Unsung heroes come and go making positive impressions in the lives of others yet most never get the recognition they deserve. Today I’m recognizing one of those phenomenal people, James Hooks owner of Metro Foodland in Detroit.

In addition to the jobs that his store brings to the area, his store has enhanced the nutritional options in the community he has served for years.

The article below was forwarded to me and shares a story about a family friend and client that I’ve done work with over the years. It’s a fine story to wrap up the 2012 Black History month.

For those of you who don’t know it, Detroit, Michigan has been labeled one of those food deserts we’ve heard so much about. Unlike Chicago there are few initiatives in Detroit that are focusing on bringing fresh healthy choices to the communities in the inner city. Very few grocery stores still remain in the city limits and less stock their shelves with healthy choices, quality produce, meats and package goods. Kudos to James Hooks, he is one of those grocers that believes in quality service and quality products. Filling the void for healthy choices in a community where the liquor stores out number the grocery stores.

James has not only brought healthy food choices to his store he has been the site for numerous health fairs lead by Conventry Health Insurance. Convertry is one of Detroit’s leading health insurance companies within the state of Michigan.

The article that was forwarded to me starts here:

James Hooks, President of Metro Foodland

James Hooks, President of Metro Foodland, Detroit, MI

James Hooks, President of Metro Foodland is extremely proud of the fact that he, his family, and his grocery business are “homegrown.”

James was born, educated and reared in Detroit, Michigan. Growing up on the eastside, he graduated from Southeastern High School. In 1969, James began to work in the retail grocery business as a bagger for Bilo Supermarket. His hard work ethic and performance earned him a promotion to Store Clerk, then to Department Manager. In 1977, James was selected to enter the Kroger Company’s Management Training program. After completion, he managed several different Kroger stores until early 1984, when James was transferred as Store Manager to the Grand River/Fenkell Kroger Supermarket. During 1984, a tremendous opportunity was presented to James Hooks. Faith, hard work, a commitment to community, personal growth and development, and having Detroit roots paid off…James Hooks was offered a business opportunity to purchase the Grand River supermarket along with another store located in Ferndale, Michigan. Metro Foodland was born as a company. For more than twenty years, African American, independent owner/operator, James Hooks, has had a supermarket located in Detroit, Michigan.

Metro Foodland is a full-service supermarket including the offering of personal services for customers; beer and wine products; a delicatessen and catering services along with full-line groceries that are fresh and top quality. James loves to tell everyone the brand for Metro Foodland is, “we’ve got what you need!”

James feels the foundation of his entrepreneurial and personal success comes from the teachings from his mother, Ms. Willie B. Hooks, who worked for years at the store. She told James “whatever you do, do your best”. This has been the best business advice her son has received. Today when you shop at Metro Foodland you will find a management team and employees led by himself, his wife, Teresa, his brother, two sisters, a niece, friends and other employees, all working as a team in providing customers a full-service supermarket. The team and their homegrown leader want every customer to know there is a special emphasis on providing customers a very clean store, and their business motto is, “we’ve got what you need.”

At Metro Foodland, we cut our meat fresh 7 days a week offering extensive variety including many gourmet items and oven ready merchandise for our customers’ convenience. Our emphasis on quality, variety, cleanliness and price are second to none in our meat departments. In our produce & dairy department, we emphasize on bringing you the freshest and best quality products at the most attractive prices available. Our deli/bakery offers the highest quality products at more than competitive prices. In our grocery sections, we offer a large variety of items including many gourmet specialty products, as well as organic products. Lastly, Hooks credits much of the business’ success toward his team. Hooks says his teams’ commitment, support and hard work have helped the business to grow and thrive. This Year Metro Foodland is celebrating its 27th Anniversary.