & Save Supermarket

The Pick & Save on 7 Mile Rd. has an attractive exterior, recently redone. The store has a full customer service center as well as bottle return machines. The large aisles are well stocked and products are neatly organized. The produce section is full of attractive displays with most of the produce pre-packaged in cellophane for customers. A whole section of the store's meat department is dedicated to lunch meats, and what the store might lack in size it more than makes up for in variety of meats – they sell chicken livers, pre-packaged stir fry meats, honey comb beef tripe, pig tails, pig ears, hog maws, pork neck bones, their own house-made corned beef, buckets of pork chitterlings, whole rabbit, whole turkey, whole game hen, and chicken feet. They also have all of your outdoor barbecue supplies, including foil pans and charcoal.
7 Mile Foods

This store has recently undergone a massive exterior renovation, a handsome brick building anchoring the neighborhood. The store is relatively small with narrow aisles and small sections, but has a nice selection to serve most households' needs. There is a small section of hot foods in the front, serving items like pizza, ribs, and fried chicken. The produce section is small but has attractive displays. The selection of packaged and frozen foods is sizable, and they also have plenty of fresh cakes and pies. In the fresh meat section they have Black Canyon Angus beef with pre-diced peppersteak with peppers for stir fry, ready-to-fry browns, turkey chops, lamb spare ribs, salted pork fat back, sliced salt pork, sliced smoked jowls, pre-made chicken and peppers for stir fry, smoked turkey wings, pork neck bones, and a nice variety of fresh fish including swai filets, white bass, catfish filets and center cut, and more. They are well-stocked with baby food and diapers, including almond milk, rice milk, and other special products for sensitive infants. There is also a small selection of household items for sale behind a counter in the front along with lotto tickets.
Mike's Fresh Market

For those accustomed to massive, sprawling suburban grocery stores, Mike's Fresh Market is exactly what you're looking for. The huge store, located in a strip mall on 7 Mile, was previously a Farmer Jack until the chain closed its Michigan stores in 2007. The store is brightly lit and sparklingly clean with excellent signage inside and out. Inside the store you'll find a very nice Advance America branch; outside there is constant security presence and a Detroit Police Department mini-station located next door. There is also a "customer care" section, Coinstar and bottle return machines.
The wide aisles are stuffed full of all the products you would expect to see at a major grocery chain, just like the Farmer Jack that came before it.
They have an in-house bakery which makes a variety of breads, sweets, and lovely custom cakes. There is a large deli and prepared foods counter where they sell sandwiches, cold salads, and cold ribs. Another hot foods counter serves a variety of meals like fried chicken and spaghetti. They have a large produce section full of fresh produce including staple items and more unique items like kiwi, avocados, and pre-packed items in single family-sized serving portions like asparagus, artichokes, squash, green beans, potatoes, corn on the cob, and ginger root. In their large fresh meat section they stock items like fryer chicken back, ground chicken, beef English short ribs, oxtail, Italian sausage, turkey wings, sliced beef liver, round and shoulder lamb chops, bacon ends, pork hocks, salt pork, smoked pork skin, pork fat back, smoked turkey drums, ham chunks, whole smoked and honey hams, and every cut of steak you can get out of a cow.
Rounding out their impressive selection of foods is an equally impressive selection of household items including baby food and supplies, housewares, automotive supplies, party and barbecue supplies, cookware, charcoal, pet supplies, even bed sheets. They're also known for having great specials and sales.

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.