Ariell Ilunga is behind a grocery store providing exposure to Black-owned grocery brands and businesses.

It all started after Ilunga left her job as a fashion publicist and packed her bags to return home to Los Angeles, CA, according to ESSENCE. She began volunteering for a local non-profit, helping to organize and supervise its farmers markets, her website mentions. She would later be in charge of the Hollywood Farmers Market.

“I just started working at markets from the ground up. I did everything from taking out the trash and setting up tents to finally running one of the largest farmers’ markets in the country, called the Hollywood Farmers Market. That whole experience changed my life,” Ilunga told ESSENCE.

She added, “I have an appreciation for really good food but didn’t know much about how we get it and who does it and any of it. And so, for five years, I spent a lot of time with farmers, I spent a lot of time on farms.”

It was the encounters with farmers that encouraged Ilunga to open Carla’s Fresh Market, a 3,000-square-foot grocery store providing locally sourced food to residents in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles.

“We believe everyone deserves good food. Our mission is to create a vibrant shopping experience for you, providing mostly locally sourced food that is high quality, delicious and always fresh,” a statement on the company website reads.

What’s more, Carla’s Fresh Market is amplifying Black-owned grocery brands including Ghost Town Oats, Mumgry, Trade Street Jam, and Jah Mama Sauce. Additionally, minority-owned wine selections are sold in store through a shop curated by sommelier LaShea Delaney.

The establishment of the grocery store was made possible through the LISC L.A.’s Asset Building for Communities of Color (ABC) program, which is funded through Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, 2UrbanGirls reports.

“Carla’s Fresh Market would not have been possible without the financial support from the LISC ABC program, funded by Wells Fargo. I did not come from generational wealth or have VC backers involved in the development of my dream,” Ilunga told 2UrbanGirls. “Program leaders saw potential and promise in my vision to make meaningful change in the neighborhood. They’re incredibly easy to work with and genuinely want to help build equity and opportunity in the BIPOC community.”

To support the grocery store, visit 248 North Avenue 50, Los Angeles, CA 90042 during store hours.