Corner Store Campaign
The Corner Store Campaign addresses the long history of injurious business practices, ingrained racial tensions, and unhealthy food options that typifies many inner-city corner stores. Since launch, the campaign has focused on four critical goals.
In an effort to increase accessibility to fresh produce and healthful food options, IMAN hosts a locally sourced market throughout the Summer and Fall months featuring local local vendors, inspiring artistic expressions, food demonstrations, sampling and giveaways.
As part of the Green ReEntry-led renovation, IMAN’s Backyard Garden began growing and harvesting fresh produce in Spring 2018. This garden will not only be used for fruits and vegetables, but as an outdoor education space and model for sustainability in inner-city communities.
Culinary arts can be healing, as well as lead to long-term employment. IMAN plans to refurbish an existing commercial kitchen space in its center for the purpose of entrepreneurial development and training. The community kitchen will be a space that will incubate small businesses offering food products by providing commercial kitchen space and support the workforce development training in the culinary arts. The project seeks to prepare area residents, including youth and their families, for future food service and culinary employment. IMAN, in collaboration with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, will provide hands on training and experience in nutrition and best practice food preparation.
Community Fresh Market
Through its member programming, store design and customer engagement, the Fresh Market Co-op at 1207 W 63rd St will serve as a social hub for the community, giving local food entrepreneurs a platform to build a customer base and grow their business. It’s a dynamic community-owned social enterprise and the anchor project of the Go Green initiative. The 1st floor will house a market with responsibly sourced products and a sit-down space offering soul/other prepared food by Chicago-area chefs, with training/office spaces on the 2nd floor. Adjacent land will be developed as an attractive garden and artistic/community events venue.