South Los Angeles has far fewer grocery stores than other areas of Los Angeles, making it tough for some residents to find healthy food in their neighborhoods.
That’s one of the reasons why lines stretched around the block Wednesday morning for the grand opening of a Fresh & Easy market at the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Central Avenue (appearances by Councilmember Jan Perry and the Jefferson High School Marching Band probably didn’t hurt, either).
And while the store was full of shoppers, the parking garage was nearly empty, giving a clue to why neighborhood groceries are so needed. Many residents seemed relieved to have an option closer to home.
The location is one of four stores being opened in California today by Fresh & Easy, the West Coast supermarket chain owned by Tesco. At about 10,000 square feet, it’s smaller than many supermarkets, and also has 80 affordable housing units built above it.
“This was actually one of the first sites we identified in Los Angeles, well over two years ago, so it’s been moving along,” said Roberto Munoz, the store’s director for neighborhood affairs.
The market is also employing some residents. It held a hiring event at a local YMCA in January where hundreds of people showed up, Munoz said, and is now employing about 20 of them.
Watch a video story about the Fresh & Easy opening from ATVN