âThese are the things that are driving a real transformation in the community,â Johnson said. âWe could be just a grocery store and be fine. But we want to know the health of the community in terms of health care, in terms of mindset, thinking process, functioning of the family unit, handling real problems.
âThis is the peculiarity of our grocery store. We meet people where they are with real solutions. “
Tina Johnson, director of mortgage sales at neighboring Gateway Mortgage, said the store was having a “huge” impact.
âThis is definitely what we needed in the community,â she said. âI am so happy and blessed because I can walk right there for lunch.
ââ¦ It’s not just a grocery store. It’s a place where everyone gathers. Since this grocery store has been around, you just see the good energy, the happy energy. You just see a lot more smiling faces and you see people being encouraged. “
Darrell Knox runs the family-owned Sweet Lisa’s Cafe, which has been in existence for eight years at The Shoppes on Peoria, where the market is located.
âThey couldn’t have named this store more appropriately,â Knox said as he sat at a booth in the cafe. “It’s definitely an oasis in this food dessert.”
“It has impacted me here locally and in the community at large. It is a gem.”