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‘Food Desert’ grocery hiring ahead of soft opening; expected to add $11 million to local economy

Photo of Indy Fresh Market located at 38th and Sheridan. (WISH PHOTO/Adele Reich)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An east side grocery is preparing to provide fuel for the economy and neighbors without convenient access to fresh food.

The Indy Fresh Market is hosting its soft launch at the end of August and is reaching out to the community to fill numerous positions.

Two years ago, Michael McFarland and Marckus Williams launched their dream to provide a necessity that had been non-existent in the community where they grew up. For years there hadn’t been a grocery store within three miles of East 30th Street and Sheridan Avenue area. They broke ground last August near the New Cook and Goodwill Manufacturing Facility. Fast forward to today, the dream is becoming a reality. The co-owners are ready for an approaching soft launch and need employees.

Positions needing filling include mid-level management and store clerks. The Black-owned grocery store will host a job fair Thursday at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, 3801 N. Forest Manor Ave. It runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Not only will Indy Fresh Market be providing accessible, fresh food, but it is expected to have a substantial economic impact. The Indy Fresh Market is just one part of a much larger plan to revitalize the east and northeast sides of Indianapolis.

As News 8’s Katiera Winfrey reported last year, the market will be an extension of a community revitalization plan put in place by Cook Medical in partnership with Goodwill Commercial Services. With the walls going up, analysts evaluated the economic benefits of just this site alone.

Tom Guevara with the IU Public Policy Institute told News 8, “Estimate how money flows through an economy whenever something new is created.”

The IU Public Policy Institute estimates a starting economic impact of $11 million, with an additional $4.6 million brought in through wages, benefits, and neighborhood spending every year after. According to the market owners, the store will be a full-service supermarket with more than 14,000 square feet of space. 

The soft opening is scheduled for Aug. 30. The grand opening is planned for Oct. 4, nearly two years to the day of its 2021 groundbreaking.