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January 29, 2021

Newest Black-Owned Grocery Store in 35 Years Opens in Columbus, Ohio

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A group of Black investors has teamed up to provide a more accessible option of healthy foods with the launch of Culture Market in Columbus, Ohio, the first Black-owned grocery store to open in the area in 35 years.

In the community where there was limited to no access to healthy foods, the Culture Market was established to provide fresh produce, meats, fruits, and vegetables, as well as financial services. The new grocery store will also have a special aisle exclusive for local vendors.

Culture Market is the newest Black-owned grocery store in the city since Singletary's Plazamart which opened in 1985 but was closed just 18 months after. It replaced what was previously a convenience store called Nick's Market in its location.

"It was owned by ethnicities that are not congruent with the dominant culture in those neighborhoods," Michael Young, the head of public relations at Culture Market told The Lantern. "One of the things that was being asked for the movement was a Black-owned grocery store."

When founder and co-owner Melinda Miranda found the location online, she went on with pursuing investors until there are 18 investors, who are all Black. They aim to eliminate, or at least lessen, the racial injustices in the community.

Aside from providing excellent products and services to the community, they also wanted to serve as an encouragement to the people that it is possible to succeed with collective efforts. The community, on the other hand, gave them a warm welcome.

"It's been encouraging that we have so much support and so many people rooting for us. It's been encouraging to know that we can come together collectively and continue to grow and create this vision of ours, and this is the beginning for us," said Juana Williams, chair of the board at Culture Market.

Follow Culture Market on Facebook at @theculturemarket614