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Detroit Grocery Markets for Family Shopping

Think chains rule southeast Michigan? Think again. Detroit is home to mom and pop food stores, from Mexican fare to meats to breads, worth a visit!

Photos by John Cottone

Want to support local businesses in the city of Detroit? Or are you tired of shopping at mega-mart corporate franchises? There are a number of quality independent food markets in Detroit that have been around for at least a decade that provide fresh products daily. Bring the kids along for a unique shopping experience at these three standouts in the D.

Honey Bee Market La Colmena – Supermarket

  • Address: 2443 Bagley St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-237-0295
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday

Founded in 1956, this independent market sits right on the edge of Mexicantown. The selection of fresh fruits and vegetables includes cactus and papaya, while the deli offers delicacies such as jalapeno and cheese hamburger patties and chorizo (spicy Mexican sausage). Honey Bee makes and sells over 30,000 pounds of chorizo a year, including for local restaurants.

Just like most supermarkets, Honey Bee offers canned and frozen goods, as well as many more Hispanic and Central American ingredients and products.

The market has its very own fresh salsa and guacamole; you can even try a sample of each near the entrance before you commit to a container.

Already adorned in bright colors, the store sells big, beautiful, decorated pinatas for any party or celebration. Honey Bee T-shirts, featuring the cute little dancing bee from its logo, are also for sale – in red and green.

Local brewery connoisseurs will love the selection of Michigan beers, including Bell's, Arcadia Ale, Founders and Motor City Brewing Works.

Back in 2006, Honey Bee expanded from a 4,000 square foot building to 15,000 square foot space with an adjacent parking lot – so there's plenty of space to both park and shop.

Piquette Market – Meats

  • Address: 13503 W. McNichols Road, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-345-8777
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

This meat market has got it all: From fresh cuts to frozen, you can find it at Piquette. For over 50 years, this shop has provided metro Detroit with beef, pork, poultry and fish.

Smoked jowls and pig tails are some of the more interesting items you'll find in the beef collection, which is also accompanied by a variety of steaks, ribs and sausage. You can purchase full chickens and turkeys – or get breasts, wings or drumsticks of either.

Among its fish selection, you'll find both battered and tiger shrimp, as well as snow crab, ocean perch and full catfish.

Certain eats may not even require an extra trip to the grocery store, because Piquette offers frozen side dishes such as fries and Texas toast. The market also has sauces and spices, as well as beans and cheese. There is even a small selection of bread and buns.

Piquette has "bundles" available for large families or big events. You can download a free e-coupon from its website and take it to the market for a deal. Registering for the savings club gets you a card in the mail every month for free meat or special pricing. Piquette Market also has weekly specials that can be found online.

Avalon International Breads – Bakery

  • Address: 422 W. Willis St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-832-0008
  • Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

Tucked away in the heart of Midtown, this cozy joint has come a long way since opening in 1997. Though small in size, this bakery certainly isn't short on taste, freshness and selection. In addition to serving over 1,000 retail customers daily, Avalon sells wholesale to many markets and restaurants, including Seva in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Mind Body & Spirits in Rochester and the Fountain Bistro in downtown Detroit.

Avalon offers a large variety of freshly-made breads with its own recipes, each given a name related to an area of Detroit – Motown Multigrain, Lafayette French Baguette, Poletown Rye, Gratiot Street Ciabatta and many more.

For those with a sweet tooth, Avalon has many tasty treats to satiate it. With everything from scones and cookies to muffins and brioche, Avalon even offers vegan goodies by replacing dairy products and sugar with vegan substitutes.

Want a little something to add to your fresh bread? Avalon offers organic and Michigan-made spreads including maple syrup, peanut butter and many flavors of jams and jellies.

The store even sells espresso drinks and smoothies to complement your baked treats.

Avalon is the only bakery in southeast Michigan to use 100 percent organic flour for its bread. Avalon also purchases local, organically grown foods whenever possibly to support The Greening of Detroit.

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