DALLAS – The Black-owned Save U More grocery store located in Southern Dallas’s Highland Hills neighborhood is the only option for fresh fruit and vegetables in the area, which is referred to as a food desert.
Now, the store is closed. It is slated to reopen in roughly three months, however.
Spectrum News 1 in November reported Save U More has been struggling. The pandemic has people shopping less frequently and purchasing less when they do, and that, in turn, has made it difficult for the store to make sufficient revenue to fully stock the shelves. The cycle continues because shoppers haven’t been able to locate everything they need, prompting them to shop elsewhere.
About five years ago, Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins, who represents District 8, which is home to the store and neighborhood, persuaded the City of Dallas to invest nearly $3 million in Save U More in order to ensure residents of the community had access to healthful foods.
According to a release from his office, the store is being temporarily closed for renovations and in order to restructure its business plan.
“This store is vital to many of the residents in this district who lack fresh food options,” Atkins said. “The temporary closing is necessary to ensure the store’s future success, thus making a meaningful impact in the lives of our young people and seniors.”
The store’s owner, Joseph Kemp, stepped up and purchased Save U More four years ago when no one else was willing to do so. He said it’s been difficult at times, but he has no remorse concerning his decision.
“I have no regrets opening the store, though it has been a challenge,” said Kemp. “I had to do this after seeing kids in the area eat Fritos and Cheese Hots which wasn’t conducive for a positive learning environment at school. They need fresh fruits and vegetables. With a much healthier diet, it fosters a better learning experience.”
The store has been operational for five years, and as part of the agreement with the City of Dallas, it must remain so for 10.
“Business is slow due to the pandemic and this time will be used to find a new operator and make modifications to the facility to increase the shopping of local residents,” Kemp said.
“I am proud of Mr. Kemp’s continued commitment to this community. I am more determined than ever to see this store succeed because lives are depending on it,” Atkins added.