News

Alba Snacks & Services, now open for business

 

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Market Makeover Grand Re-Opening & Block Party Community Event

Alba Snacks & Services. 6001 S. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90044
Saturday, March 29, 2014

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Nelson Garcia’s corner store, $1 Dollar Warehouse on 60th / Vermont Ave., has now officially reopened as Alba Snacks & Services, a new Healthy Neighborhood Market in South LA. (Click here to download the event update as a PDF)

Over 200 students, families, local residents and community leaders came out to a block party community event on Saturday, March 29th (3/29/14) to celebrate the grand reopening Alba Snacks & Services with Nelson Garcia.

 

Community Market Conversion Phase 1: Healthy Food, Healthy Business

For the past year, Nelson worked closely with staff at the Los Angeles Food Policy Council along with food retail and business development consultants at Shook Kelley and LURN to develop a vibrant re-design plan for Nelson’s store.

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Through a transformative renovation and business plan, Nelson re-branded his store “Alba Snacks and Services” and began to offer fresh and healthy food, starting with a “Healthy Snack Zone” in his store. The new Healthy Snack Zone at Alba Snacks & Services includes a whole new section of delicious, nutritious, affordably priced snacks for youth at the neighboring John Muir Middle School and Augustus F. Hawkins High School to choose from.

New healthy products include snack-able fruit such as oranges, apples, bananas and strawberries, and yogurt, trail mix, nuts, seeds and protein bars.

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A newly revamped Community Zone behind the cashwrap is fully equipped with computers, wifi, office/school supplies, remittances and other services for families and students.

Alba’s Snacks & Services is located at 6001 S. Vermont Ave, on the corner of 60th and Vermont, across the street from John Muir Middle School.

 

 

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Here are a few highlights from the grand re-opening event at Alba Snacks & Services on March 29, 2014.

pressconf11“Smart Snacking for Student Athletes” Workshop & New Product Tasting:

A tasting of Nelson’s new healthy snacks, and a few tips on eating to fuel better athletic performance.

A Smart Snacking tipsheet (English & Spanish) was shared in this morning workshop, led by Julie Ward (Love Life Eat Well) & Sarah Howell Natalini (HNMN Volunteer)

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High School Marketing Prototypes for Alba Snacks & Services:

As part of their entrepreneurship skills building, Augustus F. Hawkins High School seniors presented marketing prototypes to help Nelson grow a loyal customer base for the new healthy foods at his store. Project coordinated by Hawkins Responsible Indigenous Social Entrepreneurship (RISE) School Teacher Katie Rainge-Briggs.

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Community Arts Mural for Alba Snacks & Services:

A live arts workshop led by the Hawkins High C:\DAGS School and Mural Club had participants painting a temporary community mural for Alba Snacks & Services, using stencils prepared by Hawkins students.

Artists Astrid Villagran and June Edmonds from LA Commons, Apollo Victoria & friends from Habi Arts joined the workshop to lend their skills, and together they imagined what a permanent community art installation on Nelson’s wall might look like.

Councilmember Curren D. Price Jr. (CD 9), Nelson and Alba Garcia, and Good Food Neighbors.

Good Food Neighbors for Alba Snacks & Services: On Saturday, March 29th, we were stoked to announce four neighborhood institutions signed on to become Good Food Neighbors for Alba Snacks & Services. The Good Food Neighbor pledge is a good faith agreement by neighborhood institutions promising to back up their local healthy neighborhood market owner as community outreach or purchasing partners.

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The following institutions signed the Good Food Neighbor pledge for Alba Snacks & Services:
• The Southern California Library
• Voices Neighborhood Council
• St. John’s Well Child and Family Center
• From the Augustus F. Hawkins High School Campus: Responsible Indigenous Social Entrepreneurship (RISE) School; Critical Design and Gaming (CDAGS) School; and the Community Health Advocates (CHAS) School.

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Family Workout Activities

These short, family-friendly exercises got everyone’s adrenaline up, so everyone was amped and ready to dance all day. Student athletes from Hawkins High School led the exercises.

 

 

 

 

Loteria, Student Band Performance, Face Painting

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Dancing in the Streets!

DJ Edwin De La Mora and mariachi Jaime Valiente had everyone on their feet, inside and outside of the dance tent all afternoon.

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NELSON’S NEXT STEPS

Alba Before & AfterNelson plans to build a strong customer base for his new healthy snack foods. Eventually, he’ll phase up to offer more fresh produce, and more community services to strengthen his brand as a Healthy Neighborhood Market.

Nelson’s store conversion is a process of transformation. We encourage you to support the store! The more successful he is with healthy snack products, the more healthy and fresh food he will be able to offer.

Nelson’s vision is to continue to serve the community by opening more Alba Snacks & Services markets throughout Los Angeles.

To stay in touch with Nelson, or to get deeper with the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network, please contact Esther Park: healthymarkets{at}goodfoodla{dot}org.

MEDIA COVERAGE

KCET: Creating oases in food deserts with market makeovers
Intersections South LA: South LA residents create healthy food options
La Opinion: Latino cambia comida chatarra por fruta fresca en tienda de LA
Streetsblog: Got the Munchies?: South L.A. Market Conversion Project Takes Unique Approach to Health
Kiva Fellows Blog: 3 Ways an LA Kiva Borrower is Leading a Local Food Revolution
Plan for a Healthy LA Blog Post: Healthy Changes on the Block: Top 5 Reasons to come to the March 29 Grand Re-opening of a Healthy Neighborhood Market in South LA

THANK YOU

The Garcia Family: Nelson Garcia, Alba Garcia, their amazing and supportive family stand strong at the center of all this brilliant, joyful community building. Thank you for believing in the transformative power of community!

Sponsors: This community event was made possible by generous contributions from the Voices Neighborhood Council and the Office of Council Member Curren D. Price Jr. (Los Angeles City Council District 9). The community market conversion project was made possible by the generous support of the JIB Fund Community Building Initiative and a crowd-sourced loan through Kiva Zip.

Community Partner: Augustus F. Hawkins High School
Hawkins RISE School 12th Grade Student Event Consultants: Anthony Lopez, Destiny De La Torre, Kamari Hooks, Lupe Vasquez, Oscar Gutierrez
Hawkins All-School 10th Grade Student Community Survey Consultants: Alejandra Verdin, Dayana Gutierrez, Esmeralda Rosales, Evelin Hernandez, Katherine Monzon, Kenneth Reyes, Mariana De Santiago, Natasha Guandique

Advising Teachers: Katie Rainge-Briggs, Aleyda Moran, Ashley Englander, Holli Omori, Mark Gomez, Jay Davis, Paul Bailey. Tony Terry (RISE Principal)

Resource Fair

North East Trees / Million Trees LA
Vermont Square Library
Green Alley Project / The Council for Watershed Health
Active Streets LA Campaign / TRUST South LA
Voices Neighborhood Council
Community Health Councils, Inc.
Community Services Unlimited, Inc.
LA County Department of Public Health – Champions for Change
Department of Public Social Services CalFresh Enrollment & Eligibility Team
Kishé Foods
Beanfields Snacks
Challengers Boys & Girls Club
Augustus F. Hawkins High School
Summit Preparatory Charter School

Photos: Thank you to LAFPC Leadership Board Member Rudy Espinoza for contributing as resident photographer at the grand re-opening event. More photos from March 29 can be found at Rudy Espinoza’s Flickr here, and at friend Astrid Villagran’s Flickr here.