Nonprofit supermarket aims to address food deserts in Philadelphia area

Food relief group, branding agency team up to design model store for Chester, Pa.

NEW YORK — A hunger relief group serving Philadelphia and surrounding areas has hired a New York-based brand and retail design consultancy to design a prototype nonprofit grocery store to address food deserts.

The agency, CBX, said the Philabundance had hired it to design the store, Fare & Square, which will open this summer in Chester, Pa.

The 13,000-sq.-ft. store will focus on selling fresh produce, meats, dairy, seafood and frozen foods at low prices to residents of Chester, one of the 35 Department of Agriculture-designated food deserts in the Delaware Valley, an area that includes Philadelphia, Camden, N.J., Wilmington, Del., and other cities. The town's last full-scale grocer, whose building Philabundance recently purchased, closed down in 2001. Philabundance hopes to replicate the store's model in other communities in the Delaware Valley.

"Convenient access to nutritious food is a growing and complex problem across the country and in the Delaware Valley, and one that requires a complex solution," Philabundance president and executive director Bill Clark said. "Philabundance has worked on this concept for five years, and we are thrilled to see it coming to fruition to help the residents of Chester."

CBX will collaborate with Philadelphia-based LevLane Advertising, which designed the Fare & Square logo. The logo includes a drawing of a purple carrot with the words "Fare & Square" set in an outlined box with rounded edges and the tagline "Good food right around the corner."

"We'll be drawing heavily on both the Fare & Square brand direction as envisioned by LevLane and the existing supermarket footprint of the Chester space," CBX branded environments president Joseph Bona said.

The store will offer a customer-focused shopping experience and will partner with local organizations and businesses to provide a range of services to the community. "Ultimatley, we're designing a neighborhood store that will have the look and feel of a traditional supermarket in that it's clean, well-lit, convenient and friendly, but also a place that the community can call their own, instilling a sense of optimism, pride and connection," Bona said.

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