Healthy Soul Food With a Side of Community Engagement

Detroit Soul is providing healthier soul food with a focus on building a relationship with their customers.

In Detroit, with its shifting demographics and redevelopment projects downtown, newer black-owned businesses are consciously creating spaces where blacks feel comfortable to eat, shop, and simply be. Detroit Soul is one of those businesses. This 3-year-old restaurant on the city’s east side features healthier versions of classic soul food dishes, a farm-to-table dining experience and an approach to service focused on building long-term relationships with customers. Co-owner Jerome Brown says the restaurant was inspired by experiences growing up in Detroit and family visits to the south.

 “We wanted to kind of bring back some of the nostalgia or lifestyle of living in a city where you can walk out your door, and walk down the street, and have the ability to get some type of service, whether it was retail, getting your hair cut, going to the car shop, getting something to eat,” Brown says. “We are a lover of people…so when you come to Detroit Soul, we take the customer experience the moment you enter the environment.

This story was produced by Brittany Hutson, a Feet in 2 Worlds Detroit Food Journalism Fellow at WDET. Feet in 2 Worlds is a project of the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School that brings the work of immigrant journalists and journalists of color to public radio and online media.