Detroit Grocer Training

Our Detroit Grocer Training brought together five businesses from across the city for a two-day course on how to bring more healthy food options to their store. This free opportunity included an in-store assessment, training, and post training support! A team of experts worked with each store owner to implement recommended changes to bring their stores to the next level.

WHAT      Free Detroit Grocer Training
WHERE    Wayne State Univ., Integrative Biosciences Center
WHEN      September 2019 | Two-day training

Eligibility Requirements

    Grocers must:

  • Own a store in Detroit, opened for 2+ years
  • Have a track record of sales
  • Aim to offer fresh, healthy food options at their store
  • Commit to in-store pre-assessment and training sessions
  • Willing to implement recommendations provided at training

Grocer Training Details

In-Store, Deep-Dive Assessment

  • Identify needs and ways to bring healthier options to the store

2-Day Intensive Group Training

Learn best practices on:

  • Healthy inventory procurement and produce management
  • Store layout and design
  • Merchandising
  • Pricing and profitability
  • Store finances
  • Marketing and community partnership

Tailored Playbook

  • Get practical next steps in a playbook tailored for your store

Business Assistance

  • Receive post-training support to implement changes, including expert consultation and access to grants and financing

Timeline Details

  • August 5th – Applications due
  • August 12th – Five stores selected to participate
  • August-September – In-store assessments conducted
  • Week of September 23 – Two-day training

Urbane Development Team

James Johnson-Piett
CEO and Principal

James Johnson-Piett, with over 15 years of experience in various facets of economic and community development, is responsible for the overall management of operations and strategic vision for Urbane Development. His work focuses on strengthening small businesses and community anchor institutions operating in underserved communities through market intelligence, technical assistance, access to capital, and strategic place-based investment strategies. Currently, Mr. Johnson-Piett serves as Vice Chair of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), a national nonprofit promoting growth for local, sustainable businesses and as a board director for Community Solutions Inc., a national non-profit targeting homelessness prevention. Mr. Johnson- Piett was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture by Brooklyn Magazine in Spring 2016 and 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in NYC Food Policy by Hunter College in Spring 2017. He is a Co-Convener of the National Healthy Corner Stores Network, and sits on the advisory board of American Communities Trust, a Baltimore-based social impact developer. Mr. Johnson-Piett is an alumnus of Swarthmore College and attended the MIT Center for Real Estate Professional Development Institute in Summer of 2007.

Sunil Narayan
Senior Consultant
B.A. NYU, MBA University of Michigan

Mr. Narayan joined Urbane Development in 2015 as Senior Consultant. His responsibilities include ensuring operational efficiency through prudent fiscal and project management, understanding and acquiring the human capital necessary to exceed client expectations, and providing strategic business insight to help the organization grow. Prior to joining Urbane, Mr. Narayan provided HR Generalist support at General Mills, where he interfaced with corporate business partners in a continuous 24/7 convenience and food services manufacturing facility, and as Senior Manager for Junior Achievement, he oversaw the JA Fellows program, where he designed and implemented a highly effective entrepreneurship and leadership program for high school students from 16 school districts in Metro Atlanta. He also served as Director of Educational Operations at A+ Grades Up, a Supplemental Educational Services provider at Title I Schools in AR, FL, and GA and instructed 150 primarily lower-level students in algebra and consumer mathematics as a public high school teacher in Metro Atlanta.

Androniki Lagos
Senior Consultant
B.A. University of Alaska Anchorage, M.S. Columbia University GSAPP

Androniki Lagos brings over 15 years of cross-sectoral community and business development experience to Urbane. Her work has centered on translating community-based research and market analysis into actionable strategies to increase opportunities in under-resourced communities. She has worked in cities across the US, applying an inclusive approach to growing innovation in a range of contexts including CPG brand development, neighborhood food and wellness projects, city planning and mixed-use affordable housing to improve social outcomes.

Maggie Clark
B.A. Northeastern University, M.S. Pratt Institute

Maggie Clark is an urban planner with a background in financial inclusion, neighborhood economic development, and fair and affordable housing. She is experienced in pulling insights from diverse quantitative data and analyzing them in the context of more grounded primary and secondary research, giving clearer shape to needs and opportunities in neighborhood housing markets and commercial corridors. Her work aims to support community-driven planning processes with an eye toward equitable and sustainable development.


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