Hunger relief organization Philabundance here has retained retail design consultancy CBX to design a prototype for Fare & Square, a not-for-profit grocery store slated to open this summer in Chester, Pa.Fare & Square, a 13,000-square-foot store, will sell nutritious food staples with a focus on fresh produce, meats, dairy, seafood and frozen foods at everyday low prices. It will give residents of Chester — one of the 35 food deserts in the Delaware Valley according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture — easy access to fresh foods for the first time since the town’s last full-scale grocer closed in 2001. Philabundance recently purchased the town’s former grocery building.
Under its not-for-profit grocery store model, Fare & Square will offer a customer-focused shopping experience and will partner with local organizations and businesses to provide a range of services to the community.
One aspect of the overall design “is that it will reflect the hopeful and respectful nature of Philabundance’s goal to serve Chester residents through a store that could look at home in any community,” said Joseph Bona, president of CBX branded environments, in a statement. “Ultimately, we’re designing a neighborhood store that will have the look and feel of a traditional supermarket in that it’s clean, well lit, convenient and friendly, but also a place that the community can call their own, instilling a sense of optimism, pride and connection.”
Philabundance hopes to replicate this model in other communities in the Delaware Valley. “Convenient access to nutritious food is a growing and complex problem across the country and in the Delaware Valley, and one that requires a complex solution,” said Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance. “Philabundance has worked on this concept for five years, and we are thrilled to see it coming to fruition to help the residents of Chester.”