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A grocery store opens in South Shore, filling long-vacant Dominick’s building

Local Market, a new concept store from the owners of Shop and Save, welcomed hundreds of customers in its first hour.

William Chatman shops for produce during the grand opening of Local Market in South Shore.
William Chatman shops for produce during the grand opening of Local Market in South Shore.
Manny Ramos/Sun-Times

Hundreds of shoppers eagerly waited in line for the grand opening Wednesday of a grocery store in South Shore, a neighborhood without one for more than six years.

Vanessa Jarvis, who stood outside in freezing temperatures for more than three hours, saw the opening of Local Market as a historic moment.

“We haven’t had a store in our community for six years,” Jarvis said. “This is a fantastic achievement to have a supermarket back in our community.”

Local Market, 7131 S. Jeffery Blvd., replaces the long-vacant building that once was a Dominick’s. The new supermarket offered the first 500 customers a free bag of groceries as a promotion.

Jarvis said the grocery will be an immediate benefit to the neighborhood. She, like many other South Shore residents, had to travel well outside the community for groceries after Dominick’s closed in 2013. Jarvis said she had to take several buses just to get to a single grocery store.

Local Market, a new concept store from the owners of Shop and Save, opened its doors for the first time Wednesday where a shuttered Dominick’s used to be.
Local Market, a new concept store from the owners of Shop and Save, opened its doors for the first time Wednesday where a shuttered Dominick’s used to be.
Manny Ramos/Sun-Times

“Nothing was feasible in our neighborhood, so we were forced to go into other communities like Hyde Park,” Jarvis said. “Now I can just walk across the street and get everything I need.”

The store features a large cafe, prepared food, juice bar, a halal section and fresh seafood.

“This area has lacked a local, full-service grocery since Dominick’s Finer Foods closed at this location more than six years ago,” said Cezary Jakubowski, one of the storeowners. “Everything has been purposely curated for the local community.”

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said recruiting a grocery store to replace the last of the 15 shuttered Chicago Dominick’s stores wasn’t easy. She said she has endured “many political daggers” in her effort get a new store.

“This store brings a culmination of years of planning and listening to residents and replicating what they wanted to see,” Hairston said. “This is so essential to the South Shore community.”

The store will also feature products from many local black-owned businesses, Hairston said, like Brown Sugar Bakery and Imani’s Originals.

Imani Muhammad, president of Imani’s Originals, said her products will be in the bakery section where people can buy their bean pie, “a creation born out of the dietary code of the Nation of Islam.”

She’s honored to offer her product in the neighborhood she grew up in.

“It is really sentimental to be a part of this store,” Muhammad said.

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of Local Markets, 7131 S. Jeffery Blvd., in South Shore.
Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of Local Markets, 7131 S. Jeffery Blvd., in South Shore.
Manny Ramos/Sun-Times

Manny Ramos is a corps member in Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster Sun-Times coverage of issues affecting Chicago’s South and West sides.