Woman opening one of the largest black-owned groceries in Louisville food desert

Updated: Feb. 6, 2020 at 6:40 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Thinking about the next time there will be access to healthy and fresh groceries is a concern for tens of thousands of people in Louisville. One local woman said after getting out of a food desert she wants to help those who are still struggling.

To the normal eye, 3044 W. Broadway looks like a forgotten land, but Megan Bell sees opportunities.

Megan Bell
Megan Bell(Megan Bell)

With her daughter watching, Bell is transforming an abandoned machine shop into Next Door Market, a health haven in the Parkland neighborhood of Louisville.

“[I want to bring] more of a substance,” Bell said. “It’s a need. It’s not a want it’s a real need."

A need that impacts nearly 50,000 people in the metro area who don’t have easy access to healthy groceries.

East of Ninth Street there are dozens of large-scale grocery stores. In the West End there are only two, Kroger and Save a Lot.

“Growing up in those types of environments you think it’s normal,” Bell said.

Nearly 10,000 square feet of wet, cold, broken-down building will turn into one of Louisville’s largest black-owned grocery stores. Inside Bell plans on a juice bar, sitting area and transforming abandoned rooms into health classes. Outside she’s picturing festivals, farmers’ markets and a community garden to bring produce from the farm to her shelves.

Bell is currently drafting the floor plan and a layout she hopes other people can follow to make their own changes in their community.

Bell said construction on Next Door Market will start this year and hopes to open by summer of 2021. This summer she plans on getting local farmers together to host festivals and markets.

Below is a list of some of Bell’s sponsors and investors who are helping her bring Next Door Market to life.

  • Flame lily construction
  • TEG architecture firm
  • Mr. Neville Landlord
  • University of Kentucky
  • Kentucky State University
  • Louisville Small Business Association
  • CorpEx, LLC
  • Juice Bar
  • Strickland, Cox & Associates Primary Care Center

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