Member Highlights: UC San Diego’s Healthy Retail Program Helps Transform Oak Park Neighborhood Market

UC San Diego’s Healthy Retail Program recently collaborated with the Oak Park Community Town Council in Southeast San Diego to help transform Louie’s Market Place, a small neighborhood market, into a new grocery destination for healthy, fresh affordable foods. The Healthy Retail Program is dedicated to working with small markets and neighborhood residents to build a healthier and more equitable food landscape for all.

Healthy changes at the cash register and a brand new produce section.  

Healthy changes at the cash register and a brand new produce section.  

With support from UC San Diego’s Youth Advisory Council, fellow San Diego Food System Alliance members Dwight Detter of Food Centricity and Ariel Hamburger of San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency, collective efforts focused on implementing healthy market improvements to benefit neighborhood shoppers. Louie’s Market Place owner, Latif Georges, welcomed technical assistance, new partnerships, and help with the heavy lifting (literally and figuratively) involved in achieving a healthy market makeover. Changes to the market thus far include: improvements to the exterior façade, new produce section, new meat and deli section, new signage showcasing prepared sandwich and salad menu options featuring Oak Park neighborhood-themed names, signage and marketing materials with healthy food and lifestyle messages, and a newly painted public phone booth being transformed into Oak Park’s first “Little Neighborhood Library”. UCSD continues to support the growth of Louie’s Market Place as a healthy community food destination. Likewise, UCSD continues to assist the Oak Park Community Town Council in realizing their vision of revitalizing neighborhood businesses for a connected and thriving Oak Park.

Louie’s Market Place Owner Latif Georges greets UCSD’s Youth Advisory Council members. 

Louie’s Market Place Owner Latif Georges greets UCSD’s Youth Advisory Council members. 

You can read more about this healthy market makeover in a featured KPBS Story here. To find out more about the Healthy Retail Program, contact Elle Mari for services inside the City of San Diego or Chelsea Baron for services outside the city. 

UC San Diego's Healthy Retail program is funded by San Diego County's Health & Human Services Agency. 

Submitted By: Elle Mari, M.Sc., Senior Manager, Healthy Retail in the City of San Diego
Center for Community Health University of California, San Diego
E: emari@ucsd.edu
T: 619.681.0655
ucsdcommunityhealth.org
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