OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The closure of a family grocery store in West Oakland this year has left a void for residents who want access to healthy foods and fresh produce.
The community has mobilized to fill this vacant space with an alternative option. The future of the now closed Community Foods Market in West Oakland is still up in the air. In the meantime, community organizers aren’t letting the space go to waste.
“We want this space for vendors to sell healthy food or whatever art they have,” said event coordinator Denmark Vessey. “Local artists, family oriented.”
Community Ready Corps (CRC) has partnered with Oakland Councilman Carroll Fife to transform the Old Market 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. Offering enough headroom for up to 25 vendors to display their wares, be it food or art.
“That’s what we call violence prevention,” Vessey said. “When people have fresh food, are in community with each other, can access a good culture, it creates a bond within the community.”
Neighbors were sad to see community food disappear.
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 void in equal access to nutrition for disenfranchised communities that he left behind.