Originally posted by Nadir at LastChocolateCity.com

As Detroit’€™s entrepreneurs search for new business opportunities, we should not overlook an important growth industry that could improve both the economic and physical well-being of the city.

Urban farming and community gardening have been touted for several years as a possible source of fresh produce and jobs for The D. Pioneers like Grace and Jimmy Boggs have shown us the way, and a few of us have followed.

The information in this recent article on Entreprenuer.com demonstrates that Michigan entrepreneurs should pick up the pace, not only when it comes to organic farming, but also in distribution and retail.

According to Barbara Haumann, press secretary for the Organic Trade Association, Hispanics and Asian-Americans are buying more organics than the typical white population. Meanwhile, the report, “Organic 2006: Consumer Attitudes & Behavior, Five Years Later & Into the Future”€ by the Hartman Group, reveals that African-Americans are 24 percent more likely to be core organic consumers than members of the general population. The Hartman Group also has found that many pregnant women are lured to the organic market as they begin to become more concerned with what they;€™re eating.

For business owners, this means even more markets to tap into.

Large organic grocers like Whole Foods are missing opportunities because they refuse to set up stores in neighborhoods where the median income is less than $60,000 a year. Traditional grocers like Kroger have gotten in on the act in a small way because they can’€™t ignore the growing demand for healthier food and other products.

In Detroit’€™s inner city the choices are limited to small retailers like Goodwell’€™s Market, an excellent, but small grocer on Willis and Cass. Meanwhile other supermarkets in the city often provide poor quality products that aren’€™t fit for human consumption.

Detroit needs a supermarket with mostly organic offerings Whole Foods style, but without the Whole Foods brand. Their business model proves that they only want to feed those people who are rich enough to pay their inflated prices.

Who will be the first group of investors to step up to the plate and provide reasonably priced, fresh, organic, locally grown produce, good quality meats and needed jobs to the hungry residents of Detroit? This is an idea that could help feed the city in more ways than one.


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