Many major Black-owned grocery stores and grocery store chains have closed in recent years due to fierce competition. Aside from several still-existing mom and pop grocery stores, there are just two major Black-owned grocery stores left in the country according to BBnomics.com
Here they are:
#1 – Calhoun Foods Grocery in Montgomery, AL: has more than five supermarkets and over 300 employees throughout Alabama. It was founded by Greg Calhoun in 1984.
#2 – Apples and Oranges Fresh Market in Baltimore, MD: Michele Speaks-March and her husband went from the funeral business to the grocery business in 2013. Their goal is to provide healthy food choices for residents of East Baltimore and the surrounding area.
In Greensboro, NC, there is also Renaissance Community Coop, which is planning to help local African Americans create a democratically owned and controlled grocery store in the Northeast part of town that sells healthy foods at affordable prices. They also have a commitment to locally sourced foods, community education and dignified jobs.
What about the grocery store owned by the guy from The Wire?
In 2013, actor Wendell Pierce (best known for his roles in The Wire and Treme) opened a grocery store in New Orleans called Sterling Farms. Initially it was very successful, and First Lady Michelle Obama even made a personal appearance to support the store’s grand opening. Unfortunately, the store closed after just one year due to poor performance.
But is it really true? Are there really just two Black-owned grocery stores left in the entire country? If you know of one, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: After publishing this blog post, we received an email saying that Leon’s Thriftway in Kansas City, MO is also a Black-owned grocery store owned by entrepreneur Leon Stapleton, who opened the store back in the late 60’s. He is currently 90 years old, and so day-to-day operations are run by his children and grandchildren.
We also received an email saying that Circle Foods in New Orleans is Black-owned, and also the Giant Eagle in the East Hills section of Pittsburgh, PA is reportedly independently owned by an African American.