There was a time, many decades ago, when West Oakland had a thriving food environment that was anchored by numerous full-service grocery stores. Many of the independent stores were owned and operated by local African American business people. Even though African Americans still faced discrimination and segregation, these stores gave them reliable access to quality and culturally appropriate foods, as well respect and dignity.
Beginning in the 1960’s, discriminatory policies and practices by public officials and banks led to significant divestment from West Oakland. Simultaneously, corporate supermarket chains turned their focus to new rising middle-class suburbs that had more spending power and cheap land to build big stores. This led to a collapse of West Oakland’s local food economy and the shuttering of the food stores that had anchored the community. The last full-service supermarket – a Safeway on 27th St. – closed in the 1970’s.
Community Foods Market is on a mission to bring investment back to West Oakland and, through that investment, to rebuild a foundation of equity, inclusion and health for this community. We will anchor the community with easy access to affordable fresh foods, prepared foods and staple groceries at affordable prices. We will create over 50 new jobs and provide training to empower employees to think and act like business owners. And we will support community building and healthier lifestyles through a variety of outreach, education and social programs.
Join us in rebuilding equity and inclusion in West Oakland by becoming a Founding Shareholder and investing in our social enterprise. Together we can mend the harm that has been done to this community and put it on a path toward a thriving future. If you buy shares by Friday, November 23, your investment will be counted toward a $50,000 matching investment that has been offered by the Northern California Community Loan Fund and California FreshWorks. This matching investment will double every dollar invested in our project and turn $50,000 into $100,000.