New market opens in Coleman

Coleman residents now have a new, local place to shop for their meat and produce, thanks to the new grocery store in town. Mama’s Market Meats & Produce, located at 408 E. Railway St. They celebrated their soft-opening on Labor Day, giving away hot dogs, chips, and water. The building that houses Mama’s Market Meats & Produce was originally built in the 1920s.
Sandra and John Spicer own Mama's in Coleman.
John Spicer co-owns the meat market with his wife, Sandra. Spicer grew up in Coleman, and is happy to replant roots here again, this time, with his new business. “It was a great small town,” he says. “We had two small grocery stores here in town when I grew up.” 

After work took him to Clare and Farwell, Spicer returned to the Coleman area, and bought a house across the street from where he grew up. Upon returning, he realized the town no longer had a grocery store.

“People have to drive to Clare for a tomato,” he says. “That’s what I’ve heard multiple times.” Spicer says the community’s positive response shows that the area needed another local place to buy produce and meats.

“It’s been amazing, it really has,” he says. “I’ve sold out of meat, chicken, and burgers twice this week already. I’m about to sell out again, and all the steaks are off the shelves, and I’m waiting for another order already.”

Fresh produce and meat are for sale at Mama's.
Other popular items include milk, bananas, breakfast sausage, and pickled bologna. Local meat products come from Valley Meat, and then are processed at Mama’s.

Spicer appreciates his family’s help with getting the business off the ground. Supporting locals is very important to the resident, who hopes the business can bring revitalization to Coleman.  “We’re trying to keep our prices low. We’re not out to bring in a million dollars,” he says. “We’re doing it for the community and the city of Coleman.”

Spicer enjoys working back in the community he grew up with, and knows many of the customers that walk through the door. The space also has a silver and gold shop on one end of the store, also owned by Spicer. 

He hopes the store helps the town grow again, little by little, and get Coleman “back on the map.” 
Mama's Market is located in downtown Coleman on Railway Street.
“Since I bought this business, there was a place next to us that was an old restaurant and the school bought that. They’re training culinary arts students, and they’re going to serve food. There’s a new massage parlor that just came in, so there are new businesses popping up. Maybe we can get more – I’m hoping,” Spicer says.

Mama’s is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m (with later hours as needed on Friday nights for home football games), and Saturday-Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

In response to Coleman becoming a food desert, the non-profit, Coleman Family Center, opened the Coleman Community Market in the spring of 2021. It’s open three afternoons per week, Tuesday through Thursday, noon-5pm. It carries a small selection of fresh foods, with pricing just above wholesale cost.

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Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at