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Community Grocery Store coming to Smoketown; LACE and LCG host celebration

Louisville Association for Community Economics (LACE), plans to build a cooperative grocery store by the end of next year.
LACE and the Louisville Community Grocery are using their one acre land grant to work to bring a cooperative grocery store to the Smoketown Neighborhood.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 4:15 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Nonprofit the Louisville Association for Community Economics, also known as LACE and the Louisville Community Grocery are using their one acre land grant to work to bring a cooperative grocery store to the Smoketown Neighborhood.

The property is located at Preston and Finzer Streets. The Community Foundation of Louisville announced the decision about the future use of vacant property Wednesday.

A celebration was hosted at the lot Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with vendors, music and community partners.

LACE needs to raise 8.5 million dollars to finish the project. The grocery store should be about 15,000 sq. ft. once its complete.

People who live in Smoketown said they are used to having to walk a long way just to get to the bus to go to a grocery store, then walk with their groceries back to their place.

“Man, when I heard that on the news, I stood up and started clapping. Because it’s needed. It really is, it really is,” Larry Grimes, who lives in Smoketown, said. ”They say it’s a food desert, you know. You have to venture out and get some food, go to the groceries and everything.”

Grimes said he has lived in Smoketown, a neighborhood southeast of the downtown hospital district for years. He said he thinks there is a major need for more healthy food options in his are and said he’s used to feeling locked away from fresh food options.

Hope Forward, a wellness worker who lives in Smoketown said she agrees.

”We receive seniors in the building where we live, walking up the street to get a gallon of milk for five dollars and that’s just not fair,” Forward said. “A lot of them don’t have vehicles to get around, bus options, those aren’t always that has gone up.”

The land, valued at nearly one million dollars, was initially given to the Community Foundation in 2015 by Hillerich & Bradsby Company to enhance the lives of Smoketown residents.

Louisville Association for Community Economics (LACE), plans to establish a cooperative grocery store on the property by the end of next year.

Shares are $150 per household and the public is encouraged to buy a share to become an owner of the grocery store. Discounted share are available. To learn more, click here.

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