Robert Thomas is the epitome of turning lemons into [an entire store of] lemonade.
The former owner of District 1960 Nightclub was forced to shut down due to the pandemic, and strategized ways to get back to business. This sparked the idea for the first recorded Black-owned supermarket in the city of Houston. That became what we now know as District Market Green Grocer. Inside the store, located at 3337 Cypress Creek Parkway, you’ll find fruits, veggies, and various products from about 40 vendors.
“We don’t have any Black supermarkets that I know of,” Thomas told Fox26. The store officially opened its doors on Black Friday.
Many of the goods are Black-owned products and the store also features a number of Black vendors. “We have Black-owned washing powder, spices and herbs, sauces.” The entrepreneur said he is currently working with vendors to bring quality products to his shoppers. “Right now, I have over 30 Black vendors,” Thomas added.
Sparkle Johnson, a District Market vendor, and co-owner of Arousing Aromas sells 100% coconut soy candles. “We also have enticing essentials bath salts. We also have wax warmers, wax melts, and it’s all handmade here in Houston,” Johnson told reporters.
Thomas has plans to expand to more products in the future, hoping to position himself as a major contender in the supermarket sector. “Eventually, it will just be products in here and no vendors, just a regular store,” he continued. “I want to be in the running with HEB, Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s. I want to get to that level, and I’m taking the Black vendors with me.”
For those in the area, the 4,000-square-foot supermarket is open Tuesday through Saturday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.