Adriel Thornton finds himself at Mike’s Fresh Market a few times a month.
He splits his shopping between the grocery store located at Livernois and Seven Mile Road and others in the area, including Meijer on Eight Mile near Woodward, Liberty Foods on West McNichols and Aldi on Eight Mile in Ferndale. He also frequents the Eastern Market in downtown Detroit on Saturdays.
But Mike’s is his most frequent choice.
He says he likes Mike’s primarily because it is convenient..
While it’s not the closet market to his home in the Winship neighborhood near the Lodge Freeway and Seven Mile Road, it’s close to other neighborhood businesses he frequents on Livernois like Narrow Way Cafe, Kuzzos Chicken and Waffles, Pet Supplies Plus and the Boston Market.
He also cites cleanliness and organization as reasons for shopping at the store.
He likes the staff too. “Even the security guards are friendly, which isn’t always the case in other nearby establishments,” he said.
He says customer service is the number one factor in keeping him loyal to any retail establishment.
That friendly welcoming atmosphere is fostered by store manager Mareeca Boyd and owner Jamal R. Abdro, who regularly contributes to neighborhood events and activities. Mike’s provides in-kind donations to local events and allows the use of its adjacent lots for neighborhood events like the popular Jazz on the Ave each year on ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day.
“We’ve been together 35 years. We’re a team!” said Boyd.
They met while both were employees at Savon on Livernois near Curtis jusat a mile south of Mike’s.
Abro started at Savon in 1976 and left in 2003. During his time at that market he built so many relationships with the folks in the neighborhood that by the time he was ready to open his own store in 2007, he knew he had to stay in the Livernois corridor. He said“relationships” are why he stayed. He and Boyd say they know most customers by name, with some having followed them from their Savon days. He also makes it a point to employ city residents, such as Boyd.
Thornton gives Mike’s credit for staying in the neighborhood when there has been such high turnover with other retailers. He’s lived in the neighborhood off and on for several decades and seen “quite a few stores come and go”.
Thornton remembers shopping at the Mike’s Fresh location when it was Farmer Jack’s but doesn’t recall the staff having been as welcoming.
Another neighbor said she likes the store, but wishes it carried more options for her mostly vegan diet.