The first not-for-profit grocery store in the US

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photo: Fare & Square

Convenient access to nutritious food is a growing and complex problem in the US.  There are vast areas called food desserts where the offering of fresh food is scarce but fast-food restaurants and convenience stores selling prepared foods thrive.  The City of Chester lays in one of these food desserts and has been without a decent grocery store for 11 years.

The largest hunger relief organization of the region that helps the poor and hungry realized that they had to come up with a more radical solution to tackle the problem. And last year they announced that they would open the first nonprofit grocery store in the country. The nonprofit grocery store will go by the name Fare & Square and will provide greater food access to the residents of Chester. At the same time the organization hopes to enhance the interaction in the community by partnering with local organizations and businesses.

Retail design consultancy and brand agency CBX has been retained to design a prototype for Fare & Square that will open its doors this summer. Build in the old supermarket to save cost, the goal is to design a neighborhood store that will have the look and feel of a traditional supermarket and can be replicate in other communities in the Delaware Valley.”

An interesting and sympathetic retail initiative that I hope will succeed, not in the last place to show that the mechanisms of retail not only are harmful but can also be helpful.

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