If you happen to wander south down Woodward Ave. from the campus of Wayne State University, you may spot a peculiar sight just after you pass the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD).  No it’s not the McDonalds whose golden arches arc upwards in an all to familiar sight in today’s healthy-living-challenge America.

Kim's Produce on Woodward Avenue

Kim's Produce on Woodward Avenue

Instead you spot a cheerful little shop on the east side of the street Kim’s Produce.  Owned by Hollis Smith and his wife Kim, the shop is a feel-good city story in a town that needs more of those kind of stories.

Six months ago the same location was occupied by Beans & Bytes.  Business was poor.  It seemed that the location was destined to become another abandoned storefront on a seemingly decaying stretch of Woodward — another urban casualty.

Instead some remarkable happened — something that Detroit’s detractors should take note of.  An enterprising small business moved in on Jan 29 of this year with a unique objective, taking health food  — long relegated to the distant reaches of suburbia — and bringing it into Detroit city.  The results are already looking great.

Local-made granola lines a shelf facing Woodward.

Local-made granola lines a shelf facing Woodward.

The store features a wide selection of fresh fruits, veggies, dairy, and eggs.  There’s canned goods, dry goods, local granola, and many more healthy options.  Much of the food is organic, and overall the prices are quite competitive.  A can of Wolfgang Puck’s Organic soup that sometimes goes for $2.99 at Krogers retailed for $2.29.  Fresh squeezed juice and salads are available at reasonable rates.

There's lots of dairy products, eggs, greens, and more.

There's lots of dairy products, eggs, greens, and more.

Much of the food is not only competitively priced, but is local.  Tomatoes, squash, corn, organic meat, milk, and more all come from local farmers.  In fact, much of the produce is grown in the city as part of the growing urban gardening movement.  Kim’s Produce is affiliated with Grown in Detroit, an organization featured on Michigan Public Radio and other news segments.

While the farmers markets are a great choice on the weekends during the summer, Kim’s can meet your needs virtually any time of the week — year round — making them a valuable addition to the local landscape.

Organic, local meat is the latest addition to the store's stock.

Organic, local meat is the latest addition to the store's stock.

Hollis says business is picking up and that he and his wife love what they’re doing.  He laughed and said — “Big buyers — big chains like Whole Foods — come to Detroit to the farmers markets and take the produce out of the city.  So Detroit becomes known as a food desert.  But it’s all grown here.”

Local veggies -- grown in Detroit

Local veggies -- grown in Detroit

Grown in the city — and now sold in the city.  It certainly seems fitting.  So next time you’re traveling up Woodward, skip the McDonalds and stop in for an organic or locally grown snack.  The store is a shining example of the intractable spirit of the city.  As they could say –w hen the going gets tough; the tough get growing.

Kim's has lots of quick lunch options!

Kim's has lots of quick lunch options!

Kim’s Produce is open M-F 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The store’s address is 4206 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48201 and you can give them a call at 313-831-1960 or email them some encouragement at kimsproduce@aol.com.