Ward 8's 2nd big grocery to open Wed.
Flanked by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Ward 8 D.C. Council member Marion Barry, Flossie Young couldn’t wait to get inside the new Yes! Organic market in Southeast Washington.
As soon as the doors opened Tuesday, the 84-year-old rushed inside during a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony and started bagging some fresh peaches.
The market, Ward 8’s second large grocery store, will officially open on Wednesday. According to Fenty, Barry and a host of community leaders, the store was a long time coming.
“There has been a lot of talk about grocery stores in Ward 8, and this is the second one to open in the last four years,” said Fenty, who along with Deputy Mayor Valerie Santos and community leaders cut the ribbon to the new store. Atop the building are 118 units of affordable housing.
The properties in the 2300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE change the landscape of a section of Anacostia that has been scruffy for decades.
Walking with Barry, Fenty said “When you came across the [Pennsylvania Avenue] bridge , it just didn’t really look like a gateway.”
Barry said that was because “when you came across the bridge, you saw these dilapidated buildings.” Both men thanked Bank of America for putting up nearly $30 million to finance the project, which Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Anthony Muhammad thought would never be completed.
“With health conditions in our community, we need every kind of health food that is available to us,” Muhammad said. “They call this the worst section of the city, Ward 8, but now our time has come.”
David Cha, owner of Yes! Organic, which has five other stories in the area, said he is proud to be in Ward 8.
“I have done business in D.C. since 1981,” Cha said. “This is great area to do business in. Just because people’s incomes are low doesn’t mean that they are not looking for good quality, nutritious food.”
-- Hamil R. Harris
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