Detroit People's Food Co-op

Welcome to Detroit People's Food Co-op

Welcome to DPFC

Mission & Purpose

The Detroit People’s Food Co-Op is a Black-led and community-owned grocery cooperative. The co-op’s purpose is to provide improved access to healthy food and food education to Detroit residents. Meeting the needs of the community is achieved through the democratic control of the co-op by its member/owners.

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Food co-ops continue to be developed throughout the world as a means to increase access to healthy, sustainably grown food while building community ownership and empowerment. In the United States, many food co-ops are located in college towns or affluent communities. The Detroit People’s Food Co-op, which will be located in Detroit’s historic North End, will be an unique model, serving an urban, predominately African American, low and moderate-income community.

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Finished exterior of the Detroit Food Commons featuring the Detroit People's Food Co-op Text Logo

What We’re Offering

A vision of a better future
through good food

 The Detroit People’s Food Co-op will offer a full-line of groceries, be open to the general public, and cooperatively-owned. Member/owners elect six of the nine members of the Co-op’s Board of Directors. The other three board members will be appointed by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN), the non-profit organization leading the formation of the Co-op. That nine-person board will set policy and hire an experienced general manager. The Detroit People’s Food Co-op will create more than 20 jobs for community residents.

The purpose of the Co-op shall be to serve citizens of the Detroit community by:

Assuring Member access to the goods, services, and facilities of the Co-op

DPFC will provide access to goods and services that will serve as wide of a variety of dietary needs and preferences as possible in order to be as welcoming to all members of our community. We will actively work to remove barriers to accessing the goods and services that the co-op offers.

Educating the community about nutrition and sustainability

DPFC will offer educational materials and classes to help our community learn more about nutrition, cooking, healthy living, sustainability, community development and more. We are committed to help heal individuals, our community, and the earth.

Benefiting the community by supporting local businesses

DPFC will prioritize working with local businesses in order to support our community and keep as much of our money as possible here…in Detroit. The co-op will prioritize buying from local growers and producers, service providers and other vendors whenever possible to help our community thrive.

Improving community access to fresh and healthy food

DPFC will provide its member/owners and the community with greater access to healthy foods, and greater control of the food system. The co-op is not profit-driven and will uphold product standards in line with the desires of the member/owners.

Frequently Asked Questions

A food co-op is a grocery store that’s owned by its member/owners as opposed to a grocery store such as Kroger or Meijer which has corporate ownership or an independent grocery store owned by a family or individual. In a food co-op members have a role in shaping the store culture, operations, and product standards. Detroit People’s Food Co-op is democratically controlled by its member/owners. Each member/owner can only purchase one ownership share and has one vote. Although food co-ops, like all businesses, must have revenues that exceed operating costs if they are to be sustainable, food co-ops prioritize community well-being over making profits for member/owners.

Member/owners can run for, nominate others, and vote for members of the board of directors, the governing body of the co-op. Each member/owner has one vote in all elections and can also volunteer to serve on the co-op’s committees. In addition, in any year the store is profitable, the board can approve payment of a share of profits to member/owners.

The Detroit Food Commons is being financed through a combination of donations, grants, loans, and New Markets Tax Credits obtained by the Detroit Black Community Food Sovereignty Network (www.dbcfsn.org) and Develop Detroit Inc.(www.developdetroit.org). DPFC member-owner equity will only be used for internal co-op costs such as hiring a general manager, the store’s point-of-sales system, and promotion.

The two development partners, DBCFSN and DDI have formed a joint venture, Detroit Food Commons L.L.C., that owns the building. The development partners have absorbed many of the costs associated with the co-op’s refrigeration and other equipment, allowing the co-op to open with minimal debt.
The Detroit Food Commons groundbreaking occurred on April 23, 2022. Construction is expected to be completed in June 2023. We expect that it will take two months after construction completion to install all of the co-op’s equipment and to train staff. We anticipate an October 2023 grand opening for DPFC.

Member/owners must be residents of the State of Michigan and be at least 21 years of age because DPFC will sell beer and wine. You must be of legal drinking age to be an owner of a store that sells alcohol.

All member/owners must complete an application and purchase a $200 member/owner share which can be paid in one lump sum or ten monthly installments.

DPFC only offers individual member/owner shares. Families, institutions, or organizations cannot be member/owners.

DPFC was created to build Black food sovereignty and economic equity for Detroit’s African American community. While DPFC is Black-led, membership is open to all who share the co-op’s values and commitment to, Black self-determination, anti-racism, and building a non-extractive economy.

DPFC will carry a full line of products including produce, meats and fish, groceries, frozen foods, baked goods, dairy, bulk items, health and beauty products, and beer and wine. Approximately 80% of the store’s products will be natural and organic and 20% will be clean conventional items. There will also be a deli/prepared foods department.
The co-op will make every effort to source from local producers as much as possible provided they can meet growing, harvesting, and transportation requirements that ensure food safety. We intentionally want to serve as a catalyst for the Detroit growers in general and Black growers in particular.
DPFC is open to the general public. You do not have to be a member/owner to shop at the store. There will be periodic discounts on select items for member/owners, but member/owners and the general public will generally pay the same prices.
Yes, member/owners are encouraged to attend Board Meetings.
No, volunteer work hours will not be a requirement of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op.
Member/owners are encouraged to and expected to attend membership meetings, including the annual meeting, and to join one of the co-op’s working committees.
No, membership fees are not tax deductible. DPFC is not a 501c3 non-profit.
Membership fees will be used for a variety of purposes related to stocking and operating the store.

You can help by doing any one, or all of the following:

  • Join the co-op and be counted! We have a goal of having 2,000 member/owners by our grand opening.
  • Help with recruitment; tell your family, friends, and neighbors about the co-op and encourage them to join.
Yes, there are limited Community Empowerment Scholarships which pay $100 of the $200 membership share cost on behalf of low-income residents.
White member/owners are encouraged to join DPFC’s Anti-Racist Working Group to learn more about how they unconsciously participate in the system of white supremacy and about how to be better allies in the fight for racial justice and Black self-determination.

THINGS DON’T JUST HAPPEN, PEOPLE MAKE THEM HAPPEN. LET’S DO THIS Y'ALL!!