Grambling, LA – Hope Enterprise Corporation/Hope Credit Union (HOPE) recently joined Grambling, La., officials and developers for the grand opening of Legends Market, the first fresh food retailer to open in the town in 35 years.
HOPE was a financing partner on the project that is part of a larger retail shopping center developed by Baton Rouge, La.-based Kimble Development. The market, which had a grand opening on Saturday, July 14, also features a pharmacy, bakery and deli.
Grambling Mayor Edward Jones said the market will allow the municipality to generate more revenue as residents had been traveling to nearby towns to purchase fresh produce and other grocery items. Grambling, located in northern Louisiana, is home to Grambling State University, a historically black university.
“Our town was a food desert. This grocery gives residents convenient access to healthy food. It is also a signal of Grambling’s progress and growth,” Jones said, referring to the Legends Square plaza that will house the Legends Market, retail shops and a hotel. “We could not have done this without HOPE.”
Mitch Kimble, co-owner of Kimble Development, said the grocery store will strengthen the community’s economy.
“The city is ready to explode with economic activity. HOPE made this happen. The financing was the final piece of the puzzle,” Kimble said.
HOPE’s comprehensive community development approach includes expanding access to healthy food options across the Deep South. Within the region, small towns and cities have gone without grocery stores for generations. Through various financing strategies, HOPE has financed or served as a financing partner for 10 fresh food retailers. Part of the financing for Legends Market was funded through HOPE’s partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.