On October 25, the CEO of People’s Grocery, Brahm Ahmadi, announced plans to construct a grocery store, People’s Community Market, in West Oakland by the end of 2013. People’s Community Market will be one of two full service grocery stores in the area, the other being Mandela Foods Cooperative.
With the presence of a grocery store, more currency will be kept in the area, in addition to the creation of local jobs. Research has shown the pressing need for the addition of local food sources, as there is a yearly expenditure of about $40 million by West Oakland residents spending money for food in other cities and areas of Oakland. Furthermore, West Oakland’s current status as a food desert has compromised local health, as 48% of residents are considered to be obese or overweight.
People’s Community Market, is planned to be considerably smaller than most standard grocery stores, and will offer fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, as well as some prepared foods at an affordable price. Furthermore, following the belief that West Oakland also lacks adequate community space, the market will have a sit down cafe area, host health education programs, as well as serve as a space for social activities.
Ahmadi says he founded People’s Grocery with the intention of it being a grocery store but was unsuccessful to complete such plans due to a lack of funding. Fortunately, recent contributions have helped make the People’s Community Market a reality. Two-thirds of the budget is coming from California FreshWorks Fund, while the remaining third is set to be sourced from community investment. Shares are being offered at a $1000 minimum and are available exclusively to California residents.
People’s Grocery currently provides access to healthy, affordable food through a mobile truck, community supported agriculture (CSA) boxes, and an urban farm.
By Liz Niles, OFPC Intern
Schwartz, Ariel. “Building a Grocery Store in a Food Desert.” http://www.fastcoexist.com/mba/1680820/building-a-grocery-store-in-a-food-desert-with-funding-from-the-community#1
DeFreitas, Susan. “West Oakland’s Own Community-Owned Grocery Store.” http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/11/west-oaklands-own-community-owned-grocery-store/