Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


Corner market makeover in East LA

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

We may not know it, but availability and placement are two key factors in our supermarket shopping habits. Are the types of food that we want available? How well are they placed in the supermarket? These two factors affect the types of food we buy, and consequently, how healthy we eat.

Photo via Christina House, For the LA Times
Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times reports that another corner market in East L.A. was given a much-needed makeover. Yash typically stocks a lot of junk food, packaged goods, beer and otherwise unhealthy things. Why? Because of heavy merchandise discounts Yash receives from corporate giants that back these unhealthy foods.

"These stores are not designed by the owner," small-business consultant Nathan Cheng says to the LA Times. "They're designed by the distributors."

It's the kind of inventory which makes it difficult to make responsible decisions when shopping for your family. The makeover was organized by the UCLA-USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities and funded by the National Institutes of Health. It includes a new brighter lime green facade,  removal of soda and beer ads on the windows and cleaner, wider aisles and neatly stocked shelves in the 1,300 square-foot store. Refrigerators are now available for fresh produce, an outdoor vegetable garden supports growing produce and a juice bar now counters the monopolistic rule of sodas in the supermarket.

Yash is the first of four supermarkets given the makeover. Here's hoping for continued progress on the next three, plus success with local shoppers.


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