Micro Grocery Stores
The Micro grocery store model is an innovative approach to addressing food insecurity in urban areas. Many communities live in food deserts, areas with low-income residents that have limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Micro Groceries actively combat food deserts by providing quality food access in a small, community based stores that require very low overhead to start vs larger grocery stores which are costly and often hard to attract to such areas. Our Micro Groceries are typically smaller than 500 square feet, but are able to pack in over 1000 different products including quality produce, fresh meats, dairy, frozen, canned goods, and popular home goods. These small store have very little foot print, but are able to make large impacts in the communities that they serve by greatly expanding the community’s access to nutritious foods.
Micro Grocery stores provide substantial, quality access to food poor areas. Mobility, disability and transportation, are common barriers to access. By installing micro stores into vulnerable areas, we are able to lessen these barriers by providing a store that is closer, and more easily accessed by the community. These stores are small and community focused with the ability to cater to the needs of the people that they serve.
Small foot print, big impact
Meet Minnie. She is one of our customers at our senior market. Minnie is 94 years old, and has 4 children, 4 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. Minnie moved to Tulsa in 1993. Minnie is into politics, and the Dallas Cowboys. Minnie also dedicates her time to taking care of the other people in her building. 5 days a week she delivers hot meals to those in need and stays to talk. “There's a lot of people that can't even get out of their rooms, you know. Right now I have 10 people, every Monday thru Friday I deliver them that meal. This way we know that day that they've had one hot meal. And that's my favorite thing. I see them every day and we just talk, and we know each other and I tell them what's going on, or see if there's something they need. If they want me to bring them their checks because they can't get to the office when the weather is bad, or they want me to tell the office something, things like that. That I look forward to every day.”
Previously, Pythian was one of the stops we made in our mobile store, but there were still some community members who were unable to shop with us due to health restrictions. Minnie’s first time in our store was in September when we opened Pythian Market. She was uncomfortable shopping in our mobile store due to her visual impairment. Now, she visits our market frequently.
See how our stores are making an impact in the lives of our customers.
Pythian Market is our pilot micro grocery store. The store is located inside of a disabled and elderly community and provides shopping access for the 200 + residents of the building. Since opening in September 2018, Pythian Market has been able to increase sales and expand the reach to more customers every month. Volunteers at Pythian Manor run and operate the store in conjunction with HCSI employees. .
Over 10% of the seniors living in Oklahoma are food insecure. Mobility and health issues stress this further making it very difficult for many seniors to access food. Our solution? Bring the store to them.