GRAND CROSSING — A new grocery store is bringing some much needed fruits and vegetables to a Chicago food desert.
Louis’ Groceries, 7604 S. Cottage Grove Ave., sells not only sells fruits, vegetables and poultry, but it also offers a free, six-week healthy eating course from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Tuesday in the store's back office. The nonprofit store opened Tuesday.
“Our whole purpose of being here is to educate people about healthy eating, and to provide nutritional foods for their households,” said Terri Zhu, program manager for the nonprofit and manager of the store. “I do not live in this area, but in Hyde Park where no food deserts exist. That does not mean I am not aware of the needs of this community.”
A current sale on their meats runs until Sunday. Customers can purchase meats like chicken, pork chops, steak and ham at half price. The store also sells canned goods, lunch meats, snacks, breakfast items and household products like toilet tissue, soap and paper plates.
In January, Zhu said he hopes to start selling vegetables grown from the urban farm at the Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S. Ingleside Ave.
The 1,821 square foot-store accepts cash, LINK and debit cards only. It does not accept checks or credit cards because "it is more costly to do so,” said Zhu. “But if a demand should arise that is certainly something we would consider down the road.”
According to Zhu, the startup capital for the store came from private donations.
Store hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.