Lupita's daughter Luz Arango cuts up fresh fruit for customers
The City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) provided grant funding to renovate Lupita’s Corner Market, a transformation that creates a healthy food option in LA’s Westlake/MacArthur Park.

EWDD gave financial support for the project by providing Community Development Block Grant funding to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, which spearheads the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network Program (HNMNP). The HNMNP addresses Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative to introduce healthy food options to the City’s food deserts. The program builds the capacity of corner stores by assisting neighborhood market owners to operate as successful healthy food retailers in underserved communities.

Located on the corner of West 3rd Street and Lucas Avenue, Lupita’s Corner Market has served the Westlake/MacArthur Park community for 27 years. Owned by a mother and daughter team, Maria Guadalupe “Lupita” Olague and her daughter Luz Arango.

Luz became involved in the program as part of an effort to reorient the family business toward introducing new healthy food items to the community. The transformation included giving the Lupita Corner Market a new exterior façade, along with interior improvements such as revamping the store layout to highlight healthy food products. The store was also renovated to include seating and a community board that allows residents to interact regarding important issues.
Maria Olague and her daughter Luz Arango receive City of LA award for combatting Westlake area food desert
(left to right) Council District 13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell presented an award to Lupita’s Corner Market owners Maria Olague and her daughter Luz Arango

The Gensler Architecture Firm provided pro-bono design services, while The Build Group provided construction assistance. Additional partners include Sweetgreen and Califia Farms.

On September 12, 2019, the store held a grand re-opening where hundreds of students from neighboring schools had the opportunity to try healthy sandwiches and fruit juices (aguas frescas) from the new deli menu.

During the event, Council District 13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell presented Luz an award recognizing her for her commitment to community wellness through her business.

EWDD’s BusinessSource and WorkSource Centers offer a variety of Business Services, including several Financial and Development Incentive Programs and a Small Business Loan Program. Learn how EWDD can help.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of September 16, 2019. Read this issue and more.