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'They came here to stay': Grocery store opens in southern Dallas food desert

By Alan Scaia,


A grocery store opened Tuesday morning in an area of southern Dallas known as a food desert. Food Basket opened at 3540 Simpson Stuart Road near Bonnie View Road.

"This grocery store means a whole lot," Dallas City Councilman Tennell Atkins said.

The store replaced a different grocery that closed two years ago. Atkins said it left people who live nearby to buy more food at convenience stores and discount stores.

"I think we've got someone who understands the community and understands what they need," he said

"Almost every customer who comes in tells us how much they appreciate us being here and how much they appreciate the quality of the store," general manager Bill Davidson said.

Davidson said the store gives customers a chance to buy fresh meat and produce without traveling as far. People started to shop at the store as soon as it opened.

"It's probably about half a mile from me, so it is good," one woman said as she looked at the fruit selection.

"It's a blessing," a man said as he walked into the store. "You don't have to go all over town to find the food you need. It's right here in our neighborhood."

An apartment complex was recently built nearby, and Atkins said single-family homes are being built in the area as well. He said the presence of a store would help draw more people and other businesses to the area.

In addition, Atkins said the location is near a bus stop for people who may not own cars.

"It's also a chance to reach out to the people who live here who realize, 'I can walk to the store,' with the price of gas going up," he said. "There is an equity there when you do have a food store in your neighborhood."

Atkins said the city of Dallas did not use incentives to draw the store, saying Food Basket assumed debt from the previous owner.

"They came here with equity in mind. They came here to stay," he said.

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