How do you feel about a grocery store for Penn Quarter residents and owned & operated by Penn Quarter residents?
Penn Quarter Bodega Neighborhood Grocery is the brainchild of Mather Studios resident June Blanks. She began planning the concept a year ago and then left a career of National Sustainability Policy to change the food system on a more local level in Penn Quarter. Her food outlet will do more than bring groceries to this otherwise food desert as it is designed to create a community.
The Bodega is partnering with local farmers for fresh foods and with residents and businesses to seek input about what the community wants in a grocer and how the Bodega can give back visibly to the community. The group is planning a series of Neighborhood Meet-Ups over the next six weeks to get a better understanding of what the residents of Penn Quarter want and need.
The Bodega plans on opening a storefront in Penn Quarter in early 2012, with the exact location TBD. The model for the retail outlet and gathering place is a compact, urban grocery store with a full range of products, including fruits, vegetables, meats, local brands, favorite brands, prepared foods, regional wine and beer, and general/household products, complete with a communal table to have a cup of coffee or read the paper.