Increase access to food through small-footprint distributed grocery chains
Let's invent a different model of grocery store that fits in a storefront or the ground floor of a typical Chicago 3-flat. The stores can offer produce, meat, dairy, bread, and canned goods. A distribution system can stock the small neighborhood shops. The chain can be run as a cooperative or a non-profit to keep costs down for shoppers. Sites could transfer ownership to community members through a process that doesn't rely on an initial outlay of capital or need for credit. The concept is based on grocery chains in downtown Budapest, Hungary, where neighborhoods are served by small-footprint groceries, some in a typical storefront-sized space. They are well stocked with fresh produce, meat, dairy, and fresh baked bread (cigarettes and beer, too). Neighborhoods visit the stores frequently and on foot. There is no expectation for parking as neighbors live within walking distance and purchase only a few days worth of what they need. This approach could address some of the reasons why large format grocers do not open in south and west side neighborhoods in Chicago.