For independent grocers and the wholesalers that serve them
In many rural and urban areas of the country, access to a full-service grocery store offering a variety of fresh and healthy foods at a reasonable cost is limited. (See FMI Report, Access to Healthier Foods: Opportunities and Challenges for Food Re...).
Some independents have done an outstanding job in addressing the food desert issue. The Fresh Grocer and Brown's Super Stores (ShopRite) are two examples of grocers for which opening stores in food deserts is part of their mission. Fresh Madison Market plans to build a mobile grocery store to serve such areas.
How are you working to address the food deserts in your area, and what are the challenges you face in doing so?
I recently opened a Save-A-Lot Food Store in a designated food desert, in Holley, N.Y. The community had been without a grocery store for over five years. The project was very complex for many reasons. The Village Mayor, Village Board and the Town and County officials were very supportive. Without their commitment and assistance, I would not have been able to move forward with the store. Twenty months of planning and construction has resulted in a Save-A-Lot Food Store opening in a community that desperately needed a grocery store. The response from the customers has been encouraging and uplifting. Everyone in Holley wants to see this store succeed. A very rewarding experience.
HJP Foods, Holley, NY
Bells Food Center, Albion, NY
I agree -- it often does take the assistance of the local government and institutions, and sometimes outside investment to make these things happen. Here is a similar example we just covered in PG: