"We don’t have any black supermarkets that I know of," says Thomas.
So he has changed that. On Cypress Creek Parkway near TC Jester, Thomas has opened District Market Green Grocer where you’ll find, "fruit, vegetables, eggs, vegan meals for the vegan community," he explains. "We have black-owned washing powder, spices, and herbs, sauces."
In addition to the market being black-owned, so are the products.
"Right now I have over 30 black vendors," says Thomas.
"We sell 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," explains Sparkle Johnson Co-Owner of Arousing Aromas.
"We bring a little soul to the egg roll," smiles Malcolm Wilson who owns Daranne’s with his wife Raven. The company makes just about every egg roll you can think of.
"This one here is our Soul Roll which has our collard greens and smoked turkey. We have our Down South roll which has oxtails, rice, and cabbage," adds Mrs. Wilson.
Many of the vendors here have tried for years, even decades to get grocers to do business with them. So how long have the Wilsons tried to get their products on store shelves?
"Whoa. It’s been a minute. Since we’ve been in business about 20 years," explains Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.
His 4,000 square foot market actually used to be District 1960 Nightclub for the last 6 years.
"I want to be in the runnings with HEB, Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s. I want to get to that level and I’m taking the black vendors with me," Thomas says. "Pandemic hit and wiped me out, wiped me out. I don’t even know how I’m open right now" but he is open."
In fact, Black Friday is the grand opening of this supermarket complete with a juice bar.
"You can pick out your fruits and vegetables and take it to the bar. We’ll juice it for you. I have Wheatgrass shots, turmeric health shots," Thomas says.
You’ll also find things like Christmas wrapping paper featuring a black Santa Claus.
"I think that’s very original. You know you don’t see a black Santa too many times," smiles Thomas.
District Market is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.