Black-owned grocery store tackling food insecurity on east side of Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new Black-owned grocery store opened on Indy’s east side at 38th and Sheridan. It’s part of a long-standing plan to address the east side’s food desert.
Since the doors opened early Wednesday, there’s been a steady flow of customers, illustrating just how much this community wants and needs this grocery.
It’s a three-year journey, but the Indy Fresh Market is officially open for business.
“I mean, I got good fresh green peppers, don’t have no onions. But I have apples and oranges. They are fresh out of the garden. It’s in the Black community and we’re just happy to have a grocery store in the neighborhood,” said shopper Marquita Allen.
The idea to build the grocery at 38th and Sheridan was sparked by the community. A partnership with Goodwill and Cook Medical helped clear the way, welcoming dozens of new jobs and accessible fresh foods. It is expected to bring an estimated $11 million boost to the community.
“When we first started this project over three years ago. It was at a neighborhood clean up we’re partners, neighbors, business owners we’re all coming together to identify what can we do and vision together in making a difference,” said Ashley Gurvitz with the United Northeast Community Development Corporation.
This area has long been considered a food desert and has some of the highest rates of diabetes and other food-related illnesses. People like John Wilson have gotten used to driving outside of the community to get what he needs.
“Just glad to see a lot of fresh vegetables in the whole setup that they have in there, it’s nice,” said Wilson.
This isn’t just a community store because of where it’s located. Two Black men from the community own it, adding to the spirit of community ownership. So, shoppers hope that sense of ownership spreads allowing this place to operate for a long time.
“We live here, I work here. I play here. And we so need the store, and here people are shopping, people are smiling,” shopper Yvette Markey said.