‘It’s like the farmers market every single day’: 2 farmers open grocery store in Sunnyside to help address food desert

HOUSTON – Two Black farmers are working to bring fresher and more sustainable food options to Houston’s southside.

Urban farmers Ivy Walls and Jeremy Peaches decided to open Fresh Houwse Grocery store located at 5039 Reed Road less than two months ago to help address Sunnyside’s lack of fresh food and grocery store options.

“Because we’re in a USDA classified food desert community it is harder for us to receive fresh, local, organic produce,” said Walls, the store’s co-owner. “And so because we are here we’re able to offer that to our community.”

Walls, who also owns Ivy Leaf Farms, said the grocery offerings are also affordable because they go from farm to grocery store.

“The reason why groceries fluctuate is because of the distribution factor. So, because we are from our farm directly to the grocery store, it’s no middleman. So, it’s essentially like the farmers market every single day,” Walls said.

Jewel Hunter stumbled upon the store Friday. Hunter grew up in Sunnyside and said this was the first time he’s seen a fresh grocery store in his neighborhood.

“It’s convenient,” Hunter said. “It was everything that I needed to get. I’m glad I stopped so I can go on with my day now.”

Walls, along with Peaches and local chef Keisha Griggs, are also opening a Caribbean-inspired restaurant called Kudi Kitchen on MLK Blvd and Reed Road. It opens on February 19 and will also feature a coffee shop. One thing you won’t find on the menu is fried foods.

“So, not only is having fresh foods to cook with important, but having fresh foods to eat on demand is really important,” Walls added.

Two farmers and a chef are being the change they want to see in the community.