Community Foods Market CEO Brahm Ahmadi speaks to a group of residents from Oakland and neighboring cities about the progress of the grocery store's construction at a site tour on October 13.

Ahmadi said he had no choice but to fundraise from residents, rather than taking a more traditional path such as a loan from a bank. On paper, the project showed a high risk of failure “both because it’s a start-up and a low-margin business—also because of the perceptions of the challenges of the neighborhood,” said Ahmadi.

Read More

Among the dilapidated housing, the abandoned, weed covered lots and graffiti marked walls of West Oakland sits the Mandela Foods Cooperative, an organic grocery store. It’s an ideal place to start an organic grocery store and nutritional education center, said Stephanie Camus.  “There hasn’t been a real grocery store here for 30 years.” Camus is…

Read More