Entrepreneur Robert Thomas opened the first Black-owned supermarket in Houston, Texas. The District Market Green Grocer opened on Black Friday located along Cypress Creek Parkway in Houston. “We don’t have any Black supermarkets that I know of,” Thomas told Fox26.
Thomas’ told the news station he sells “fruit, vegetables, eggs, vegan meals for the vegan community. We have Black-owned washing powder, spices and herbs, sauces.” To boot, many of the products the business sells come from African Americans. “Right now, I have over 30 Black vendors,” Thomas added.
Many of the vendors at the store say they have attempted to get grocers to do business with them. One of those vendors include Malcolm Wilson, who owns Daranne’s with his wife, Raven.
“Whoa. It’s been a minute. Since we’ve been in business about 20 years,” the Wilsons said. Their company sells a broad mix of eggs rolls, is among Thomas’ store vendors. “This one here is our Soul Roll, which has our collard greens and smoked turkey. We have our Down South roll, which has oxtails, rice, and cabbage,” Raven Wilson stated.
Another vendor, Sparkle Johnson, co-owner of Arousing Aromas said, “We sell 100% coconut soy candles. We also have enticing essentials bath salts. We also have wax warmers, wax melts, and it’s all handmade here in Houston.”
Thomas owned an nightclub “District 1960” before the pandemic shut down the business according to MSN. Thomas says this is just a start as he reflected on plans for the grocery store going forward.
“Eventually, it will just be products in here and no vendors, just a regular store,” he continued. “I want to be in the running with HEB, Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s. I want to get to that level, and I’m taking the Black vendors with me.”
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