Many parts of urban America are food deserts, defined as "a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store." (see a map of them here) Stockbox is a clever attempt to " fix the grocery gap in a neighborhood near you." They repurpose shipping containers into popup grocery stores, and plan on dropping them in parking lots.
The Stockbox Team
Stockbox Grocers responds to this need with a miniature grocery that's tucked inside a reclaimed shipping container and placed into the parking lot of an existing business. We innovate on the espresso stand model to build stores throughout urban communities, and provide fresh produce and grocery staples to those who currently without access to good food, where they live.
"Delridge is a diverse food desert community, and many residents must take a couple of buses to the nearest grocery store -- otherwise they're limited to convenience store options," explains Carrie Ferrence, who with Jacqueline Gjurgevich is a majority owner of Stockbox.
"Although the store is temporary, it will enable us to build connections with customers and learn more about the kind of grocery store communities want and need," she adds.
My first thought was, surely there is a lot of vacant retail space in the area, that they don't have to drop shipping containers. But when you look at the aerial shot
you see exactly the kind of planning that makes America so awful for poorer people, the completely car-dependent design that doesn't provide for the basics in life.
The nearest grocery or deli is half a mile away, and according to Yelp doesn't have a whole lot in it.
There are many different kinds of food deserts in America, but this kind is the most egregious, a direct result of bad urban design and planning. Stockbox is a clever response to the problem.
More at Stockbox
More on food deserts:
Creating an Oasis in the Food Desert
Chicago Combats Food Deserts and Childhood Obesity One Seed at a Time