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Healthy Neighborhood Market Network: Spring 2014 at a Glance

Lots of great things have been going on with the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network (HNMN) this spring!

Neighborhood markets in South Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and Historic Filipinotown have begun carrying new healthy food options in just the last few months. Learn more about the markets, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s recent  public recognition of a Healthy Neighborhood Market Network member, and the May 2 healthy food retail skill-building workshop for store owners.

Healthy Neighborhood Markets: Spring Store Launches

South Los Angeles – Alba Snacks & Services, 6001 S.Vermont Ave. 90044. 

On Saturday, March 29, Healthy Neighborhood Market Network member and South LA entrepreneur Nelson Garcia officially relaunched his corner store, $1 Dollar Warehouse as Alba Snacks & Services (6001 S. Vermont Ave. 90044), a new Healthy Neighborhood Market. 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. 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” and a “Community Zone” with computer access and wi-fi in his store.

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Over 200 students, families, local residents and community leaders came out to a block party community event that Saturday, celebrating the grand reopening of Alba Snacks & Services.

Read about the lively March 29 block party community event (link), Nelson’s partnership with Augustus F. Hawkins High School (link), and see photos from the block party (links to Flickr here and here)!

 

Historic Filipinotown: Hope’s Liquor & Market, 2104 Beverly Blvd. 90057. 

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Sonia Kaur, owner of Hope’s Liquor & Market (2104 Beverly Blvd. 90057), has been working with the LA Food Policy Council (LAFPC) and the Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA) Fresh HiFi project to introduce healthy, organic produce and snack options at her corner store in Historic Filipinotown.

On Wednesday, April 30, Sonia invited local neighborhood institutions to a “Neighbors Meet & Greet” at her store (link to Eventbrite), to get to know the community leaders who live and work near her store, and to share her intention of becoming a healthy food retailer. Children’s Institute, Regis House Community Center, St. Vincent Medical Center, Union Avenue Elementary School, and other local community groups dropped into the store to have a cup of coffee with Sonia, check out the new Fresh & Healthy Section inside her store, and offer input about what kind of healthy food products they want to see at Hope’s Market.

Sonia is now carrying whole fruits and vegetables, yogurt, a variety of milk options, tofu and whole grain bread. In the next year, she plans to become a reliable healthy food supplier to local neighborhood institutions, expand into healthy prepared snack foods and grab-and-go meals as her healthy food customer base grows stronger.

 

Boyle Heights: Salva Market, 2108 E. 1st St. 90033.

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With project based consulting from the LA Food Policy Council and community engagement support from the La Causa Youthbuild PALOMA team, Salva Market (2108 E. 1st St. 90033) owner Abel brought new healthy organic fruits and vegetables into his store this spring. Produce carried in the store is grown locally by South LA food and social enterprise Community Services Unlimited, Inc.

On March 27, the PALOMA team led a cooking demonstration at nearby neighborhood institution Casa 0101 featuring the produce options at Salva Market, to generate interest in the store’s new healthy food offerings.

Healthy Neighborhood Markets: Public Recognition by the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti

Healthy Neighborhood Market Network members continue to be recognized for their innovation and leadership as healthy food retailers in LA.

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On Wednesday, April 30, HNMN member and South LA storeowner Nelson Garcia was featured in an event called “Kiva LA Reunion,” hosted by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development to celebrate LA’s Kiva Zip entrepreneurs. The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Kiva Zip acknowledged Nelson’s leadership in the transformation of his South LA corner store as a healthy neighborhood market this spring (See above), using a 0% interest, crowd-sourced Kiva Zip loan, and in-kind technical support from experts in the HNMN resource referral network.

Check out store owner Nelson Garcia’s successfully funded Kiva Zip loan profile here (link)!

Skill-Building Workshops: May 2 Korean Language-Focused Training

IMG_8453On Friday, May 2, 2014, Korean-speaking corner store owners from across Los Angeles County gathered for a free business development and networking event, called “Our Healthy Neighborhood Market: Leaders in Business and Community,” hosted jointly by the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC) and the Asian Business Association (ABA).  A networking lunch was followed by an expert panel, where experts spoke on industry trends in healthy food retail, meeting the needs of Latino consumers, SBA financing, and legal tips for neighborhood markets.

The event was the fifth in a series of “Healthy Neighborhood Market Network” (HNMN) trainings coordinated by the LAFPC, aimed specifically to support small storeowners across Los Angeles County successfully promote the sale of healthy foods in under-served communities.  LAFPC has trained over 200 storeowners and other food entrepreneurs through this program over the last two years. Read more about the May 2 store owner training event here (link).

The next Healthy Neighborhood Market Network storeowner training event this September will include healthy food retailer workshops, business and leadership development tips, resource networking, and a healthy food vendor expo. Details will be shared through the HNMN quarterly newsletter.

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To receive the HNMN quarterly newsletter, and stay up to date with resources for healthy food retailers, and volunteer opportunities in healthy food access efforts, email Esther Park, HNMN Outreach Coordinator, at healthymarkets[at]goodfoodla[dot]org.