The Farmer’s Hand, a new artisanal pantry, market, and kitchen that sources its ingredients from local, Michigan-based farmers and operations, will open on Sept. 30 in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.
The first all-local, women-owned market in Detroit, The Farmer’s Hand will operate out of a 500-square-foot building, located at 1701 Trumbull Ave., and offer a variety of Michigan-made food, beverages, and specialty giftware, such as illustrations and ceramics.
Co-owners of the store, Kiki Louya and Rohani Foulkes, are working with more than 100 local partners — including artisan makers, producers, and growers — that are located less than 100 miles from The Farmer’s Hand space, which features an aesthetic with stone and wood detailing, and historic elements, such as a preserved tin ceiling.
“It’s very important to us and the model of our store to have personal relationships with the farmers,” says Louya. “We are really an extension of the farms for consumers, so we want to be knowledgeable about their growing practices.”
She says the store puts a preference on Detroit growers that operate small to mid-size family-owned farms, and looks for partners that have sustainable practices.
In addition to its grocery selection, the store will also operate a small café within its space with a limited amount of seating. The café will offer a selection of prepared items, such as coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads, pastries, and more with influence from African and Australian-Asian cultures, which are representative of Louya and Foulkes’ heritages and culinary experience.
“I was a chef for a long time, and a lot of those spices and traditional methods of cookery, they’re definitely really wonderful influences,” Foulkes says. “We’ve been really mindful to incorporate that into our food.”
The concept of the store — open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday — is modeled off of Argus Farm Shop in Ann Arbor, which is inspired by Local Roots Market and Cafe, another alternative model to grocery located in Wooster, Ohio.
“I think that I see Detroit as a whole as needing to take food into their own hands, and a lot of people have done that through urban farming, but there is a disconnect,” Louya says. “I personally think a model like The Farmer’s Hand, like Argus Farms, Local Roots, should be in every single city, especially with Detroit where you see so many neighborhoods starving for better food options.”
The Farmer’s Hand is seeking part-time employees to join its staff, and will host a grand opening event on Sept. 30.
For more information, visit thefarmershand.com.