Couple Opens Milwaukee's Newest Full-Service Black-Owned Grocery Store

Maurice Wince and Yashica Spears

Maurice "Moe" Wince and his wife, Yashica Spears, have made history by opening Milwaukee's newest Black-owned grocery store, Sherman Park Grocery Store. Since it was launched a year ago, it has quickly become a go-to spot for the neighborhood, addressing the lack of healthy food options.

Maurice, a lifelong resident of the city, recognized a need for better food access when he noticed people relying on nearby gas stations for snacks like chips and Twinkies. Inspired to change the narrative, he and community members initiated conversations following the 2016 civil unrest in the neighborhood.

"I've lived my whole life in this city. Now we have a unique opportunity to change the narrative of the environment here by providing food access and education," he told Milwaukee NNS.

In July 2022, their ideas became a reality with the opening of Sherman Park Grocery Store through the efforts of Wince, Embassy Center MKE, and other community leaders. It stands as one of Milwaukee's few full-service African-American-owned grocery stores.

With eight employees and partnerships with organizations like Employ Milwaukee, the store aims to address not only food access but also employment opportunities in the community. Wince's familiarity with food access issues in the city, gained through organizations like Feeding America, led to the creation of the store.

Sherman Park Grocery Store welcomed nearly 4,000 neighbors in its first 30 days, addressing the food desert challenge prevalent in Milwaukee's Northwest Side. Despite initial success, challenges persist, especially with decreasing FoodShare programs post-pandemic.

"The food assistance programs are shrinking, but the need hasn't gone anywhere," Maurice said.

To continue addressing food access needs, Sherman Park Grocery Store operates Feed My Sheep Global Services, a nonprofit providing assistance through gift card purchases for essential groceries.

Both Maurice and Yashica say they are committed to supporting aspiring entrepreneurs in the community, collaborating with UpStart Kitchen, a culinary incubator next door. It serves as a launchpad for culinary artists, whose goods are sold at the grocery store.

Learn more about the store via its official website

Be sure to follow them on Instagram @ShermanParkGrocery

Also, you can support the business by visiting its location at 4315 West Fond du Lac Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53216.

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