Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 105 of 207

deputy executive director of the Food Trust, Philadelphia, a non- profit group that works closely with Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign. When the Food Trust program launched in 2004, Weidman says, there existed a perception that low-income neigh- borhoods lacked good food stores because denizens didn't want them. "We did research and found they did want to buy good food," he says, "but there's a real barrier when it's too far away." The Food Trust made inroads at Pennsylvania schools by pro- moting nutrition education. Its Healthy Corner Store Initiative has given incentives of anywhere from $100 to $5,000 to persuade 600 corner stores in poor communities to carry healthier alternatives to convenience foods. The money goes toward shelving and refrigera- tion units for produce and juice. Brown's ShopRite, a small, family-owned chain, accepted grant money in exchange for opening a branch in a densely popu- lated Philadelphia neighborhood that hadn't had a supermarket in decades. Weidman says the inner-city store enjoyed profits higher than the company's locations in more affluent suburbs. "There's more competition in wealthier neighborhoods," Weidman says. "In poor neighborhoods, with no competition, Inner-city St. Louis saw the opening last year of Old North Grocery Co-op, the only venue for fresh food serving an area with a population of more than 10,000 people. there's actually a lot of food dollars to be spent." These and other movements around the country are show- ing the power and potential influence of the small grocer. In New York, small grocers are getting a boost from nonprofit organization GrowNYC through a program called Fresh Bodegas. The venture works with a farm in New York State to make regular deliveries of produce to 12 bodegas in poor neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In Water Valley, Miss., Alexe van Beuren and her hus- band Kagan Coughlin opened an independent store in 2010, called The B.T.C. Old Fashioned Grocery. The moniker takes inspiration from the famous Gandhi quotation: "Be the change you want to see in the world." Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 2436 JULY/AUGUST 2012 83

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