Attention Houston, TX: A new Black-owned grocery store is in town!
Black-Owned In Houston
Ahead of Thanksgiving, Ivy Lawrence-Walls of Ivy Leaf Farms and Jeremy Peaches of Fresh Life Organic Produce held a soft opening of Fresh Houwse Grocery, Houston Chronicle reports.
Before the opening of Lawrence-Walls and Peaches’ store, the farmers founded Black Farmer’s Box — a service that provides locally sourced produce for residents in food desert communities — according to Houston Chronicle. The venture soon poured into Fresh Houwse Grocery, which aims to combat the effects of Sunnyside being a USDA-designated food desert.
“It’s almost like history,” Peaches told the outlet. “It’s not every day you see farmers producing food and distributing it through a grocery store in the community they were raised in.”
Back in the 1960s, the historically Black neighborhood had business booming on Cullen Boulevard, known as “Black Wall Street.” However, by the 1980s, the success slowed down. Now, Lawrence-Walls and Peaches are a part of reclaiming its history with its new store.
“The farmer is the one who’s always paid the least. If we can get in on every part of the food system, then we can secure our future in farming,” Lawrence-Walls said.
Committed to choosing a location that was off of a main road and Metro accessible, it took Lawrence-Walls and Peaches over a year to bring their vision to life. In addition to the location, the business owners were able to get things rolling, thanks to savings from Black Farmer’s Box, $27,000 from a community fundraiser, and a $50,000 grant from HGTV “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, which went toward renovations, the outlet details.
What Fresh Houwse Grocery Offers
The dream come true is now not only serving Sunnyside residents, but also South Park.
The store’s selection ranges from fresh produce to everyday essentials.
“We’re a Bodega-style, get it how you live grocery store,” Lawrence-Walls said. “In order to make healthy eating a (lifestyle), you have to be available, consistent and convenient.”
An Excited Customer's Feedback
“I’m always happy to support a Black business, a Black woman business and one in my hood — especially anything supporting health and wellness,” South Park native Kelli Sanders said. “We’ve been following Ivy Leaf Farms for a while and have attended her patch events at the farm, so we’re excited it’s now open.”