Southfield (CW50) – Growing up in Detroit, Raphael Wright noticed a glaring discrepancy ​among local grocery stores within the city. He quickly realized that the foundation for economic development in the inner-city had to start with the local grocer, and led the movement with one guiding principle that states: “To lead our folks, we have to feed our folks.”

The idea to build Neighborhood Grocery started in 2016 when Wright began to pursue social investment in order to build economic wealth within Detroit’s inner city. In 2017, he announced a GoFundMe to open a grocery store in Detroit. The campaign raised $10,000 in just a few days and close to $22,000 within a month. The purpose behind raising money to build the store was to allow it to be funded by the community and its leaders, in order to put good food back into the city while creating a community crowdfunding platform to restore ownership and battle poverty, all while battling displacement in Detroit.

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Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Raphael Wright, Founder of Neighborhood Grocery

The funding was just the first step to building the Neighborhood Grocery store, but Wright saw it as a big step in the right direction. Wright and his team are currently gutting the building to begin refurbishment on the grocery store, which will address health and wealth disparities in Detroit.

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Neighborhood Grocery is still raising funds to build more locations. You can read more about the process on

Raphael Wright joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to discuss the impact a grocery store can have on the inner city and how his entrepreneurial career led him into investing in the grocery business.

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