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  THE LOW INCOME & URBAN HOUSING BLOG  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Low Income Neighborhoods Absolutely Love This Grocery Chain!

Brown's Super Stores Support Low Income Shoppers in Philadelphia

Jeff Brown, the founder, president and CEO of Brown's Super Stores in the Philadelphia area, has the right idea when it comes to helping those who are less fortunate, especially when it comes to food. No, he is not a non-profit owner but a for-profit entrepreneur who owns a chain of grocery stores that focus on selling fresh, healthy and affordable food to low-income families in the Philadelphia area.

Jeff's idea to serve low-income neighborhoods

Low-income families should not have to choose between eating healthy and finding food options they can afford. His chain of 11 ShopRite supermarkets does both. And his business is doing well. This is in spite of the fact that the grocery business generally has small profit margins, plus his stores are located in underserved communities. How does he do it?

First, Jeff's stores offer more than just healthy, affordable food. It's also a place that is designed to encourage social connection. His stores offer amenities such as community rooms that can be used for meetings and events, on-site credit unions, health clinics, on-site social workers and staff nutritionists. Further, Jeff gives jobs to people that other employers might turn away, like hiring ex-offenders. In addition, Jeff pays attention to cultural differences and offers food that aligns with their background and interests.

Others are following

Other food chains, such as Whole Foods and Wegmans, are beginning to follow suite by opening supermarkets in underserved areas. Along with Brown's Super Stores, they are taking a different direction within their industry by operating stores to help serve what the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates are 23.5 million Americans, half of them low-income, who live in rural or urban areas with few options for affordable and healthy food.

To learn more about Brown's Super Stores, visit www.brownschefsmarket.com
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