Providing empowering, reflective, and dignified jobs for youth in our neighborhood. The youth we work with operate both as students and employees and will play significant roles in running both the grocery store and the farm, as well as engaging in collective practices of problem solving, self awareness, and coming to an understanding of their role in the community
With a commercial community/teaching kitchen, we can sell prepared foods and added value items. Also an educational space to do a teaching kitchen with our staff, students, and service learners as well as a space for members of our community to prepare food and offers a space for intergenerational knowledge sharing around food.
An assembly space: a place for people to meet, plan, hold events, screen films, etc. With computers, printers, Internet access and general resources people need to succeed.
And most importantly, a safe space for youth. Safety from violence as well as safety to grow and learn.
The New Blair Grocery
Following the historical legacy of the B&R Grocery store, owned by the Blair family, we want to open the "New" Blair Grocery. Designed to architecturally mirror the B&R Grocery, the new building will be general store style on the corner of Alabo and Benton street, that sells fresh, local, affordable, and familiar produce, meats, and dried goods (grains, rice, beans, pasta, etc). We’ve identified three things we’d like to do with this store:
a. Juice bar/ice cup bar
b. Deli and hot plates
c. Mobile market stands, as both a way to sell produce and market the store. Posted outside churches every Sunday for starters.
We’d like it if grandmothers could shop at our store where their grandchildren work!
An 80-acre farm one hour north from the Lower Ninth Ward (between Picayune and Bogalusa), in which crops are grown and animals are raised, which grows everything it possibly can for the store. Everything else (which will still represent the majority portion of what is grown) will be sold wholesale to our partners. For the store and the farm, the goal is to increase the amount and variety of goods sourced directly from the farm over time until the farm is able to populate the entirety of the store. We also want it to serve as a retreat space at our rural farm. For youth and our community to get away from toxic environments, for companies, churches, organizations, families, etc. to get out of the city, hold weekend retreats, etc.
Step 1: Secure "far farm" and close the deal (May 2016)
Step 2: Create growing spaces on "far farm" and begin producing food (September 2016) - we will temporarily distribute and sell the increased amount of food we grow out of our community building space at 1740 Benton Street, formally known as the B&R Grocery.
Step 3: Rezone 1801 Alabo Street as a commercial space (August 2016)
Step 4: Finalize building architecture designs and construction plans (August 2016)
Step 6: Begin construction of the "New Blair Grocery" (September 2016)
Step 7: Tentative soft-opening (Fall 2017)
The Good One's Initiative... coming soon
The Goat Project... coming soon