Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has declared Sept. 25-Oct. 5 Independent Retailers Week. He signed the proclamation this month in Lansing.
In the proclamation Snyder states, “…the independent retailers in Michigan have always been dedicated to the public in their delivery of services in the marketplace throughout the State of Michigan by assuring customer satisfaction, providing food access and gasoline services in many communities and neighborhoods of Michigan that have traditionally been hard pressed to find such necessary services.”
Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers (AFPD) members consist of grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores and gas stations. AFPD represents thousands of independent retailers in Michigan and Ohio as well as other Midwest states.
“Small business is the engine that drives the economy,” said Auday Arabo, president and CEO of AFPD. “Independent retailers help keep local jobs and local dollars in our community while other corporate businesses send money to other states and other countries. This is also significant because local farmers in Michigan are working with local independent grocers pushing Michigan-grown produce.”
That philosophy prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to choose three AFPD members to pilot the Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program, which allows customers to earn double the food assistance dollars when they purchase Michigan-grown produce. The Detroit stores are Metro Foodland, Mike’s Fresh and Honey Bee Market.
AFPD also is preparing to donate more than 6,000 turkeys and other items to needy families in Michigan and Ohio. In 32 years, the organization has donated nearly 70,000 turkeys in Michigan and Ohio. AFPD works with 100 nonprofit agencies, including Forgotten Harvest, to identify families who are in need.
Some AFPD members include Hillers, Busch’s, Meijer, Heartland Markets, Fresh Food Depots, Value Centers, Plumbs (Grand Rapids), Ric’s, Hardings, Niemann’s, Plum (metro Detroit), Village Market, Hollywood Markets, Holiday Markets, Westborn Markets, Vincent & Joes, Papa Joes, Nino Salvaggio, Market Square, Saturn Markets, Krown Market (border of Detroit and Hamtramck), 8 Mile Foodland and 500 independently-owned Spartan stores throughout Michigan.
AFPD has identified 87 full-line grocery stores in Detroit and 75 of them are AFPD members. Among them are Glory Markets, Imperial Supermarkets, Mike’s Fresh, Honey Bee, Metro Foodland, Save-A-Lot, University Foods, Banner, Food Pride, Family Fare and Greenfield Market.