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New grocery store focusing on 'food justice' opening on Grand Rapids' southeast side

The South East Market is officially opening to the public on Monday, Jan. 18 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A new grocery store is coming to Grand Rapids and in an area of the city where an underserved and marginalized community will benefit. 

The South East Market is opening to the public Monday, Jan. 18. Monday kicks off the market's grand opening week. 

According to a Facebook event hosted by the South East Market, patrons will have a chance to win a $50 gift card if they visit opening week. 

Alita Kelly, founder of South East Market, and Khara DeWit, co-founder, said their mission when opening the South East Market is to make fresh, locally and intentionally sourced foods accessible to the 49507 zip code.

And the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on marginalized communities only further exposed the need -- accelerating the work Kelly and DeWit needed to do. 

The market offers local produce, meat, and poultry. As well as locally sourced dairy, baked goods, a variety of Kombucha and CBD tonics and more. The food and products are first sourced from Black, Indigenous, people of color and women, and Kelly and DeWit said. And although it has only just opened, the market has been assisting members of the community since the beginning of last year. 

The Southeast Market has already been a part of several community initiatives, including the Thanksgiving Soul Food Box Give away in partnership with the NAACP and Center for Community Transformation last fall. 

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Before the market opened to the public, it offered free books outside the shop as well as free outdoor yoga classes. 

Capacity in the store is limited, so shoppers may have to wait outside and masks are required for service. 

Parking is limited, and the founders ask that patrons reserve parking spots in front of the store for the elderly and people that are differently abled.

The market also offers curbside and delivery services, in addition to in-store shopping. 

The South East Market's normal operating hours will be Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. The market will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It's located at 1220 Kalamazoo Ave. SE. 

Find more information on the South East Market website here


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