LOS ANGELES -- For Kelli Jackson, owner of Hank’s Mini Market in Los Angeles, the reinvention of her father’s corner store and bringing healthier foods into an urban food desert combined to create community [CSP—July ’18, p. 28]. With the help of a local nonprofit and charity-minded food chain, Jackson remodeled the former liquor store into a small grocery format, emphasizing a central area of fresh produce, a new community space and a mural on the side of the store that proclaims, “Stronger Together.”
“[It’s about] being this community-centric business that wants to be more than a corner store in our community and bring access to art, bring access to healthy foods and bring access to safe spaces,” Jackson says. “That’s what works for us.”
She tells stories of how families come in and teach their children about food by having them name the vegetables in bushels on a table that’s a focal area of the space.
The fresh investment in an area where people are not used to a more upscale retail ambiance amplified the need for design to match up with Jackson’s personal goals.
“Again, it’s about the experience,” says Michael Lawshe president and chief customer experience officer for Paragon Solutions, Fort Worth, Texas. “It’s not just landscaping but seating, environmental efforts, specialty lighting, whether [customers] are eating or just resting. People want to find a third place, somewhere that’s theirs and that they’re comfortable with.”
Next: Think Outside the Box
Photograph courtesy of Paragon Solutions