Gem City Market project continues to progress; Contributors look forward to serving community

DAYTON — Work on Gem City Market, the 8,000 square foot space, has continued to progress since the announcement of the project was made.

“If you look at Northwest and West Dayton, there’s not a lot of grocery stores,” said Leah Bahan-Harris, Gem City Market’s general manager.

“There’s not a lot of access. There’s people having to ride the bus, drive 15 minutes and so that was the concern. Making sure that we had fresh, affordable groceries, but then it grew into something more.”

The ‘more’ that Bahan-Harris is talking about is the multiple services outside of the grocery needs.

“This is putting economy dollars back into our people and it’s empowering. We are also going to give classes to first time homebuyers and different things,” she said.

Some of the space at Gem City Market will be occupied by a Third Perks coffee shop, a community kitchen where cooking classes will take place, a Five Rivers Health Clinic and a community room designed to host a variety of events and meetings aimed at bring people together.

The Salem Avenue Peace Corridor had the following statement in one of its news letters:

“In addition to operating as a full-service grocery store, the Gem City Market will also offer a number of community-based programs to assist new and expectant parents. Following local and state health orders and adhering to strict social distancing guidelines, the ‘Mama’s at the Market’ is one such day long program that will serve local residents, when the store opens in 2021. The weekly service will be offered every Tuesday of the month, held both virtually and in-person. The program offerings will be dedicated to providing new and expectant parents access to resources, support groups, benefits and childbirth education services needed during and after pregnancy.”

“Using the momentum of the people is what’s going to make this store sustainable. We are not a corporate store coming in, setting our guidelines. We are truly being molded by the request of the community,” Bahan-Harris said.

Because the mold of the market was created by the community, she said the market hopes to return that same energy by providing more than 25 jobs. They also aim to have as much local produce as possible.

Gem City market is already at 3,200 member-owners prior to opening.

“There’s different kinds of memberships that meets the needs of everyone. We have a $10 membership for people that self identify as limited income. We have what’s called a 50/50 match through Premier Health- where they’ll pay $50 of your membership and you can pay the other 50 if you are in our trade area zip code. Then we have a $100 membership that you can make payments on.”

“I want nothing more than to make sure my community is getting served. So, this is nothing more than a blessing for me and I hope that we can be a blessing to the community by hearing them acknowledging the call.”

For more information on Gem City Market head to https://gemcitymarket.com/