Tag Archives: People’s Community Market
It’s been a long time coming. But, as of this week, People’s Community Market (PCM) has finally secured a location for its West Oakland grocery store. CEO Brahm Ahmadi — who came to West Oakland more than 14 years ago as a community organizer and quickly realized it was a food desert in dire need of access to fresh, healthy food — made the announcement in blog post and email to shareholders on Monday.
The store will be at 3103 Myrtle St. (at San Pablo Avenue) and will clock in around 14,000 square feet, just over a quarter of the size of the original Berkeley Bowl.
“This is a major milestone and a significant accomplishment in the overpriced and competitive real estate market of the Bay Area,” wrote Ahmadi. “It took our team — which included community development experts, real estate brokers, attorneys, and financial advisors — two years to secure a site, with the last six months involving significant negotiations, due diligence and site assessment.”
It is well known that fresh produce and alternatives to fast-food are both sorely lacking in West Oakland, an area sometimes referred to as a “food desert.” With perhaps one exception, efforts to date to rectify the situation have either not been forthcoming, or failed to get off the ground. However, three initiatives close to the hearts of food-justice activists are picking up steam and promise to bring real and lasting change for the neighborhood.
People’s Grocery: Improving the local food system in myriad ways
Founded in 2003 with the mission of improving West Oakland’s health and economy through the local food system, People’s Grocery is now host to a dizzying array of programs, from foodways education for local kids to subsidized CSA boxes and farmers markets that accept food stamps. West Oakland residents can purchase staple foods at wholesale prices through the organization, as well as indulge in days of “meditative weeding” at one of their several community gardens. … Continue reading »
The Bay Area may be known internationally as a foodie destination, but there are pockets of the region that stand in stark contrast to the world of organic produce, farmers’ markets and artisanal edibles. West Oakland, for example, is what some call a “food desert.” This low-income neighborhood has not sustained a full-service grocery store in years. Now, one man and his grassroots organization hope to change that by opening a “People’s Community Market,” the culmination of many years of groundwork and a lot of vision.
Brahm Ahmadi came to West Oakland more than 10 years ago as a community organizer focused on environmental issues, but he quickly found that the area’s residents were far more concerned with their lack of access to fresh, healthy food. As a result he founded People’s Grocery in 2002.
People’s Grocery is a collection of programs and experiments whose underlying, long-term goal has always been the creation of a brick-and-mortar grocery store — when the time seemed right. Ahmadi, who had no experience in retail, no food background and no history in the neighborhood, knew he had to invest some time into researching the idea and laying the foundation before breaking ground on what is known as the People’s Community Market. … Continue reading »