Detroit's latest grocery store will be mobbed Saturday -- mobbed with shoppers, that is, some who will receive free gift cards to support the new Brush Park business.
Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe, located at Woodward Avenue and Watson Street on the edge of Midtown, opened last month two-and-a-half years later than owners (and brothers) Michael and Peter Solaka planned, after weathering a flood, break-ins and a landlord's bankruptcy, according to Crain's Detroit Business.
Though the small, independent grocery store's proximity to forthcoming Whole Foods might cause some to wonder if the Shoppe will get enough business to stay open, the Solakas told Crain's they believe the greater downtown area can support both an independent grocer and a corporate store. For their part, Detroit residents eager to see it succeed will swarm the store Saturday at noon, as part of the Detroit Cash Mob.
Cash mobs, riffing on flash mobs, occur when groups of residents pick a time to patronize a local business and give them a one-time sales boost as well as exposure. Detroit's group has descended on many other stores, whether they sell groceries, records, clothes, hardware or dog supplies. David Lewinski, one of the group's founders, said there were several reasons to add Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe to the list.
"They went through a tough time opening and no matter where the fault lies they persevered," Lewinski said. "I also thought they were a great fit: a new business that has many items $2 to $20 that everyone needs and owned by some guys who are really invested in the city."
And there's icing on the cake: At Saturday's noon event, Lewinski will be handing out 80 $25 gift cards, donated by The UPS Store, for mobbers to spend on their groceries.