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The Center for Black Innovation Story Series was created through volunteer work of The Hungry Black Man Media in partnership with The Center for Black Innovation made possible through generous support by Comcast NBCUniversal who has been supportive of reducing the racial wealth and opportunity gap in the United States through positive interventions and funding though programs like Comcast RISE – a multi-faceted program offering grants, marketing services, and technology upgrades and engaged story telling such as this story review that is intended to was strengthen and empower small businesses hardest hit by COVID-19.
We usually review restaurants, but we’re making an exception because of what we discovered during our Black Foodie Tour in Philadelphia. When we stopped at Grocery Outlet to stock up on water for the hotel room, we found out it was the first Black owned national chain grocery owned by a Black man in Philadelphia. How could we not cover this?
The owner, Aaron Hollingsworth, gave up the safety of a two-week paycheck to become an independent operator of this growing brand. He brought over 26 years in the grocery retail corporate space with him, so the store is in very good hands.
Despite it being a 75-year-old national chain with stores throughout the United States, I had never heard of it and instantly wished we had one in Miami. It’s a store rooted in opportunistic buying, which means the store carries the best deal, but not necessarily everything at once. It has tons of organic and luxury food and beauty products that I bought so much of, I had to check my bag at the airport. To get a better idea of what it’s like, think of a more beneficial Aldi or Save-A-Lot, with a much wider selection of luxury food and beauty brands and a much larger organic produce section.
I seriously saved over $200. The savings were like $8 lower and in some cases even $12 lower for all sorts of items. They had a fresh produce section that carried organic fruits and veggies along with an amazing deal on wild caught salmon that had me trying to figure out how to fly that salmon back home. If I could have, I would have cleaned them out.
Aaron and his wife Chyrese manage the store. In addition to being clean and organized, the customer service was excellent, with their staff actually knowing where items are located. They were also quite knowledgeable about the store’s inventory, especially when I spotted the last container of the plant-based protein powder I love. Get this – the same protein powder costs $25 in Miami, but at the grocery outlet it was $8.99. How?
I don’t really understand how they’re able to offer things at such low prices, but I know that I went HAM buying up as much could. When we return to Philly in September for our next Black Foodie Tour, I’ll definitely be loading up at Grocery Outlet.
The store is located at 25 W Hortter Street Unit #B, Philadelphia, PA 19119. Call them at (215) 844-2768 or visit www.groceryoutlet.com/grand-opening/mount-airy-pa for more information.