New micro-grocery meets the needs in Raleigh’s food desert

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A much-needed grocery store has opened in a Memphis neighborhood, helping to eliminate a food desert.

On Saturday morning, Exodus Marketplace held its grand opening in Raleigh. Director of Community Engagement Javonne Scott says they do more than just sell food.

“Good food, it’s good for you,” she said. “We’ll also offer ways to help you learn how to cook and learn where your food came from. We’ll offer classes so you can start your own garden in your own home.”

Located at 4100 Raleigh Millington Road, the micro store was launched by Torrey Bates, the director of For the Kingdom, a nonprofit organization that operates a camp and retreat center.

Exodus Marketplace is only about 1,800 square meters and was built using two shipping containers – it may be small, but the food inside fills a big need.

“A place like this is so important, especially right now, in the space we’re in right now, because people have to replace food and people have to survive,” said state Rep. Antonio Parkinson, who attended the opening. “So I’m grateful for everything For Kingdom and Torrey Bates and the team have done here, because we’re definitely filling a void.”

Much of the fresh produce in the shop is locally grown.

“From local farmers to agriculturists, we also give them a platform so they don’t have to get their food to the big supermarkets. They can bring it here to us and we’ll get it out into the community for them,” Scott said.

The marketplace is open to the public; However, you can purchase a $45 annual membership that allows you to shop virtually for free one day a month.

City Councilwoman Rhonda Logan says Exodus being in the neighborhood makes it easier for people to get their food.

She says the fact that the food is fresh, affordable and close can be a game changer for some families.

“With prices going up and things the way they are in terms of economic instability, it’s wonderful to have a place that you know is going to be there looking for ways to support and provide for families,” Logan said.

The market place is open from 07:00 to 12:00 Monday to Friday, and 9:00 to 12:00 on Saturdays.

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