OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — The closure of a family-owned grocery store in West Oakland this year has left a void for residents who want access to health food and fresh produce.
The community has rallied to fill that vacant space with an alternative option. The future of the now shuttered Community Foods Market in West Oakland is still up in the air. In the meantime, community organizers are not letting the space go to waste.
“We want this space for vendors to be able to sell healthy food items or whatever arts they have,” said events coordinator Denmark Vessey. “Local artists, family oriented.”
The organization Community Ready Corps (CRC) has teamed up with Oakland Councilmember Carroll Fife to turn the old market’s parking lot at 3105 San Pablo Ave. into an outdoor event called Mozaik World Market.
On Saturday, the market held a soft opening.
Starting next week, Vessey says it will operate every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Providing enough free space for up to 25 vendors to showcase their products — whether it be food or art.
“This is what we call violence prevention,” Vessey said. “When folks have fresh foods, are in community with each other, can access to good culture, it creates a bond within the community.”
Neighbors were sad to see community foods go.
Due to the pandemic, supply issues and inflation, the market closed less than three years after it opened. The hope is that Mozaik will fill the gap in equal access to nutrition for disenfranchised communities it left behind.