Addressing a food desert: Grand opening of El Mercado Fresco supermarket gives Wichitans hope


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Addressing a food desert, a new store opened its doors on the south side of Wichita this week.

Krissia Hernández is the general manager at El Mercado Fresco supermarket. The store is located at Broadway and Harry.

Hernández says, so far, it’s been a true pleasure helping the minority community in Wichita. She says for the past couple of months, residents who live on the south side of Wichita have had to commute to get their groceries. But now, it’s a different story.

“They can find fresh produce. We have a bakery, we have a taqueria, everything is fresh,” said Hernández.

A couple of months ago, the community on the south side of Wichita was left with very few options for fresh produce. So when the Save A Lot store closed its location, it changed the lives of several Wichitans.

“We are here because we know there is a lot of Hispanics in our community here,” added Hernández.

Hernández says that once their franchise owner in Kansas City, Missouri, heard about the unfortunate situation in Wichita, they decided to act.

“This company is coming from Missouri. We have five stores in Missouri, and this is the sixth one,” said Hernández.

She says the goal for El Mercado Fresco supermarket is to help eliminate the number of residents who suffer from food insecurities while making it affordable enough for families to buy a significant amount of produce for their loved ones.

“There is a lot of specials. There is low prices,” said store employee Joseph Morales. “They don’t have to waste that much money. They can get really fresh fruit, meat, fresh everything basically. It feels nice.”

El Mercado Fresco officially opened their doors Wednesday, Aug. 28, and so far, Hernández says it’s been busy.

“A lot of the comments I have heard is that there is a lot of stuff people haven’t seen here,” Morales said.

“Central American produce, Mexican produce, and Asian produce. We have everything for everybody,” added Hernández.

The franchise hopes to open a second location on the south side of Wichita to help solve part of the food desert problem.

If you wish to become part of El Mercado Fresco team, you can call 316-796-5059 to set up an interview. The supermarket is currently searching for several employees.   

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