ANN ARBOR, MICH. November 15, 2016—Six healthy food retail projects in Detroit, Jackson, Flint, and Grand Rapids will share $380,000 in Catalytic Investment Awards from the Michigan Good Food Fund, a statewide loan fund working to increase healthy food access and spark economic development in communities that need it most. The Fund was created in partnership by Capital Impact Partners, Fair Food Network, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. These awards were designed to catalyze high-impact projects with the goal to grow their capacity to successfully secure financing within the next 12 months.
“With these investments we are accelerating greater healthy food access, while also spurring job creation and economic development across our state,” said Dr. Oran B. Hesterman, spokesperson for the Michigan Good Food Fund and president and CEO of Fair Food Network.
Four Catalytic Investment awardees will receive $75,000 each. They include:
- Bridgepoint Development LLC: Equity to secure funding and site improvements for a new food market in downtown Jackson, which will create 35 permanent jobs plus several part time positions.
- Detroit Black Community Food Security Network: Predevelopment funding for a new mixed-use site in Detroit to include a grocery store, café, incubator kitchen, community space, and administrative offices.
- Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation in partnership with FoodLab Detroit: Feasibility study and facility design to expand the Northwest Detroit Farmers’ Market to include a new year-round food hall featuring FoodLab entrepreneurs.
- Ken’s Fruit Markets: Funding to support the continued growth of a multi-site grocery retailer increasing access to locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables in Grand Rapids.
Two early stage projects in Flint were awarded $40,000 each. Both will support predevelopment work for two new grocery store projects in North Flint. Winners include Fresh Start CDC, Inc. and North Flint Reinvestment Corporation, Inc.
In addition to increasing healthy food access and sparking job creation, all projects aim to source locally grown produce, a boon to Michigan family farmers.
“This makes our commitment to provide our community with fresh fruits and vegetables at a low cost even stronger,” said Gina Courts of Ken’s Fruit Market, one of the winners. “My family feels very fortunate and proud to have our businesses in such a supportive state and community.”
“These Michigan Good Food Fund awards are fueling the entrepreneurship so abundant in our state’s good food economy,” said Devita Davison, interim director of FoodLab Detroit, a partner in the Grandmont Rosedale project. “Healthy food combined with economic opportunity can make a huge difference in our communities and our state.”