New supermarket concept targets Chicago’s African-American community

CHICAGO The owner of a chain of fast-casual restaurants in Chicago has created a new supermarket concept to target the city’s African-American community.

Quentin Love, who runs the “no beef, no pork” Quench restaurant chain is working with co-owner Dianna Wiley and healthy food and co-op advocate LaDonna Redmond to open Fresh Family Foods. The store is designed to address the problem of “food deserts,” neighborhoods without access to mainstream grocery stores. The store is a boutique-style supermarket that will offer fresh produce, a juice and coffee bar, prepared meals similar to Whole Foods and selections from the Quench menu.

“Our vision for Fresh Family Foods was to be an alternative to stores in minority communities that have traditionally charged two or three times the price for stale food and unattractive produce,” Love said in a statement. “Research shows that African-Americans have suffered disproportionately from heart disease and diabetes as a direct result of the poor food choices that are available to them close to home.”

The store, which will open Thursday, is located across from Chicago State University and will offer a 25% discount to students there. The store will not sell tobacco or alcohol. The sponsors said it would be the only black-owned grocery store in Illinois.

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