Sun Fresh Market opens as oasis in east Kansas City food desert - KCTV5 News

Sun Fresh Market opens as oasis in east Kansas City food desert

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The new $13 million store will open its doors at 10 a.m. Saturday. (KCTV5) The new $13 million store will open its doors at 10 a.m. Saturday. (KCTV5)

East Kansas City residents now have something they haven’t had for over a decade, a clean, healthy place to get groceries.

It’s being described as an oasis in a food desert.

Sun Fresh Market is opening a brand-new location near Linwood and Prospect Avenues.

The area has long been considered a food desert, meaning there were no healthy food options. This forced residents to take the bus or drive a long way to get healthy food for their families.

With the new store, people won’t have to go to several stores to get what they need.

Area resident Herbert Davis says the store is exactly what the neighborhood needed.

“I live right across the street and every day we are like, 'When is it going to open,' and we found out it was open and I couldn’t wait to get over here,” Davis said.

Many people were impressed with how clean the store was and the nearly 80 employees, most of whom live in the area, say they want to keep it that way.

“Has to make you feel proud," Bakery and Deli Manager Desiree Saunders said. “Oh for sure, because we are working really hard.”

Officials say the store is unique, saying the city saw a need in the community and helped fund the project.

The revenue generated by the store will be reinvested to help cover development costs.

City officials hope and believe that the store is just the start of a revitalization in the area.

“This community needs a great grocery store and I think we provided it here,” owner John Lipari said. “We have a very nice store here. I have to say so myself and they deserve it, they deserve a good store.”

The store will employ between 70 and 80 people, most of whom living in the area.

“You’re always looking for a place to shop, a safe place to shop. This is going to be one of those places where hopefully everybody is comfortable,” Lipari said. “They come in, do their shopping and feel comfortable walking out with groceries.”

The new $13 million store will hold its grand opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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