ATLANTA - An old Atlanta package store in historic south Atlanta just got a major makeover thanks to a local nonprofit organization.
It’s now the Carver Neighborhood Market, which is a 2,000-square-foot space offering something residents have needed for decades.
“What we kept hearing over and over again from our neighbors was access to food,” said Jeff Delp.
The area was a food desert. It is also an area where dilapidated homes and businesses still remain, but Delp, with FCS Urban Ministries, wants to change that.
“We are constantly looking for ways to attract businesses in this area that our neighbors could really enjoy,” said Delp.
Victoria Royal grew up in the southeast Atlanta neighborhood and told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie that she started to see a change when a coffee shop next door opened.
“It was an awesome hangout spot. I loved coming here after school. It really made us bond,” said Royal.
Delp says before the Carver Neighborhood Market existed, it would take some residents three hours to get to and from a grocery store since they didn’t have a car.
“For our neighbors, it’s changed their lives,” Delp said.
Delp says since they opened two months ago, they are averaging more than 150 customers a day. Locally grown produce is now their top seller, and Delp says the overgrown properties will soon become a sight in the past.
“What we are trying to do is create a community that is safe environment where businesses can thrive,” Delp said.
Delp told Lucie that before they opened the market, they went to major grocery chains to see if they wanted to open a new location, but he says all of them said the area and demographics wouldn’t work for them.
That’s when they decided to open the store themselves, and it’s been a success so far.