By Jeff Delp
No matter where you’re from, no matter how you grew up, we can all agree on one thing: hoagies. Well, if not hoagies, pizza then? Or Whoopie Pies! More simply, there’s a universal need we all share, and that is food.
But even our common need to eat can divide us when it comes to where we shop. Food preferences, geographic location, and affordability make a difference.
When we began dreaming about Carver Neighborhood Market, we imagined a local store that could be a vibrant community space for our diverse neighborhood. We had to think intentionally about how to create a unique kind of market.
After all, it wasn’t too long ago that almost the entire City of Atlanta was a food desert. Grocery stores were few and far between, and very few Farmers Markets existed. If an Atlanta resident wanted decent produce, a trip out to DeKalb Farmer’s Market was in required pre-2007.
In the past 5-7 years, new supermarkets have opened and plenty of Farmers Markets have moved in to fill an obvious void in the city when it comes to access to food. But there are still gaps. Many chain grocery stores in our part of town (if there are any) have a lot of work to do when it comes to their produce departments. And our Farmer’s Markets – well, they are wonderful for many reasons – but affordability tends not to be one of them.
We wanted Carver Neighborhood Market to provide food – fresh, local, AND affordable. As our city changes, we wanted to take a unique, “middle ground” approach to food choices in our neighborhood that would bring residents together.
Our intent is to create a store where all people feel welcome and are able to find products that fit their food, diet, and budgetary needs and preferences. Therefore, we are starting with a mix of products that we think best represents this diversity. One our shelves, you’ll find almond milk and pizza rolls, hot Cheetos and fresh strawberries, sodas and hummus.
We know this will be a mission in process. We have room to grow, change, and adapt along the way, looking to our customers to help us figure out what will ultimately be best to sell in the market.
Neighborhoods might change, but our collective need for food does not. We hope that all the diverse residents in our area will benefit from access to better groceries here in South Atlanta.