New store brings fresh food to Ogburn Station community

City native Sharon Starling looks at the selection of locally grown fresh fruit at the Village Produce & Country Store on Saturday, Nov. 12.

New store  brings fresh food to Ogburn Station community
November 17
09:30 2016

Photo by Tevin Stinson



Paula McCoy and her husband, Jerry Anderson, are looking to put an end to the fresh food drought in the inner city. Last Saturday, the power couple held a grand opening event for the Village Produce & Country Store in the Ogburn Station neighborhood, at 4219 N. Liberty St.

“We knew this area was considered a food desert, so we wanted to do something to change that,” said McCoy. “We felt like this was exactly what this community needed.”

“A program that included a litany prayer and blessing was held with a ribbon cutting as part of the grand opening.

“Food desert” is a term commonly used to describe communities with little or no access to healthy food, including fresh fruits and vegetables. In Forsyth County, more than 20,000 people earn less than the low-income threshold and live more than a mile from a supermarket.

Statistics show that without access to a supermarket, people tend to shop at convenience stores and eat less healthy foods.

McCoy, executive director of Neighbors for better Neighborhoods, said the store will also have kitchen stables, including milk, eggs, sugar, flour and healthy alternative foods that are offered at others stores in the area and African-American communities across the country.

“A lot of the problems we have as African-Americans are linked to the types of foods we eat,” she continued. “We want to change that narrative and make sure our people are living long, productive lives.”

While looking through selections of locally grown fruit and vegetables, Sharon Starling said she was impressed by the variety of produce and the overall set up of the store.

“They have everything you need right here, and the prices are very reason-able,” she continued. “I will be back very soon.”

Along with helping the community lead healthier lives, Village Produce & Country Store is also rejuvenating a neighborhood that once was a hub for minority owned business, until the economic struggles of the 1970s forced many businesses to close. While mingling with customers last Saturday, Anderson, who grew up in the neighborhood, said see-ing the store up and running brought back a lot of memories of the old days.

“This is about the rebirth of this community,” he said. “I remember this use to be the place people would go to get clothes, food, and even chicken feed. Although this area has seen some rough times, it feels good to know that Ogburn Station is headed in the right direction.”

Winston-Salem Black Business Chamber of Commerce President Randon Pender said she was excited to see the store come to life.

“This is truly amazing, she said.

During the grand open-ing ceremony, Vivian Burke, mayor pro temporte and City Council representative for the Northeast Ward, applauded McCoy and Anderson for their drive and determination to bring business back to the area that many have forgotten. She said more people should follow their lead and invest in the communities they live in.

For more information about Village Produce & Country Store and store hours, call 336-661-8685.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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