East Biloxi Food Market, LLC is a project driven by local people to open a grocery store in East Biloxi, and not just any kind of store–a cooperative grocery, owned and governed by the community–an urgent need in a neighborhood the Department of Agriculture considers a food desert. Located on a peninsula, East Biloxi residents must cross a bridge to get to the nearest grocery store. A 2019 comprehensive community needs assessment revealed that access to healthy food was the top priority for residents. Community leaders have tried for years to attract a large chain grocery store, to no avail. East Biloxi Food Market has committed to bringing healthy, locally sourced food and products to the community while also building community wealth. Their business model is based on the principles of mutual cooperation and mutual benefit, working with local farmers and small businesses to grow together and create a healthy, sustainable, and vibrant East Biloxi.
East Biloxi Market, LLC was founded by local resident Jeff Moore, Jr. in 2020 to create a cooperatively owned grocery store in East Biloxi, a neighborhood that has not had its own grocery store since the neighborhood was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The organization currently has a goal of recruiting 300 equity sharing member-owners to support the co-op, with each making a one-time investment of $100 to receive a share of the profits. All decisions about the store will be made by member-owners and the board members they elect. All of this means that the people who live and shop in East Biloxi will be the ones to invest the capital and own and operate the store. To achieve their goal and open their co-op, the organization has hosted information sessions, membership drives, created a website and promoted their efforts through social media. So far, they have recruited more than 100 members.
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Jeff Moore, Jr.
Environmental Justice Concerns
Community Organizing and Education, Policy Reform
501c3 Tax Deductible