Indy Fresh Market planned for northeast Indianapolis Food Desert

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Indy Fresh Market planned for northeast Indianapolis Food Desert

A new locally owned grocery store in northeast Indianapolis will relieve one of the city’s many food deserts.

The Indy Fresh Market – a 14,000-square-foot facility on 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue – is welcome news for the Northeast. The deal is part of a community investment launched along with a new Cook Medical manufacturing facility to provide opportunities for the underserved community.

The intersection is in a low-income census area, in which about 6,000 more people live A mile from the nearest traditional grocery store, according to analysis by the SAVI program at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. .

The owners of Wall Street Grocery on 38th Street will close their current location and open Indy Fresh Market, a new grocery store on the grounds of the Cook Medical facility.

Cook Medical, which last year announced plans to build a 40,000-square-foot medical device manufacturing facility at the intersection, has also partnered with a coalition of community partners to develop the area as part of the 38th and Sheridan initiative.

Cook Medical will set up the business, while Impact Central Indiana, a limited liability company formed by the Central Indiana Community Foundation, will provide the seed capital.

The ultimate goal: to create a local market owned by Michael McFarland andMarckus Williams. The two friends grew up together andRun the nearby Wall Street Grocery, which is about the size of a supermarket. . As soon as the new store opens, the Wall Street Grocery will be closed.

“We have a personal interest in a grocery store,” said McFarland when making the announcement at the Avondale Meadows YMCA on Thursday. “Other companies, you know, they’re the bottom dollar (roughly) so they don’t have personal ties. I think our personal bond, our personal determination, our love of the neighborhood is going to help us keep it open and help you our community to eat healthily. “

Food deserts have particularly impacted the black neighborhoods in Indianapolis, communities that have long felt neglected by both the cities and the big stores that have slowly packed and abandoned over the years.

However, Indy Fresh Market will be locally owned. McFarland and Williams operates under a lease that McFarland estimates at $ 2 million. He hopes to lower that amount through donations and repay the rest through low-interest loans once the business starts selling his stock.

The area’s grocery stores have been exhausted since the Kroger on East 46th Street, just 1.5 miles away, closed in 2018 and the Walmart Neighborhood Market just two miles down the street closed in 2019.

The business is expected to create between 15 and 20 new jobs with wages between $ 10 and $ 13 an hour. Employees will also have access to support services offered through Goodwill in central and southern Indiana, such as: B. Housing Assistance, Legal Assistance, and Mental Health Care, said Ashley Gurvitz, CEO of United Northeast Community Development Corp.

Indy Fresh Market will open adjacent to Cook Medical's new manufacturing facility on 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue in northeast Indianapolis.

The state’s latest budget provides $ 600,000 in funding for what Governor Eric Holcomb described as a massive undertaking.

“It doesn’t cut off, it’s not a defect, it meets the needs right on the first floor, right on the street,” said Holcomb. “And for that I am eternally grateful that Cook always paved the way, got out before him and dealt with reality.”

Construction begins in July with a gentle opening in May 2022.

Community partners hope that efforts to resolve food insecurity issues in other parts of the city will increase and become a model for solving food deserts.

“For the next five years,” Williams told the crowd Thursday, “I want Indy Fresh Market to be a household name.”

Call IndyStar reporter Amelia Pak-Harvey at 317-444-6175 or email [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @AmeliaPakHarvey.