Detroit Eats: Peaches & Greens

This is the last market profile of the Detroit Eats! photo essay project, which started last July.

“This is a good place to be sellin’ vegetables.”

When you were a kid, you knew the time of day that the ice cream truck would be visiting your street. Eagerly you’d wait for the tinkling sound of the music to arrive on your block, coins squeezed tight in a sweaty fist, waiting to run outside. Now imagine this same truck (minus the catchy jingle), same route right on your street, but replace the drippy, Snoopy-shaped frozen treat with a fresh cucumber.  This is the Peaches & Greens Mobile Truck.

Driving slowly down residential streets, the Mobile Truck sells and delivers fruits and vegetables ice cream truck-style. However, Peaches & Greens is also a permanent brick and mortar building, which makes it different than all of the other Detroit Community Markets. Peaches & Greens is a subsidiary of Central Detroit Christian (CDC), but runs as an independent company. CDC is also the parent organization of the Farm &

“It’s why we are where we are, in a neighborhood,” store manager, Liz Etim says, “because we’re for accessibility.”

Fishery and the Growing Faith garden down the road, which supplies Peaches & Greens with vegetables.

With a newly re-finished storefront and shiny coolers stocked with Michigan-produce, it is clean and inviting to all passersby. The majority of Peaches & Greens customers are walkers.

“We go on the routes like an ice cream truck” – Etim

“It’s why we are where we are, in a neighborhood,” says store manager, Liz Etim, “because we’re for accessibility.”  And if people still cannot get the food, the food will come to the people via Mobile Truck. Deliveries are free on Tuesdays!

Peaches & Greens also employs the Mobile Truck to make scheduled stops at senior centers. I followed the truck to their stop at a senior living community in Gardenview Estates.  Whizzing down the road past McDonalds and Subways, I felt like a fresh food super hero. When we arrived at the Senior Center, we parked in the front, right next to a shiny blue, old-school Chevy with a bobble-head hula girl dancing on the dashboard. I felt like I had gone a few decades back in time.

Inside, I was informed/warned that today was a special visit because the seniors had received special tokens good for $10 worth of produce. I helped Tracey, the Mobile Truck expert, set up the tables. Thankfully she had it down to a quick science of arranging and rearranging until every fruit and vegetable was visible and reachable.

Amidst the mad rush to claim the okra, one customer shows her gratitude for the $10 token: “I’m peaceful. And I’m grateful and thankful that they gave it to me.”

The seniors began to line up. The okra was the first to sell out, followed by nearly everything. A man in the back corner of the room played “Lean On Me” on the piano. He later announced that he had six $10 tokens. I wasn’t sure how he had finagled this, but I wasn’t going to be the one to rat him out.

Once the produce was gone and the seniors were content with their purchases, the Mobile Truck returned back to its home base to await another busy day of delivering groceries.

Many thanks the series author Kelli Bartelotti and Detroit Community Markets for contributing content and images for this project. Detroit Community Markets are neighborhood locations where you can buy fresh, affordable, locally produced food at locations like farmers’ markets and farm stands or through mobile trucks and food box programs. Detroit Community Markets strive to increase access to healthy foods, improve neighborhoods, support local growers and entrepreneurs, and create public spaces where residents can come together.

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