L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Mandeep Singh, owner of the Mid-City area Pickford Market
EWDD provides Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), which spearheads the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network (HNMN). The program builds the capacity of corner stores by assisting neighborhood market owners to operate as successful healthy food retailers in underserved communities. This financial support allowed Mandeep Singh, owner of the Pickford Market, to increase its healthy food options.

Located near Washington Boulevard and Vineyard Avenue, Pickford Market is a multigenerational store that has served LA's Mid-City community for nearly three decades. Owner and operator Mandeep Singh, was motivated to work with the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network (HNMN) because he believes corner stores play a major role in a community's health.

"I want to end the stigma that healthy food is more expensive and make healthy food more accessible to my customers," he said. "I feel it is my responsibility to introduce healthy products in order to encourage healthy eating habits for my customers, especially the kids."

In December 2020, Pickford Market underwent a brick-and-mortar transformation process that was made possible by the grant funding.

"The new shelving and store layout allowed us to expand in critical categories resulting in additional sales. We are using the updates to establish a customer base for healthy snacks," he said.

Pickford Market Logo The transformation of the store created space for the market to add nuts, dried fruits, chickpeas, and healthy snack bars. The LAFPC helped Singh build the market's capacity for new healthy items, explore product placements, and engage in more community-based conversations about healthier food options. In addition, the HNMN helped Pickford Market refresh their logo. The new branding incorporates an avocado and the font used by the LA Dodgers, a logo that pays homage to LA's food and baseball culture.

In mid-December 2021, Pickford Market teamed up with nearby Alta Loma Elementary School to provide more than 400 students with reusable bags filled with healthy snacks, a reusable water bottle, and t-shirts. The teachers also received gift baskets.

The event provided an opportunity to foster civic youth engagement and promote conversations about healthy food options with students, their families, and the community.

"Participating in the HNMN program has expanded what my family and I thought was possible for our business," says Mandeep. "I want the store to grow with the community and address the needs and wants of our customers."

Pickford Market is located in L.A. City Council District 10.

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This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of January 3, 2022. Read this issue and more.

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