Is Goodwells Natural Food closed for good? The Midtown area health food store and home of the storied vegetarian pocket sandwich has quietly vacated its Willis Street storefront. Whether the store is permanently shuttered or plans to return in a different location remains to be seen.
The grocer hasn’t updated its Facebook page in over a year and is still listed as opened on Yelp. Calls to the company’s listed phone number are sent to a full voicemail box. A staff member working at neighboring Avalon International Breads says Goodwells has been moving out for the past several weeks and believes, but doesn’t know for certain, that the store is closed for good.
Goodwell operated for nearly 10 years in the Cass Corridor, an area has become a target for developers in recent years, resulting in increased competition among some companies, rising rent, and heightened competition for square footage. Last year in profile of Goodwells Market for Model D, co-owner James Wood discussed the challenges to sustaining his small scale organic grocery business with the incoming of Whole Foods:
"For the first six months, there was no real effect," he says. "But after that, they pretty much wiped out our grocery business at first. We're starting to rebound now."
Later Woods adds: "We're still sustaining, but there's less growth. So we have to be ready for greater competition and upgrade and continue to keep making things better." Have more details on what’s happening with Goodwells? Whisper in our ear.
Update, 8/2, 10:08 a.m.: While still not a definitive answer, BLAC Detroit reports that "a City of Detroit source" says "Goodwells' owners had recently been in contact with the Jobs & Economy team discussing plans to expand."