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New Grocery Store Is Oasis In East Baltimore ‘Food Desert’

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — They are called “food deserts,” areas in Baltimore with no access to markets or healthy food options. A new supermarket is filling the void in one East Baltimore community.

Tim Williams has more on Apples and Oranges.

In an area where fresh foods are not readily accessible, the opening of a new supermarket is music to the ears of residents in the East Baltimore community near Broadway and North Avenue.

“Well, a lot of people, as you can see in this area…a lot of people don’t have [any] stores. The only thing I see is McDonald’s,” said new customer Phyllis Smith.

“We opened Apples and Oranges Fresh Market to the community to provide a healthy alternative,” said Erich March, Apples and Oranges.

Six years in the planning, this weekend marks the grand opening of the new Apples and Oranges. But this store will offer many more items than that.

“We’re trying to demonstrate here that you can have a full-service market in a compact space,” March said.

The 5,600 square foot location is the latest investment into this area by the March family, known for generations in the funeral business. This venture branches out into an entirely new service direction.

“The associations, our residents have been asking for a community grocery store. We just felt like it needed to be done and we were the ones to do it,” said Michele Speaks-March.

Owners are positioning the market as one that will not only offer healthier foods but will serve as a resource on how to eat healthier as well.

Community leaders hope this will attract other businesses to the city.

“We got a lot of energy going on in this city but now we want to see how we can connect that to jobs, so people can come and buy these fresh foods,” said City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young.

For more information on the new store, click here.

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