by Jeff Delp
When we opened Carver Market last May, one immediate hope for the store was to provide access to fresh, healthy foods for our community. The neighborhood of Historic South Atlanta is identified as a “food desert,” meaning more than a third of residents live more than a mile from a grocery store. For those relying on public transportation, this can easily be a three-hour commute.
We have been delighted to establish a food oasis in South Atlanta. But we also had another goal to benefit our community. We wanted to provide local jobs.
One immediate benefit from replacing the thrift store with Carver Market was doubling our staff from 4 to 8 young adult employees. Now, nine months into operating the market, we are able to (and need to, thanks to sales!) hire even more people from our community to work in Community Grounds and Carver Market.
A New Manager
We needed someone to lead the effort of increasing our staff and their effectiveness. And we’re excited to introduce our new manager, Jatelle Woods, an experienced retail/food service manager who also lives only a few blocks from the store. (Sadly, I am no longer the closest employee to the store.)
Jatelle has jumped in, working on our internal systems and processes. She is working to position Carver Market to sustain our projected growth for the year.
One of Jatelle’s first jobs was hiring 7 new young people in the past month. We distributed over 100 applications at the store, and one young man’s story highlights the benefits of partnerships and long-term strategy we’ve had in South Atlanta for the last 15 years.
Working Together To Support Young People
D’Angelo Julio came to us highly recommended by Coach Slade, who runs FCA Urban Baseball in Atlanta. Coach Slade is also a friend, South Atlanta neighbor, and partner in local ministry.
D’Angelo has been a part of Coach Slade’s programs for over 5 years. When D’Angelo came into Carver Market, it was clear he had a solid foundation in his life, and that he was going to make a great employee.
It’s a true joy to see young people in the community stepping into quality employment, which we hope can be one crucial step in their transition to a long and productive adulthood. We’re grateful that Carver Market can offer these opportunities.
There’s no way we could do this work alone in South Atlanta. We’re thankful for programs like FCA Urban Baseball supporting young men and women in our community, and we’re proud to continue that work in young people’s lives.
We also can’t do this work without you. We hope you’ll come into the store and meet Jatelle & D’Angelo and the rest of the new team members – Marvin, Travis, Jesse, Frankie, Toure, and Miracle. They’ll bring a smile to your face, serve you a great cup of coffee, and make sure you have all the groceries you need!
Thank you for your continued support of Carver Market, Community Grounds, and FCS. To give, please click here.