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Four months after opening a new 50,000-square-foot supermarket near La Salle University in Northwest Philadelphia, The Fresh Grocer — one of the Delaware Valley’s most aggressive independent grocers — is poised to cut the ribbon on its 10th new store this Friday at Progress Plaza on Broad Street in north Philadelphia. The privately held, Drexel Hill, Pa.-based retailer continues to challenge the norm, most recently by expanding its business and hiring over 500 employees within the last four months.
“It’s an exciting time for The Fresh Grocer,” noted Patrick Burns, president/CEO of the growing regional grocer. “Opening two new stores in only four months has been very demanding but extremely rewarding. In such a short time, we’ve grown our business from eight to 10 stores, created over 500 jobs, and helped bring fresh and affordable food to well-deserved neighborhoods.”
The site of the new 46,000-square-foot Fresh Grocer location is in Philadelphia’s historic Progress Plaza, the nation’s oldest African-American-owned and -developed shopping center, on the East side of Broad Street between Oxford and Jefferson Streets near Temple University’s main campus. The last supermarket to operate in Progress Plaza closed suddenly in the late 1990s. Since then, local residents have had much difficulty gaining access to fresh food.
The Fresh Grocer at Progress Plaza was funded in part by federal, state and city funding, including Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative, a community revitalization program championed by State Rep. Dwight Evans that increases the number of supermarkets in underserved communities across the state.