In the summer of 2008, the Peaches & Greens Produce truck turned on the speaker and took to the streets, bringing fresh produce to Central Detroit. In the fall of that year, the market opened for business 5 days a week. We hired staff from within our community to provide access, advocacy and education. We have expanded from only running routes to also providing produce to local liquor stores, making stops at Senior Centers and holding cooking and nutrition classes in our store. We are focused on a 2 square mile area between Interstate 75, Linwood Ave, the city of Highland Park and West Grand Boulevard. As of 2000, Detroit had an 81.2% African American population, and in 2007, the poverty rate was 33.8%. This neighborhood exceeds both those statistics. Our community has embraced the mobile produce and still looks forward to the days when they hear “fresh greens and potatoes” on their block.
Peaches & Greens Produce Market - Detroit, Michigan, United States
Central Detroit Christian, the non-profit partner organization to the Peaches & Greens Produce Market and Truck, has been advocating and providing services in Central Detroit for over 15 years. With their help, we surveyed the community to see if fresh produce was a need, and we found that it was. Since then, we have connected with local senior centers, liquor stores, our city’s health center, and a local recreation center who have allowed us to make stops at their locations in order to provide our community with access to healthy foods.
The community was surveyed to assess the need for fresh produce. Our Mission is 3 fold:
Our hope is to lower obesity and promote healthy living in our community through these 3 points.
We opened and are running a produce market and mobile produce truck. We hire from within the community and provide much needed access to fresh produce in Central Detroit.
Michigan State University has partnered with us to develop evaluation tools to assess what to sell and how to sell it well. We have used a Frequent Buyers system and surveys in the past. These tools have taught us that our demographics are different than we assumed and have helped us see who our clients are. We are continuing to adjust our buying and selection to fit these findings. For example, we thought collard greens would sell big in our community, but we have found the ready-to-eat offerings sell much better, such as bags of grapes, plums, and sliced watermelon.
The bottom line is that the better the produce sells, the longer we are able to provide fresh produce to our community. How do we maintain that? We started with the freshest produce we can find at the best price, and added cheerful staff and great marketing. To sustain our endeavor, we keep looking for the best prices on produce, and we motivate our staff through regular meetings. We send fliers and look for new and interesting ways to communicate to our community.
Detroit is growing into an incubator of community gardens and the food justice movement. Peaches & Greens Produce Market and Truck are part of that movement.