• Evan Jones

Campbell's Market Basket to open downtown grocery store by spring


Upcoming location of Campbell's Market Basket taken by Evan Jones

Campbell’s Market Basket will open a grocery store in downtown East Lansing at 547 E. Grand River Ave., near the MSU Broad Art Museum. 

Ken Campbell, a 30-year-old East Lansing native and entrepreneur, aims to open the store by March or early spring. Campbell’s vision is to bring his experience with agriculture and retail management together to improve the community where he grew up.

“I’ve spent a few years in retail, a few years in agriculture, a few years running my own personal farm market,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming as far as one of my goals that I’ve always set for myself.”

Campbell will take care of the day-to-day responsibilities at the market. He described the market as a shared retail space with fresh produce along with a lunch spot including a deli set up, soup and salad bars.

“The more we get into it and talk about it, people are really getting excited,” he said.

The excitement for the market from the East Lansing community primarily stems from its downtown location, residents said. 

The grocery stores serving the area — the Kroger in Lansing's Frandor Shopping Center, Fresh Thyme on Trowbridge Road and the Meijer on Lake Lansing Road — aren't exactly centrally located for those in the MSU community.

“My mom is really excited about being able to walk down and grab groceries just like that,” high school junior Emma Graham said.

Students who don’t currently live near downtown, but aspire to later, are also anticipating Campbell’s arrival. Electrical engineering freshman Jacob Honer, who lives on-campus and has a meal plan, has no need for a grocery store now but appreciates the service Campbell's will provide.

“For me, in the future, when it comes to living near Grand River, I’d be all for it,” Honer said.

Finishing the build-out with licensing and construction and creating a hiring team are the final steps before opening, Campbell said. He hopes to perfect the aesthetics of the store and give the place the "farm market vibe" he has been surrounded by during his career.

“Once you cross all those t's and dot your i's, you can get ready for business,” Campbell said. "I couldn’t see myself doing anything else right now."