Flint business booming despite water crisis - WNEM TV 5

Flint business booming despite water crisis

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (AP) -

In the midst of the drama surrounding the ongoing water crisis, small glimmers of hope continue to rise out of a community emerging from an uncertain future.

A local grocery store is growing its own produce in Mid-Michigan and celebrating its one year anniversary of providing fresh food to residents who need it most.

"You know a Michigan grocery store is something I think people have been looking for for a while to support the local economy. So we're doing that," said Franklin Pleasant, owner of the Local Grocer.

The products sold at the store were made in Michigan. It's a niche that has helped set them apart in a community plagued by a national water crisis. The owners said they are in the flagship store to stay.

Nearly five years ago Erin Caudell and Pleasant started a farm in Beecher on a plot of land purchased from Genesee County.

"There's literally blood, sweat and tears into building that farm. But building the business through the farmers' market and building our customer base and getting customers to realize that we are growing the food that they were eating, and talking to customers has really led to this here," Caudell said.

They said everything they do is focused on reinvesting in the community and it is paying off.

"We've been getting a lot of support from the community. Folks have really been jumping behind us, coming to see what we have to offer," Pleasant said.

What they're doing is not unique to Michigan. It can be considered part of a local food movement spreading across the country.

"I think Michigan has a really great opportunity because we have such diverse agriculture in this state," Caudell said.

The pair is also looking forward to new businesses that will be joining them on Martin Luther King Avenue. The Flint City Hard Cider Company is looking to set up shop across the street next summer.

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