A new full service grocery store located in the heart of the East Baltimore community, will open its doors next month. The store, named “Apples and Oranges Fresh Market,” will open to the public at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 9th with a ribbon cutting attended by local politicians and community leaders. Located at 1900 N. Broadway Street, the store will offer fresh and healthy food options. Apples and Oranges Fresh Market boasts 5,600 square feet of retail space, and features fresh produce, fresh dairy, meats, frozen foods and a deli. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be offered as well as a robust prepared foods menu and catering.
Baltimore politicians and community leaders say the market will bring more than fresh food to the East Baltimore neighborhood. It will bring a healthier lifestyle. “The opening of Apples and Oranges Fresh Market is fantastic for East Baltimore,” says City Councilman, Carl Stokes. “This particular location is in the midst of a food desert,” he says. He points to food deserts being a challenge in underserved communities like this one. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), scientific studies have suggested that food deserts may negatively affect health outcomes.
“The residents in this area will have a full service grocery within walking distance or a short drive from their homes that will give them access to wholesome fresh food and that will save them from using public transportation or excessive gas,” he says.
Nina Harper, Executive Director of The Oliver Community Association says: “We are often very concerned about the health of our residents.” Gaining access to fresh foods can be a slippery slope for the residents of the three buildings in her community. Many of them are elderly and have limited to transportation. “We need access to healthy food.”
The market is being brought to East Baltimore by businessman and community leader, Erich W. March, Vice President and General Manager of March Funeral Homes, a nationally recognized family-owned business that has operated in East Baltimore for nearly 60 years, and his wife, Michele Speaks-March, a long time development professional who has conducted successful fundraising campaigns for a variety of organizations, including that of Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills.
The owners are positioning their market as one that will not only offer healthier food options, but one that will serve as a resource for information on how to eat healthier. Their store also includes an activity room where they will host speakers who will address a variety of topics, including how families can plan for healthy affordable meals. Apples and Oranges will serve as a healthier option for those working in the area near its North Broadway location. March and Speaks-March hope to communicate a sense of ownership in to the community and commerce centers in the area.
“We want our customers to enjoy the fresh food we have to offer at Apples and Oranges Fresh Market,” says Speaks-March. “We also want them to regard our market as a resource for discussions about health and nutrition.”
“Just as being in good health has a wholesale effect on an individual’s well being, we believe that providing a community with better food also leads to a healthier, happier community.”
Stokes hopes that healthier community will translate into dollars one day as well. “The fact that this market is going into a site that has been vacant for the last decade gives a promise to other business ‘Investors – this is a viable neighborhood for the investment of dollars.’”
Apples and Oranges Fresh Market is a full service food market providing healthy food options in the following categories: produce, deli, fresh bread, and prepared foods. For more information on Apples and Oranges Fresh Market go to www.applesandorangesmarket.com. Or call 410-235-2900.