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Central Station Grocery Store

I propose a grocery store be added to Grand Rapids´ Central Station.

Photo of Connie Flachs
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Written by

As a carless, downtown dwelling Grand Rapidian, I find it very difficult to shop for groceries.  After a long day of work, I have to make a special trip out of my way to get to most of the grocery stores.  If I just want to pick up some veggies for dinner or a bottle of aspirin this is incredibly inconvenient.  Turning the top floor of the Rapid Central Station into a grocery store would make shopping so easy!  People could pick up a few things as they wait for their transfer or take just a short ride to Central Station to shop.  This would also increase use of the newly revamped DASH line and encourage more riders on the Silver Line.  Perhaps the grocery store could even offer a coupon if you use public transit, encouraging more people to bike/walk/or ride the bus and decreasing the stigma around riding the bus in GR.  

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

There is a lack of access to fresh food in much of GR’s lower income community (as a member of the 3rd ward, I know first hand that it’s far easier to walk to fried chicken or Burger King than to buy an apple). Furthermore, many people who don’t have the income to afford a car ride the bus. Therefore, this grocery store could specifically serve the low income community and address the issue of food deserts in many portions of Grand Rapids. Even better, we could add a food co-op, making members member-owners with a say in what the grocery store carries. I would collaborate with GR Food Coop on this project.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

I am proposing this idea individually but would pattern with Grand Rapids Food Co-op which has been working to plan a Food Co-op to serve ALL members of GR. Www.grfoodcoop.com

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We could pilot the idea by opening a small scale store for 3 months and then expanding based on increased membership and demand.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

If we are not losing money and getting engagement from the community it would be a success! We will carefully evaluate feedback, prioritizing feedback of members, to make the appropriate changes going forward.

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Photo of KatieWalsh 100
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Hi Connie - I decided to feature this post on the home page for a bit, I added a grocery store image from Flickr, with a creative commons Licence - by I-5 design. Hope that's OK - please change for a different image if you want to, but make sure it's OK to use - or take an image yourself.

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