WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – There is new hope for a northeast Wichita neighborhood. Just weeks before the only grocery store in the area is set to close, one woman may have a solution.
“We need a grocery store, and with another major retailer pulling out this is very important,” said Wichitan Ashley Faust.
As Save-A-Lot on 13th and Grove gets ready to close its doors, Faust is working quickly to open up a new local grocery option.
“We will have all the produce that you see at your major markets, we’ll have all of those things,” Faust said. “It’s not going to be a glorified candy store or a glorified dollar store, this will actually be a supermarket.”
Faust has been working on opening a local grocery store for years and the pandemic paused her plans.
“I am a travel nurse, and I went out and was helping out on the front line, so I am back, and we’re gonna get our community together.”
Since returning, Faust has talked with local leaders like Wichita Vice Mayor Brandon Johnson.
“They’re Wichitans, they’re hiring Wichitans, they care about this city, and I think they work a little harder to make the store work. I think community buy-in will be there with someone local as well, and to me, that’s the solution,” Johnson said.
Johnson believes having local grocery store options is key to addressing the food desert issue.
“There’s a lot of folks who walk to the store or bike to the store. They don’t have access to vehicles, so all of that kind of goes into play and we’ve had a food desert for years.”
Faust says there are a couple of options for the store’s location. She says it will be somewhere on 13th Street between Oliver and Grove. She expects a location for the grocery store to be finalized next week.
Faust shared her plan is to have it open between two and three months.
If you would like to help with funding for the grocery store, click here.