April 21, April 24

Market at Eastpoint Plans Grand Opening, Family Day

The grand opening for The Market at Eastpoint (1708 NE 23rd St.) will be held next week.

Festivities will begin at  9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 21, with music provided by the band of Douglass High School.

City Councilwoman Nikki Nice (Ward 7), Marc Jones (president of Homeland), Caylee Dodson (director of RestoreOKC), Rev. Michael McDaniel (pastor of the Northeast Missionary Baptist Church) and Montise (the poet) will make remarks.

Also, Family Day event will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.

Family Day will feature Rumble of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who will welcome and entertaining patrons from 11 a.m. until noon.

Once the doors are open for business, patrons may tour the store, meet the staff, shop for groceries, have meals at the Eastside Eatery and get some merchandise.

 The Market at Eastpoint, a 6,800 sq. ft.,  full-service grocery store.

“The northeast Oklahoma City area has long been considered a ‘food desert,’ ” a spokesman for Homeland said,,  “and, with the closing of the community’s last grocery store in Aug. 2019, many families lost their final local food access point.

“As an asset-based community development ministry in northeast Oklahoma City, RestoreOKC recognized not only the risk that this posed to the community, but also the opportunity to catalyst as neighbors. 

“Community leaders and neighbors met together following food distributions to begin dreaming about how we could work together to help create long-term, community-led food access.”

“We  are really excited for how that has resulted in a project that is truly being led by the next generation of our community,” a spokesman for RestoreOKC commented.

 Working together is exactly what has transpired. 

Homeland worked with RestoreOKC early in the dreaming process to formulate a plan for public-private partnership that would allow the two partners to co-operate a grocery store on NE 23rd Street at Rhode Island Avenue.

Through that partnership,  RestoreOKC was free as a 501c3 to focus efforts on fundraising, and securing product donations and partnerships that could help sustain the store through the early years.

Also, this would allow Homeland’s expertise in the grocery industry to streamline the process and provide much needed oversight and infrastructure.

“We are thrilled to see our public-private partnership with Restore OKC come to life,” the spokesman said.

“We have an opportunity here to serve our community in a deeper way and make an impact on food security and this store is a great way to do that, commented Marc Jones, president of Homeland.

“This is an important project for our employee owners, and we are proud to work hand-in-hand with the community to make it a reality.”

“We are beyond grateful for the ingenuity and flexibility that the entire Homeland team has brought into this entire process.”

“Marc Jones’ leadership has been pivotal and we are humbled by the willingness that Homeland’s entire team has shown to absorb the extra work that comes along with anything new,” said Caylee Dodson, director of RestoreOKC.

“”We know that they didn’t have to, but they chose to do it anyway and we are so excited about what it means for this project and what it hopefully means for public-private partnerships both now and in the future.

“And, while the vision began with a small group of committed students and neighbors it soon grew to a fundraising campaign that included partners like Life Church, which  gave an early $300,000 grant that seeks to encourage the church to give generously in order to see justice and mercy through food access,” the director went on.

“Neighbors and grantors from northeast Oklahoma City led the way, Neighborhood associations, individuals, churches, groups like Black Lives Matter, family foundations, the city of Oklahoma City and even Tony the Tiger from the Kellogg Foundation were pivotal in helping raise the $1.3 million in funding  needed for the grocery store. 

“We just simply couldn’t be prouder about the expression of unity and generosity that  made this project possible. 

“Then, on top of those development funds, to have received a $1 million operational grant from the Inasmuch Foundation at the end of 2020 is something we still can’t quite wrap our heads around,” said the RestoreOKC director.

 “It’s truly been such a collaborative effort with a beautiful result.”

 In addition to bringing much needed access to food, the Market at EastPoint is poised to create 30-40 jobs for the community.

“It has been incredible to watch how many individuals have come together as one to help not only eradicate food insecurity, but also to create needed jobs for the northeast Oklahoma City community,” commented RestoreOKC jobs director Jonathan Veal.

The store will include an array of fresh offerings–organic fruits and vegetables–grown on RestoreOKC’s five-acre Urban Farm, which is currently led by 18 high school students from the northeast Oklahoma City community.

Additionally, the Eastside Eatery will have fresh baked breads and ready-to-eat hot foods prepared by community chef and leader, Brandi Jones of the former Family Affair Restaurant.

The Monarch Property Group, a northeast Oklahoma City based-contractor, was established in 2016 with the goal of bringing their passion for creating beauty and craftsman ship alongside the communities they serve. “To be good neighbors is our goal, said Monique Short and Erica Emery, co-founders of Monarch Property.

“We are always excited to serve our clients,” one of them remarked, “but it is especially amazing for it to serve a real need in the community to which we also belong.”

What is more, Gardner Architects has worked closely with Restore Farms Interns & Community Team “to design the store in a way that reflects the unique match-up that is our Urban Farm family and feels like a continuation of the five-acre Urban Farm at RestoreOKC,” it was said.

The farm which is situated less than a mile from the grocery store it will serve.

 As a 501c3, RestoreOKC has been fundraising and seeking out grants and donations; funds that can help offset some of the costs of foods that are, typically, less cost effective than pre-packaged counterparts.

The Inasmuch Foundation, the Life Church, Heartland Payment Systems, Simple Modern, the Baptist Ministers Association, the Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma Shirt Co., , Black Lives Matter, the city of Oklahoma City, the Monarch Property Group, The Alliance and the Pivot Project, among others, have contributed to the project.

To help create sustainable food, investors may make tax-deductible donations online at restoreokc.org.

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