Photo Credit: FG Trade
Houston Now Has Its First Black-Owned Supermarket, District Market Green Grocer
Houston, TX now has its first and only Black-owned supermarket, according to Fox 26 Houston. Located at 3337 Cypress Creek Parkway, the 4,000-square-foot District Market Green Grocer is owned by Robert Thomas and officially opened for business on Black Friday.
Not only is the supermarket Black-owned and operated, many of the products it carries are also Black-owned.
“Right now I have over 30 Black vendors,” said Thomas. “Fruit, vegetables, eggs, vegan meals for the vegan community. We have Black-owned washing powder, herbs and spices, as well as sauces. I want to be in the running with HEB, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s. I want to get to that level, and I’m taking the Black vendors with me.”
Many of the vendors are locals who have tried for years to land their products in other grocery stores, with no luck. One such company is Daranne’s. Owned by Malcolm and Raven Wilson, the brand offers new and innovative varieties of egg rolls. For the 20 years they’ve been in business, they have tried to get their egg rolls into many grocery stores. Now, their products finally have a home on the shelves of District Market Green Grocer.
“We bring a little soul to the egg roll,” said Malcolm Wilson. “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.”
The supermarket also has its own juice bar that creates a variety of delicious, healthy, and customizable drinks. Customers can head to the juice bar after picking out their own fruits and vegetables, and have healthy ingredients like wheatgrass and turmeric added. Other offerings of the market include items such as Christmas wrapping paper featuring a Black Santa Claus.
“I think that’s very original,” said Thomas. “You don’t see a Black Santa too many times.”
For the past six years, the building that now houses District Market Green Grocer served as District 1960 Nightclub. The COVID-19 pandemic forced Thomas to close down his club. An astute businessman, he was able to pivot and adapt to the changes in the economy, and decided to create a new pandemic-proof business in its place.