Glenwood Fresh Market Opens, Already Exceeds Expectations
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Signs have sprouted around Mahoning County: Glenwood Fresh Market.
On Tuesday, the opening of the market, 2915 Glenwood Ave., was celebrated with a ribbon cutting attended by community members, donors, stakeholders and local leaders.
The market is one of a handful of projects brought to the city through the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., and its goal to provide healthier food options to Mahoning County residents.
“In having this go from a blighted facility to a place that’s bustling and full of people… that’s really inspiring to me,” said Ian Beniston, executive director of YNDC.
Open all year, the market serves — at no cost — county residents at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and those who have health conditions.
The market has been open for two weeks and is already exceeding expectations, said Beniston. In the first four days it was open, Glenwood Fresh Market served 400 people. As of Tuesday, 1,100 members were enrolled. Initially, about 600 members were estimated to be enrolled the first year.
“As it turns out, we’re probably going to reach our three-year goal in the first four or five months. We’re going to have great usage,” said Beniston.
That goal was about 2,000 people, he explained.
The Mercy Health Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and HealthPath Foundation of Ohio are significant donors to help ensure the food is free, Beniston said.
“It’s something we’ve been working on the last year or so,” Beniston said. YNDC purchased the building in early 2021, and has since invested “hundreds of thousands” of dollars.
The small plaza housing the market will see other YNDC offerings this year, Beniston said. Storefronts will be filled to serve neighborhood needs.
A corner bus stop, restaurant, and “multiple things” happening at the plaza are just one piece of the revitalization of Glenwood Avenue, Beniston said. “This is one piece in all of that broader work to improve the social determinants of health here in the city of Youngstown.”
Excited to use the market Tuesday was resident Lisa Ross of Youngstown.
“This is great,” she said. “This is good for me. I don’t have to go to Boardman, I don’t have to go to Liberty.” Ross can stay right in her community to get healthful foods, she said. “It’s a great help to me and my family.”
Produce stocked in the market won’t be “fuzzy produce,” or on the verge of going bad. “It’s probably fresher than if you walked into a grocery store,” Beniston said.
The four employees have already moved “thousands of pounds” through the market, Beniston said.
To register for the market, contact Susan Payton, the market manager, at 330-333-3561.
Pictured at top: Youngstown resident Lisa Ross shops fresh produce Tuesday during the grand opening of Glenwood Fresh Market.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.