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Thu Oct 10, 2013, 01:46 PM

New Store Targets St. Louis Food Desert

St. Louis Food Hub will open Fields Foods, a full-service grocery store that evokes a neighborly atmosphere, right near the heart of historic Lafayette Square near downtown St. Louis.

Located at 1500 Lafayette Ave., Fields Foods is scheduled to open Jan. 4, bringing more than 100 full- and part-time jobs to the area.

Fields Foods aims to feature the best homegrown foods selection by partnering with small- and medium-sized farmers who actively practice sustainable methods. The entire project, which includes Fields Foods and the St. Louis Food Hubís food distribution and processing center, will cost $15 million.

In addition to local fare, Fields Foods will sell product lines from trusted brands including a large selection of gluten-free, organic and non-genetically modified foods. The 37,000-square-foot building features extensive retail space, a wine and beer bar, and specialized sections for seafood, cheeses, meats and prepared foods.

http://www.progressivegrocer.com/top-stories/headlines/independent-grocers/id40145/new-store-targets-st-louis-food-desert/

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply New Store Targets St. Louis Food Desert (Original post)
Sherman A1 Oct 2013 OP
Wait Wut Oct 2013 #1
Sherman A1 Oct 2013 #2
pipoman Oct 2013 #4
Sherman A1 Oct 2013 #6
Wait Wut Oct 2013 #5
Sherman A1 Oct 2013 #7
pipoman Oct 2013 #3
leveymg Oct 2013 #8
Sherman A1 Oct 2013 #9
leveymg Oct 2013 #10
Sherman A1 Oct 2013 #11
Humanist_Activist Jan 2014 #12

Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 01:56 PM

1. Wish I could rec this twice!

Thanks for a bit of good news, Sherman A1! I've been researching food deserts for quite awhile. I'm not in MO (my son and DIL just moved there, though), I'm a Chicago transplant to AZ.

It's a horrible situation for inner city and rural families with few willing to address, or even acknowledge, the long term effects on young people.

Thanks again! I'm going to read up on this company and see if they're planning on doing more. Until I win the lottery, I can only depend on courageous and progressive companies like this.

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 02:02 PM

2. Happy to pass it along

I suppose every city has it's food deserts, although I for one was unaware of this area being one. I would have thought it more likely that they would occur in the North St. Louis City area which has suffered years of urban decay and is now the focus of an ongoing controversy over a major redevelopment project that is buying up properties and hoping for tax incentives if I recall correctly.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 02:14 PM

4. IIRC this area isn't devoid of food stores because of

 

urban decay, more the city followed the trend of moving these mega centers to the burbs and now the stores are targeting these areas because people who work and reside there will buy there instead of traveling 20 miles to the suburbs..

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Response to pipoman (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 02:24 PM

6. Agreed

I believe that this area is in fact rather nice, problems certainly, but overall okay. I agree with you that the trend was to move stores to the burbs as the population moved there in the previous decades.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 02:17 PM

5. There are certainly areas that could use an option like this more than others.

This is still a great start. It will be a long, long time before we see this happening in the hardest hit areas of the inner cities. But, still, it's a little bit of hope for some people.

I'm not as familiar with St. Louis, but area-wise, I would imaging that even building one store would be helpful to some of the poorest neighborhoods. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but a resident in one of the many Chicago food deserts would have to take several buses to reach the nearest grocery store. Just building one more centrally located grocery store would be encouraging. Unfortunately, the companies are more concerned with loss or lack of customers, depending on the food desert area (rural/inner city). Several proposals, incentives and solutions have been offered, but the costs involved aren't balancing with the potential profit.

Small, independent grocery stores are really the only option. So far, I haven't seen those same incentives offered to the smaller stores. Inventory for smaller stores is much more expensive, so incentives are absolutely necessary in order to keep the costs down enough to benefit the residents.

We need to celebrate each small step and encourage companies like this to do more. While Mayor Emanuel may not be a popular figure, his willingness to address food deserts is encouraging. While the following article seems negative, they fail to give any credit to the successes. One neighborhood improved is a positive step. I'd love to see more positive stories like yours, but just one is enough to brighten my day.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-28/news/ct-met-rahm-emanuel-food-deserts-20130828_1_food-desert-desert-area-healthy-food

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 02:30 PM

7. Indeed

Yes, it is a great start and I agree that it will be a long time before much expansion into the inner city occurs. That said a local chain did open a new store in the heart of downtown a few years ago and does maintain a store on the near North Side along with other city locations, so while not perfect (what really ever is, when you get down to it?). The city does have some stores available.

Thanks for the link to the story about Chicago and Your thoughts on the issue.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 02:10 PM

3. Just following the grocery store trend

 

a couple of years ago Dillions Stores (Kroger), the headquarters is 40 miles from me, started with their "Fresh Market" model..same thing..more locally sourced, a food/beverage court, expanded non grocery items, huge building, etc. Several other chains have been doing the same...it's the latest trend in groceries..

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 02:35 PM

8. Is the store unionized?

I did a quick search and saw that some supervisory positions for that store listed are advertised as non-union. Not sure whether that implies about the rank-and-file workers. Do you know?

I try to shop union grocers.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 02:39 PM

9. at this point I don't know

but, I am certain that the UFCW local knows about it and will work toward that end, before they open in January.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 02:43 PM

10. It's been a major issue with Wal*Mart's attempt to enter the DC market.

As a principle, I won't support Wal*Mart or other non-union shops, even if its an under-served area. Sorry, these things are still important to some of us.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #10)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 02:43 AM

11. It is likewise important to me as well

I just don't know the answer as to their status, but I do know that Local 655 is well run and on top of things. I am certain that they are aware the store is coming and if it is not organized will make every effort. I know they have had both successes and failures, but they do try.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Tue Jan 28, 2014, 04:46 AM

12. Just shopped there today, knew it was open, decided to stop by and see what it was about...

ended up spending about 50 bucks there(did most grocery shopping at Southfield Schnucks). A couple of things, coffee selection, especially if you want local selections, kinda sucks(didn't see Kaldi's or others in there). Fresh produce was varied and is comparably priced to any of the big chain stores from what I can tell, as long as you avoid organic(useless marketing term, and overpriced, everywhere). The selection of items is smaller than huge chain stores.

What surprised me the most was this "Farm Fresh" brand stuff they carry, now I'll be honest, I don't, generally, shop at the discount stores that often, mostly Schnucks, which is closest to where I live, or, sometimes, Shop n' Save, so I never saw this brand, but...I'm sold. Milk for 3.59, a price I haven't seen in a while, used to it being about 20 cents more expensive at other stores(or over 4 bucks at Wal-Mart). But the real clincher, Farm Fresh brand bacon, 2.39, sliced. Haven't tasted it yet, but if its better than Schnucks store brand, I think I'll take the extra 20 minutes to shop at this store instead. Oh, and they have 4 pound sugar bags for 2 dollars, another deal, I'm lucky to get store brand stuff at 2.30-2.50 elsewhere.

As far as I can tell, this place is pretty good, oh, and they have cup holders attached to the shopping carts. Will shop there again, and see if I can find other deals.

Oh, and the employees are very friendly, and for stopping by around the middle of the day, the store seemed busy, and its at a pretty good location, it shares the lot with a Walgreens.

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