New Albany grocery store to hold soft opening on Juneteenth

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After over two years of planning efforts from community members and county leaders to end a food desert in downtown Albany’s south end, the area will soon have a local grocery store opening by this December.

Behind the painted outdoor murals, there’s a lot of broken glass and hard workers trying to revamp this former McDonald’s into a grocery store and they’re having their soft opening this Juneteenth. There are still many interior and exterior renovations underway, but the doors will be open for the day on Saturday for people to fill out job applications and membership forms, some will receive free bags of produce.

“This project is first and foremost about meeting basic needs at the lowest possible cost,” said Trayvon Jackson, Executive Director of the African American Cultural Center.

Shoppers can expect to see brand new countertops, colorful murals, and soon shelves of fresh produce to be sold inside the brand non-profit-owned South-End Grocery Store on Pearl Street. Shoppers will be spending very little out of pocket. It all began with a vision from Trayvon Jackson.

“The produce will be discounted at this point based on your zip code and your neighborhood…we will have a very precise idea of just how much of a discount we’re providing and just as much of a discount is necessary for this neighborhood to be eye-to-eye within equal and fair opportunities to provide food to their families,” said Trayvon.

Trayvon says it takes hard work, and the right partners including county leaders, local food pantries, and other businesses and organizations including Albany Artisans, to help restore the vacant building. Trayvon says the feedback from the community has been nothing but supportive. “There are many, many, many, many if not all the people that I talk to commenting on this project and ready for it to be here. Ready for themselves and their families to see the progress that we have made so far.”

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