Northside’s only grocery store shut its doors for good in 2013. Now the neighborhood is considered a food desert, and residents who don’t have their own transportation must take long bus rides in order to shop at a Kroger in other communities.
The Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative
, along with community organizations and neighborhood heroes, is working to bring a grocery store back
“A grocery store will also help make the community more economically vibrant,” says Ellen Dienger, Apple Street Market
’s project manager. “Grocery stores are neighborhood anchors, and they help bring in new businesses and residents. With The Gantry apartments
coming soon, it’s a huge plus for the neighborhood, and a grocery store will only add to that.”
Apple Street Market, which will reside in the former Save-a-Lot building, should be open in the next year. Approximately 1,100 community shares have been sold, and the next share threshold the group plans to meet is 1,500.
Outside of the community shares and the initial loan, Apple Street Market is raising an additional $500,000, which is part of the project’s overall capital package. The capital package covers everything — building renovations, equipment, merchandise, salaries and startup costs. Right now, the group needs to raise only about $45,000 more in order to meet that goal.
Apple Street Market is currently working on underwriting the loan and hopes to bring that together this month. After that, construction will begin on the building.
From start to finish, construction is projected to take 8-10 months and includes taking out the building’s drop ceiling, replacing the tile floor, painting, redoing the building’s facade and installing equipment.
“The bones of the building are really good, and we’re just sprucing things up a bit and giving it a new feel,” Dienger says.
Apple Street Market also recently hired its general manager, Christopher DeAngelis,
who starts Oct. 10. He has 20 years experience in the grocery business and has worked every job from bagger and cashier to the business side. He also has experience with co-ops and will help oversee the market’s launch process, construction and staffing needs.