Small Business Set To Bring End To Food Desert In Warehouse Dist - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Small Business Set To Bring End To Food Desert In Warehouse District

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A small business wants to help the south side end rise from it's current food desert.

The Couri family has deep-roots in the grocery business. Come early October 2018 the family plans to offer a full-service grocery store called 'Sous Chef'.

Katie Couri-Rodolfi and her husband have owned a building on Southwest Adams Street for over a year. The couple never really knew what the building would turn into until a tragedy struck the community.

"So the Kroger was still open but when they announced that closing, I thought, 'how perfect that we have this location,'" says Rodolfi.

Community residents that qualify for food assistance should know the store will eventually participate in it.

Peoria's City Council held a meeting Tuesday Sept. 11, 2018 and approved consent for a grant up to $5,000 for the new store. The grant will help clean up the outside of the building.

Other family members liked the idea of Sous Chef and jumped on board. They say it's all about helping their neighbors and bringing fresh and local food to the community.

One of Sous Chef employees, Sarah Couri, explains the store is for the betterment of the community.

"We can really focus on caring for everyone who lives here in this city and who wants the city to keep thriving," says Couri.

According to Rodolfi, "The focus for the store being fresh food is something that appeals to all consumers and we think it's really important for everybody to have access to fresh foods.”

The small business owners say they're hopeful that the store will attract enough business.

"I just wonder if maybe as a smaller business if we can make it work, where a larger cooperation really can't,” says Couri. “they are not caring about the community, they have a lot of other concerns that they are sort of taking care of."

The grocery store will offer things like produce, meat, dry goods and rice. However, Sous Chef won’t stop there.

"We will also take care of some meal prep for people," says Roldofi

Since the owners are trying to service the community, they plan on utilizing the skills of those within the community to drive the success of Sous Chef forward.

Another Sous Chef employee, Michael Jackson, plans to put his talents to work.

“I always cook,” says Jackson, “I've been cooking for a long time. Since i was a kid."

Sous Chef will work with local farmers to keep the produce as fresh as possible and bring revenue into the surrounding areas.

"We are doing what we can to keep prices as low for everybody who shops with us," says Roldofi.

Be on the lookout for the new grocery store on SW Adams Street in the early part of October.

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