Northgate Market and Jamie Oliver program boost South LA food landscape

After nine years of planning, the Northgate Gonzalez Market opened in South Los Angeles in April, becoming one of the area’s few full-service supermarkets committed to offering healthy options such as fresh produce at affordable rates.

“We wanted to prove with sales that we can bring quality to low income families here,” said Victor Gonzalez of Northgate’s marketing team. “We’re having a great response on all the items on the healthy side.”

In South L.A., according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, an estimated 39 percent of adults and 55 percent of teens are considered overweight or obese. UCLA’s report also says 39 percent of South Los Angeles children eat fast food three or more times in a typical week, compared to 18 percent across California. [Read more…]

South LA residents shop for employment at Juanita Tate Marketplace

Signs advertise the businesses at the new Juanita Tate Marketplace | Wan Xu

Signs advertise the businesses at the new Juanita Tate Marketplace | Wan Xu

At the back door of Northgate Gonzales Market, security guard Ulises Hernandez asked a maintenance worker for identification before waving him through. The two men are among the 100 South L.A. residents who have found employment at the new grocery store, which opened its doors last week at the new Juanita Tate Marketplace at Slauson and Central avenues.

The security work is a step up for Hernandez, “about $4 more per hour” than he had been earning, he said. “I’ve been working in El Monte and La Puente. They’re really far compared to this one. I definitely prefer this job.”

Emerging Markets Inc., a consulting firm that helps supermarket chains pursue business opportunities in low-income neighborhoods, helped to recruit new South L.A. employees.

“It helps us coordinate with a couple of work resource centers here in the local area so that we were able to organize interviews,” said store director Alberto Ayala, adding that 1,200 applicants were interested in positions. [Read more…]