Heartland Marketplace

Wheelhouse Graphix Gets to the ‘Heart’ of Heartland Marketplace

Written By Robin Schwartz

Family history and community pride. That’s what you’ll experience when you walk into one of the Kassa family’s four Michigan-based, full-service grocery stores. Each location is warm, welcoming, and feels like ‘home.’ The design team at Bloomfield Hills-based Wheelhouse Graphix helped ensure that shoppers get several key messages – from the freshness of the food to the community connection – as they walk through the aisles.
Since 1932, the Kassa family has owned and operated grocery stores in the metro-Detroit area. Their first location was in Detroit. Now, 3-generations of family members have proudly served in the foodservice industry. There are two Heartland Marketplace locations, one in Farmington Hills, the other in Westland, along with Dearborn and Detroit-based locations of Saturn Marketplace. Five Kassa cousins run the various markets their grandfathers founded decades ago.

To highlight the family-owned business and create a fresh look and feel, Mark Kassa turned to Wheelhouse
Graphix. He was looking for imagery to reflect the family’s passion for providing the best quality meats, produce, deli, bakery, seafood and more, that’s been handed down from generation to generation. The Wheelhouse team helped to completely redesign the imagery behind the deli counter and the checkout area at Heartland. Vegan/organic signage and the recycling center were also reimagine “We worked hand in hand with the graphic designer and team to develop the concept,” Kassa said. “We’re an extremely close-knit family. We believe in teamwork and open communication and we want our branding to reflect

Wheelhouse created a series of vibrant mural walls with vivid images of Michigan’s beautiful waterways and iconic city scenes mixed with shots of families shopping for groceries and bright, fresh produce. A dimensional sign over one wall says, “Thank you for Supporting Local Business.” A tile wall behind the deli counter is filled with stunning photos of deli trays, cheeses, and food platters with a sign that reads, “Fresh Meals Made Easy.” Elsewhere, signage thanks shoppers for supporting a local family business, and reminds people that “cooking with love provides food for the soul.” “We created a theme for each wall. It really refreshed the market’s space,” says designer Brandon Ash. “We went beyond typical grocery store imagery to include the beauty of Michigan and scenes around Detroit. We hope it will bring back memories, make people feel at home, and evoke a sense of Michigan and Detroit pride.”

“We are very happy with the art, design, and installation,” Kassa says. “The team did a fantastic job. My overall experience with Wheelhouse was excellent. We have worked on multiple branding and design projects and they
never disappoint.”