Whole Foods is coming to Detroit.
After months of speculation, the national grocery store chain made the announcement today. Red Elk Banks is Michigan's executive operations coordinator for Whole Foods Market. "We're very excited and energized about the local food economy in Detroit," Banks says, places like Eastern Market Corporation and Avalon International Breads, that "have really built up a strong foodie culture and we feel like we want to be a part of that."
Banks says Whole Foods will open a 20,000-square foot store in midtown Detroit, on the corner of John R and Mack, right off of Woodward Avenue. The store will open in 2013. Banks says they plan to hire up to 75 people for the new store.
Kim Smith lives in Detroit. Last year she opened Kim’s Produce, just a couple blocks over from where her competition will soon set up shop. As a resident of Detroit, she’s excited about Whole Foods coming to town:
"I mean that’s the question on everybody’s mind: When they move to Detroit, where am I gonna shop? So I think it is a really good thing for Detroit."
As for what Whole Foods will mean for her business?
"I don’t know. I really don’t know if we can really compete."