Maple Avenue's New Kroger Fresh Fare Store Channels HEB in One of Dallas' Food Deserts

Categories: First Look

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Kroger
Recently a new 73,000 square foot Kroger Fresh Fare grocery store opened at 4901 Maple Avenue in what is considered an "economically distressed Census tract." It is also adjacent to two food deserts as defined by the USDA, a designation that indicates limited access to groceries, particularly fresh food.

A $12 million loan from the Dallas Development Fund (DDF) was instrumental in bringing this particular Kroger concept (or "Central Market-lite") to town.

And Central Market-lite it surely is. Walking through the store Saturday I immediately began suffering from senses overloaded -- albeit the good kind.

The new Kroger Fresh Fare also has a huge floral department, garden furniture, an expanded gluten-free and organic selection, and more locally grown produce than other Kroger stores.

There was the loud popping of that weird popper thing (they have cinnamon and whole wheat options), fresh tortillas being pressed out to my left, sushi roll samples being pilfered to my right, rows of bulk granola, a huge salad bar, a chefs case, olives, olives and more olives ... where am I, again? This store actually resembles CM's more levelheaded little sister, HEB .

On Saturday afternoon this spot was busy, but not busting at the seams. The parking lot was about three-quarters full (there is also a DART station nearby). In all, it offers ample opportunity to snack, discover, shop and grab a hot, ready-to-go meal. And the employees I ran across were all cool and encouraged gratuitous sampling.

According to a release from the City of Dallas, DDF is a program aimed at stimulating private investments that provide jobs, services, fresh foods and reinvestments in areas with high poverty. This store employs 140-full time equivalent positions. The DDF received a $55 million allocation in 2009 and has leveraged about $35 million to date, part of which went to finance this Kroger Fresh Fare.

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Kroger

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Kroger

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9 comments
CitizenKane
CitizenKane

So taxpayers borrowed the money from the Chinese (paying interest to them) to build this upscale store in a gentrifying neighborhood, for one of America's food giants ?

Nick A. Zukin
Nick A. Zukin

@twitter-108994172:disqus  Obviously El Rio Grande doesn't count.  A food oasis doesn't have burritos in the deli counter.  It has wraps. In the future, use this test:

Butternut squash? Oasis.Chayote squash? Desert.  Mountain Dew? Oasis.  Jarritos? Desert.  Bagels? Oasis.  Churros?  De(s)sert.  Lemon pepper rotisserie chicken? Food oasis. Chile-lime rotisserie chicken? Food desert.  White people? Oasis.Brown people? Desert.

HTH

SpeedbumpJoey
SpeedbumpJoey

Miss the old Elliot's Hardware, but I am glad to see the upgrades that they have done to this site. Make's life a little easier when heading home from work.

Scott DFW
Scott DFW

The City of Dallas loaned Kroger $12 million to build a supermarket a block away from the existing El Rio Grande Supermarket?  

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Food Desert; I really like that!  I used to work down that way, and it was always a chore if you needed to procure some groceries.  Very little options. A whole swath of area (Deep Ellum, State Thomas, Love Field, Downtown, etc) make for some very difficult shopping. And I think the key is very little options in the way of fresh items; not everyone has the means to jump in a car, and travel miles and miles for produce, and fresh meats. 

Thinking about Veal Parmesan.......maybe some pan fried eggplant, wilted salad.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

No wonder we are a broke nation; and going more broke.

Melissa
Melissa

Yeah, the food desert thing is bull.  They are only counting major (read anglo) grocery stores.  Some of the areas around me that are considered "food deserts" have a Mexican grocery store practically on every corner.  They have fresh meat, produce, dairy and just about anything you ever found in a small neighborhood grocery, frequently at lower prices than a major supermarket.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

But hey; the masses have their organic butternut squash and Murry cheese spread.

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