"Community Store" Opens on Jay Street, Offering Healthier Fare

Jan 20, 2015

Credit www.nyrp.org

Foodlink has teamed up with a business owner on Rochester's Northwest side to turn an existing corner store into what they're calling a "community store."

Mitch Gruber, Foodlink’s community food access manager, said Stop One Meat Market on Jay Street was redesigned to be more attractive to shoppers.

"One of the things we did, for example, is we took away the traditional fortress-like counter at the corner store. We took away the bars and the fences on the windows and actually turned it into a place with a lot of natural light that is an inviting place for people to be."

There is also a selection of fresh and affordable food stocked on the shelves.

"Like fresh produce and fresh and frozen meats, but not only those things. We also have whole department with cereals and grains that are necessary for everyone's diet."

Residents of the neighborhood gave their input on what they wanted in the store.  They had their first chance to see it Tuesday morning at a grand re-opening.

Gruber said this is part of a larger effort by Foodlink to address the core causes of hunger, one of which is the retail food environment in so-called "food deserts."

A consulting group called Collaborative Health Research will be measuring the impact of the store on the health of the neighborhood.  If the project is deemed a success, Foodlink plans to expand the program. 

A similar establishment is expected to reopen as a community store on Carter Street this spring.

Funding for the project was provided by Citizens Bank Foundation, Empire State Development, Low-Income Investment Fund, and Rochester Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency.