ometime this week, “for lease” signs were hung in the windows at the now-vacant Goodwells Natural Food Market in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood. The abrupt closure — though we’ll emphasize that we don’t know if the business is actually closed — of a neighborhood favorite has invited an outpour of concern.
Goodwells has been a staple in Midtown before there even was a Midtown, first having opened in the Cass Corridor in 2006 and being notable for being one of a few black-owned natural food outlets in the city.
So is it gone for good? Here’s what we know.
Attempts to contact Goodwells’ owners and the landlord went unanswered, but we did talk with a City of Detroit source who says Goodwells’ owners had recently been in contact with the Jobs & Economy team discussing plans to expand.
Here’s what we can be clear on, though: No one really knows what’s going on with Goodwells except the owners, who, despite the rampant commentary on social media and in news media, have yet to speak publicly about what exactly is going on.
In a 2015 Model D post, co-owner James Wood discussed the changing neighborhood where he set up shop a decade ago, and the impact that the then-new Whole Foods in Midtown had on small grocers.
"For the first six months, there was no real effect," co-owner James Wood said at the time. "But after that, they pretty much wiped out our grocery business at first. We're starting to rebound now."
Does that mean Whole Foods is to blame? Again, we don’t know. You don’t know. So until we know, the best we can do is allow Goodwells to re-emerge — if it chooses to do so — peacefully without speculation.