By Eagle Newswire
The EcoAlliance investment group met with members of the Tulsa north community on Tuesday to unveil their plans to create a new grocery store near the Shoppes on Peoria complex at Pine Street and Peoria Ave. The 14,500 square ft. facility is aimed for completion by spring 2020. Groundbreaking will commence this fall.
Some of the investors of the group were on hand to answer questions about store concepts and the teams’ commitment to Tulsa north. Jim Bloom, who hails from Indiana, spoke passionately about his interest to help fulfill the need for stores in a community labeled a food desert. “My goal is to collaborate with all local farmers, and those I consider raising healthy meats. Genetic modified meats (GMO) are not for human consumption. GMO’s are geared for bio fuels, not human beings,” Bloom declared. “I believe that plants are sacred, and that animals are sacred. God created both of them. If you are a farmer that respect your land, and respect your stock, I will buy from you,” Bloom continued.
A unique model of a grocery store and hydroponic grow center is the concept. The team seeks to create more healthy options for a deserving community.
The ownership team is a diverse group; some other team members are William James, Ryan McKenna, John Shope and Dr. Felecia Froe who cited stats ranking Oklahoma #4 in food deserts. The group is collaborating with Rose Washington, Tulsa Economic Development Corporation, State Rep. Regina Goodwin, Councilwoman Vanessa Hall -Harper, clergy and other members of the community. Jim Bloom spoke on meeting State Rep. Goodwin and her introducing the investment team to Councilwoman Hall-Harper and Washington.
The neighborhood store will provide fresh vegetables, fish, meat, poultry and dairy products. Hydroponic plants are not genetically modified and are grown indoor, year around.
Councilwoman Vanessa Hall-Harper says the store will sell locally grown produce. “The goal is to have locally grown produce, it’s fresher, it tastes better, its a great opportunity for jobs and for teaching people how to grow and that’s something in my community people are always talking about,” said Hall-Harper.
Citizens fired off questions and got answers. Living wage jobs are planned as development and training will get underway. Accompanying acreage to host hydroponic facilities will be utilized. State Rep. Goodwin said, “We need nearby quality grocery stores and jobs being created. We are tired of hopping on the highway to go to the store, this is an exciting work in progress.”
The new store will be built from the ground up and store designs by architect Thomas Boxley Sr. were unveiled. Whether you come north of south on Peoria Ave the current establishments will still be visible. “There were some things that we had to do. To utilize the site that we have, and so that we can maintain some sort of semblance of curb appeal and impact you will still see the Shoppes On Peoria. This will be a center piece for that site,” Boxely said. For continuity, Boxely in his design concepts will used similar design cues and materials, and integrate them into the design of the new store. A bus stop in front of the store is incorporated into the design layout and murals will adorn the building.
A clean, quality, affordable store experience with Ecommerce and delivery is planned. Amidst talk of organic food options, lettuce, greens and cucumbers, there were also requests for Twinkies, Cheetos and Coco Puffs; snacks and name brands will definitely be on the shelves.
Citizens and a store advisory board will be set up to suggest store names. Healthy progress is happening in Tulsa north. Rose Washington stated, “ We’ve moving from idea to reality.”