Local News

Oasis springs up in southeast Raleigh food desert

Posted May 26, 2014

— Two ministers have opened a grocery store in southeast Raleigh with the hope of bringing healthy food and convenience back to the area.

Revs. Chris and Jackie Jones already operate a food ministry, and The Galley, at 402 E. Bragg St., will be an offshoot of that.

"This is a food desert," Chris Jones said recently. "Us being pastors, we have to do something about it."

Since Kroger closed a supermarket on Raleigh Boulevard in January 2013, residents of the South Park neighborhood have had few options for grocery shopping.

"If I'm going to Rock Quarry Road, it's like an hour, hour-and-a-half walk to the grocery store," Dion Hightower said. "Then you have to walk back with all those bags."

Tiera James takes her two children with her on the bus for a trip to the store, so she welcomes the opportunity to shop at The Galley.

"It'd be a life-saver because I live right there, so that's maybe a five-minute walk, if that," James said.

To promote good nutrition and healthy eating, The Galley stocks fruits and veggies up front and stashes sweets in the back.

The store also has the amenities of high-end supermarkets, such as WiFi, and plans for outdoor seating with piped-in music.

Chris Jones said he hopes to move to a bigger space nearby in the future.

"This is the beginning. This is our genesis," he said with a laugh.


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  • rochelle May 27, 2014

    These two pastors have done a good thing to bring healthy food to residents who would otherwise have trouble accessing it. However, the problem of food deserts broadly isn't going to be solved by individual actors. Food deserts are the result of an international food system that doesn't function properly--people in food deserts don't need or want food less than people in other neighborhoods. North Carolina's residents and businesses will benefit from a food system that gets food from its farmers to its people.

  • Lysander May 27, 2014

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    Anytime people are stepping outside of government to help one another is a good thing.

  • Kenny Dunn May 27, 2014
    user avatar

    Glad to see these folks taking things into their own hands to help their community. Acts like this make the world a better place to live for everyone.

  • Confucius say May 27, 2014

    Good to see that communities step up help their own instead of relying on the government to shell out tax money.

  • Fanny Chmelar May 27, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Point of story: completely missed.

  • Lysander May 27, 2014

    I'm glad this opened up, just hope adverts and word of mouth are enough to keep it up. It's rough over near Bragg and that end of East. There are a number of food ministries in the area doing a lot of good!

    DJ is right about the amount of business a major chain would get. Between the lack of vehicle traffic, amount of foot traffic and CAT/cab traffic; along with the cash/EBT economy of the area, a major store would do rough like the Kroger. Now the Wal-mart on New Bern outside the beltline catches all that business. I'm curious as to how the bus seating and routing changed when the Kroger closed.

    *On a side note* If anyone knows of a lot or space in SE Raleigh where a regular http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Really_Really_Free_Marketcan be held, please email me setheus777@hushmail.com

    Sorry for the hijack ;)

  • 68_dodge_polara May 27, 2014

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    Awesome isn't it and they aren't even demands government money to do it. Good job and a fantastic way to set an example. Thank you!

  • cpdtg May 27, 2014

    sure hope it does not get robbed alot

  • UpChuck May 27, 2014

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    To quote the Talking Heads...stop making sense.

  • North Carolina Cutie May 27, 2014

    It's good someone has the people best interest at heart.