Volunteers begin work on east side grocery co-op

Workers are planning to turn a former preschool into a grocery store.
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Kris Kirschner/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Volunteers on the east side began on a new project with ties to the 2012 Super Bowl.

"We tore down several walls today to hope up this room to be a grocery store," said Renee Sweany with the Indy Food Co-op.

On East 10th Street, characters sill line the walls of a former preschool, but members of the Indy Food Co-op hope to transform the 3,000-square foot building into a place ripe for the picking.

"You'll come in, you'll have beautiful fresh local produce," Sweany said. "Grains, granolas, dried fruits, nuts."

The Co-op is the first of its kind in the city and the soon-to-be-named Pogues Run Grocer will offer an oasis of healthy, affordable local food for an area that needs it. Two major grocery stores closed in the area in the past five years and many people who live in the neighborhood do the bulk of their shopping at convenience stores.

"Truly, there is not a place to find good, healthy, sustainable foods," Sweany said.

Volunteer Jerry Jones thinks having a healthier option at a convenient location could make all the difference.

"Healthy for kids buying grapes and fruits instead of candy and chips all the time," Jones said.

"We're coming in, going to revitalize the building, hopefully have a ripple effect in the neighborhood," said volunteer Portia Graves.

There is still three months of work to be done, including renovating, cleaning and stocking shelves. But they hope the fruit of their labor builds the foundation for a strong and healthy neighborhood.

The Pogue's Run Grocer is part of the 2012 Super Bowl Legacy project to revitalize the 10th Street corridor over the next three years.