Downtown is a food desert, with no access to affordable, high-quality, fresh groceries. Now Stacy Poore and her unnamed business partner plan to change that by building a downtown grocery store.
“There is almost no access to fresh produce and meat in the downtown area,” Poore said.
She knows a lot about food deserts from her seven years at Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, first as chief development officer and then as chief operating officer.
“Our downtown has seen tremendous growth in small businesses and urban living during the past few years,” she said.
Residents of the 33-unit Blue Dot Place, 412 S. Nevada Ave., and 172-apartment 333 ECO complex at Colorado and Wahsatch avenues, as well as prospective tenants of two projects under construction — the 27-apartment Casa Mundi Lofts on South Tejon Street and the 184-apartment complex at Cascade Avenue and Rio Grande Street — all need closer access to groceries, Poore said.
She expects to attract customers who live, work, visit and play within a 5- to 7-mile radius of the market, including the Old North End, Patty Jewett, Shook’s Run, Lowell, Hillside and Ivywild neighborhoods.
A neighborhood market opened in 2004 at 321 N. Tejon St., one of the most recent attempts to bring a grocery downtown. It closed after only 1 ½ years of struggling to compete against larger stores.
But Poore is confident about this project. “It will be called Bread and Butter Neighborhood Market, where customers can find grocery offerings they cannot find at just any grocery store,” she said. “There will be artisanal cheese, charcuterie selections, luscious breads and other shelf-stable items. There will be grab-and-go breakfast and lunch sandwiches (as well as) frozen meals, perhaps prepared by local restaurants or local producers.”
The shop also will sell liquor, wine, beer and other spirits from local breweries, distilleries and wineries.
“We’ll have tables for guests to drink coffee, read and linger in our grocery community,” she said.
The partners are looking for a space with about 4,000 square feet, possibly new construction, which would allow them to design a layout for a “gratifying shopping experience,” Poore said.
This would be a welcome neighbor in a ‘hood that greatly needs a grocery. And if you build it, as in “Field of Dreams,” they will come.
For more information, contact Poore at email@example.com.
The Gazette’s Rich Laden contributed to this story.
Contact the writer: 636-0271.