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Superior Grocers opens in South L.A.

September 25, 2009 5:32:09 PM PDT
The opening of a supermarket may not garner this much attention elsewhere, but in the underserved Central Avenue community of South Los Angeles, it's a big deal.Superior Grocers is a first new full scale grocery store to open in the area in five years.

"No longer will our community have to go great distances to get fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and things like that you need everyday," says Jan Perry of the L.A. City Council.

One hundred thirty local workers were hired by Superior Grocers. The 34,000-square-foot discount supermarket is part of a larger mix-use development with 85 low income housing apartments and other retail space for a restaurant and pharmacy.

Many hope that the $28 million project will mark the beginning of a transformation in an area that has seen its share of crime and unemployment.

"You should have seen it back in the day, neighbors say that this used to be a pool hall," recalls local resident Mariano Cardenes, "but now it's something for the community."

Resident Julia Botello, 83, says she used to shop in Huntington Park for her groceries, but now, she won't have to.

"Now, I come here. It's close to my home, so it's made it very easy for me," says Botello.

"We don't have these kinds of markets for our community, because our community comes from real low income, and this is what we needed," says another local resident Martina Perez.

"We have this beautiful, fresh produce at decent prices, and people from the community have jobs, customers who can actually walk here or live upstairs, so it's a confluence of everything that we need, and it's just the beginning" says Perry.

Perry says three other development projects are in the works for South Los Angeles, including another grocery store, affordable senior housing and a neighborhood city hall, which would also be the city's first new environmentally friendly building.

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