A year and-a-half after it was first announced, and a year after it was supposed to open, a new grocery store is finally ready to open in downtown Rock Island. This week people can begin shopping at the Healthy Harvest Urban Farms Market on 2nd Avenue.
Co-owner Chad Summers says downtown Rock Island is a "food desert," and that with all the people moving to the area, demand has grown for something more than just a convenience store. He'll sell organic products mostly grown by local farmers.
"People are starting to figure out that their health is directly related to what they eat. I don't necessarily want to be known as a health food store, but as a store that serves nutritious food that you can become healthy by eating."
The main reason for the long delay was financing - Summers started out thinking he could open the store for about 10,000 dollars from his own money. But with all the updating required by the building at 16-16 2nd Avenue, it ended up costing about 200,000 dollars.
That money came from the Development Association of Rock Island, the city, friends, and a local farmer.
Healthy Harvest will also have a "whole food cafe" overseen by a registered dietician, and by next year he hopes to have seven full-time employees.