Photo: Betsy Hart
Today we were honored to be invited to Friends and Partners Preview Celebration for the Market at 25th. How can we describe it? There was a sense of pride and excitement in the air. There we all were, an active group of folks from the neighborhood, from all backgrounds, and all of us were in awe of not only the space, but what it means for this neighborhood. We finally have a grocery store! Not just a Kroger or a Food Lion, a market with a very much East End print. You see it in all the aisles, named after churches and places of prayer. You see it in the offerings, with both minority owned businesses and VCU and Lyft all working together. You see it in the people who finally can say that the East End is not a food desert.
Also, how exciting was it to see what’s been developed? While you couldn’t see all the produce, you could see how Shalom Farms are going to provide some of it. The Brewer’s Cafe was serving some delicious drinks. Mama J’s was serving chicken and mac and cheese! The donuts…neighbors…the donuts were incredible.
Hope Pharmacy was packed with people who couldn’t get enough of Dr. Shantelle Brown. Natalie Pennywell from the VCU Health Hub introduced us to her operations manager who gave us a tour of the space. It looks slick.
We met with Karen Wells from PBS and their program directed for the children and parents of the East End (more on that soon!). There’s going to be a bank in nine months!
The Lyft program also looks cool. There’s going to be a nook where shoppers will be able to wait for their Lyft to get their groceries home. It seems like a cool program. We’ll update you soon on the specifics.
Lastly, seeing Norm Gold, Kristen Rabourdin, Jae Scott, Steve Markel, Cynthia Newbille, Melissa Ansley Brooks (and all the people we’ve missed, sorry!) – all these folks whom we’ve been working on from almost the beginning when we took over CHPN. Seeing their faces beaming with joy (and a little trepidation, but that’s normal) was inspiring. The possibilities are right there in front of us- we have a grocery store. Can it replace your current routine? That is something to be seen. There’s still some questions about parking- the lot is tiny, especially with the development of The Kitchen at Reynolds. An overall strategy for parking needs to be a priority if this place is to grow.
“What do do now! I can’t wait to check it out!” you may say. Well, this Monday 4/29 at 10:00 a.m is the ribbon cutting ceremony. We hope to see you there!
Market at 25th (25th Street & Fairmount Avenue, Richmond VA 23223)
The Market at 25th is a full-service grocery store whose mission is to serve its community, team members and customers in Church Hill and beyond through the celebration of food. Driven by its values, The Market at 25th strives to be customer-centered, community-focused, team-oriented and partnership-driven. Located in a historic food desert in Richmond’s East End, the store will serve as central hub for neighbors to gather and connect, and be an inviting place for residents to shop for affordable groceries.
The 25,000 square-foot store features locally sourced produce, meat and seafood, along with a hot food bar, salad bar, sushi station, coffee bar, pharmacy, Lyft Lounge, florist and programming from PBS KIDS Ready To Learn and The VCU Health Hub. The Market at 25th features more than 70 local vendors, and more than half of the store’s staff are area residents.