Women Wednesday Spotlight: Kiki Louya and Rohani Foulkes

Meet the founders of The Farmer’s Hand, Detroit’s fresh food and artisan product destination


March is Women’s History Month and what better way to celebrate than feature the work and voices of Detroit’s female entrepreneurs, community organizers, and artists. Every Wednesday this month we’ll spotlight passionate and purposeful women who are working to shape the city’s future.

To set the series in motion, we talked to Kiki Louya and Rohani Foulkes, founders and co-owners of  The Farmer’s Hand in Corktown, a local gourmet grocery store and take-out counter. Since its opening in 2016, the store has aimed to make it easier to shop for Michigan products.  

Louya is a Detroit native, born into Congolese and Southern American traditions. With a strong culinary background, having graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, she is dedicated to providing a simple, healthy, and accessible way for people to shop. Hailing from Cairns, Australia, Foulkes’s titles have included professional chef, high school teacher, and Gleaner’s Community Food Bank team member. The Detroiter says she has a deep commitment to honest and wholesome food for all.

This spring, The Farmer’s Hand will expand with Folk, an artisanal cafe specializing in seasonal, made-from-scratch comfort foods inspired by the partners’ global cultural backgrounds and travels. “Folk was founded on a deep-rooted desire to gather people together around home-made food and shared experiences,” says Louya.

We sat down with Louya and Foulkes to discuss The Farmer’s Hand, their overall mission, and the impact of women in Detroit:

Hour Detroit: Why did you start The Farmer’s Hand?
Louya: We started The Farmer's Hand to address a need we saw in Detroit for greater access to fresh, healthy food grown locally.  

Why is fresh and locally sourced products part of your mission?
Within our current food system, food travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to fork. This often requires food to be harvested before it’s ready and ripened on a truck. High fossil fuels are required to keep this cycle going and by the time food reaches your plate, farmers receive an average 17 cents for every dollar of retail dollar sold.  Meanwhile, Michigan is ranked No. 2 in the country just behind California in terms of agricultural diversity and the urban farm community is growing here in Detroit. We source local and fresh because we believe consumers not only deserve better but they are seeking better — and Michigan is capable of delivering.  

Detroit has a number of women artists, activists, and entrepreneurs who are actively shaping the city. Do you think it’s important that women be a part of Detroit’s future?
Absolutely—and we are! In fact, we are currently a staff of all women, we are an entirely women-owned business, and over 50 percent of our food partners are majority women-owned businesses as well.

How are you leaving a positive impact on Detroit?
Foulkes: By way of engaging with our community, listening to their needs, providing greater access to fresh food, and providing more accessible price points, we feel good about our contribution to the city.

To learn more about the Farmer’s Hand, visit thefarmershand.com.


Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Women Wednesday Spotlight: Anika Goss-Foster

Meet a fierce advocate championing inclusion and equity for Detroit’s future

14 Metro Detroit Dining and Drinking Events to Check Out This Spring

The new season brings Easter brunches, baking competitions, pop-up bars, and more

Celebrate Pi Day With These Local Favorites

Offerings include special pies from Achatz, Grand Traverse, Zingerman’s, and more

Go Local with These 7 Michigan-made Jellies, Jams, and Preserves

Celebrate National Berries and Cherries month with these sweet and spicy picks

10 Things to Do This Weekend in Metro Detroit (March 16-18)

Including March Madness events, classic films, comedy shows, dance troupes, and more
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Detroit’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary
    A look back at the party's history
  2. Exploring the Art of Over-the-Top Cocktails
    We gave five of metro Detroit’s top bartenders full creative freedom to craft their most...
  3. Autorama Returns to Detroit for Its 66th Year
    The annual event will showcase 800 hot rods and custom cars at Cobo Center on March 2-4
  4. Nosh Pit Detroit Food Truck Finds a Permanent Home in Hamtramck
    The vegan and vegetarian restaurant takes the spot of the former Yemans Street pop-up
  5. Maty’s African Cuisine Brings Authentic Senegalese Food to Detroit
    The Old Redford restaurant is the first of its kind in the city
  6. Taste Test: Michigan Dill Pickles
    Hour Media evaluates five local favorites on the basis of texture, taste, and tang
  7. Detroit-based Ash & Erie Develops Clothing Line for ‘Shorter Guys’
    Former Shark Tank contestants discuss their brand and offer fashion tips
  8. An Hour With... Amy Haimerl
    Author and Founder, Shady Ladies Literary Society
  9. It’s a New Semester for Marygrove College
    After cutting undergraduate programs, a beloved liberal arts college looks to reinvent itself
  10. The Way It Was
    Detroit City Airport, 1970