We have a grocery store in the works for the Walnut Neighborhood of Waterloo. That's exciting! For some years now, we've listened to neighbors speak their desire at neighborhood association meetings for a grocery store with quality, affordable groceries that would be within walking distance. And here we are in 2017 with City Council's vote last Monday taking this dream to reality one step closer.
Not only is there a grocery store planned, but there are several pieces of good news within it...
*The developer is an African-American man who grew up in Waterloo and is committed to building up his home community.
*Uplift Solutions, a nonprofit that comes alongside urban grocers to help them be successful, will be a part of this start up. Check out their mission here. They work together to create food sustainable solutions, health solutions, finance solutions, and workforce solutions. They strive to create community and are committed to offering job opportunities for people who have been incarcerated. Their mission: to strengthen, heal, and inspire. Plenty of that needed in our neighborhood and across our community!
*We have heard that the operator will be a local owner/operator. It's hopeful that this will mean a long term and strong connection and commitment to excellence inside the store, to the property, and a relationship with the neighborhood.
*Rodney Anderson, the developer is also putting a restaurant in the grocery store. The grocery store and restaurant will bring needed jobs and commerce to the area. Commercial development will help housing development in the neighborhood, and vice versa. More residents living in the area will increase the customer base at local businesses. Win-win.
The name planned for the grocery store is ALL IN GROCER. It will certainly take an All In approach from a broad spectrum of our community to create a thriving and bustling corner of commerce. The neighborhood CVS store, which will be directly next door to the grocery store, is across the street from our home. I find myself at CVS a couple times a week to buy some item. On average, no matter what time of day I shop, there are 2-5 customer cars in a very large and open parking lot. All In Grocer will need to have unique appeal not only to residents who live in the vicinity, but to people from across the community, especially those with discretionary income, who will commit to lifting up the neighborhood and community by spending their dollars at this downtown grocery. I'm all in. You?