COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – One community will soon have access to healthier food options.
World Food Marketplace will be opening right off Broad River Road near St. Andrews Road offering multi-cultural groceries in bulk to an area that’s been identified as a food desert.
The new store will also bring around 60 new jobs.
“That’s huge for this area because we don’t have that presence,” said Javar Juarez, the executive director of the Broad River Business Alliance.
The store will also have a full butcher kitchen with fully prepared meals.
“This is about health, if you go to a local Food Lion or Kroger, you’ll never see this much staple food,” said Juarez.
And the multi-cultural ingredients of foods and drinks are just some of the items offered at the World Food Marketplace coming to 3315 Broad River Road.
“As a mom, I’m excited because it allows me to go just right next door and grocery shop when I get off,” said Tyuanna Hills.
Tyuanna Hills is a manager at the Rent-A-Center next to World Food. She says right now there are not too many places for her to do any heavy grocery shopping nearby.
“Because I actually live maybe about 20 minutes away from here. So, in the afternoon it’s kind of like hectic with the traffic and all of that, but having the grocery store right here is like I can actually go shopping,” said Hills.
She is also excited about the new customers World Food could bring to the Rent-A-Center.
“Because this anchor store is going to be here, this represents an opportunity for other small businesses to be here. So, we don’t just sit on an opportunity to be here, we use every opportunity available to us to create additional opportunities for small businesses to grow,” said Juarez.
Juarez expects this new staple in the community to bring this entire shopping center to life. Juarez says World Food will give 5000 families in this area 1200 of which meet the low to moderate income threshold access to healthy foods and keep extra money in those families’ wallets.
“This grocery store helps to eliminate the USDA designation that will allow residents, in particular, low to middle-income families to gain more access to their disposable income, how? If you live greater than a mile away from healthy and nutritious foods, you’ll spend a lot more money on transportation and other means to access healthy and nutritious foods,” he said.
WIS spoke to several people who live nearby who say they are currently doing their grocery shopping at the Dollar General just a few blocks away and nearby gas stations.
“It’s not too many healthy options, but you take a place like World Food, and it’s got Hispanic, Asian, and American food options, people love that,” said Sheila Lyles.
Sheila Lyles says she used to shop at the Food Lion and Harvey’s located here that closed down and she’s hoping World Food doesn’t follow the cycle.
“What’s going to be really important to understand about where we are in the community is that we’re well organized now. A lot of our younger generation has stepped up to the podium and we’re making sure that we create the type of community connections that we train members of the community on how to treat our small business institutions,” said Juarez.
Juarez says it’ll be about another 30 days before the World Food Marketplace is open for business.
World Food is currently hiring so anyone interested in applying can visit the store at 3315 Broad River Road and apply in person.
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