CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – A grand opening for a new mini-market on West May Avenue in Gastonia is just the beginning of a bigger plan for a local couple in power.
The Mic Mini Market is located in a food desert but the owners are working on a plan to change it.
Monday was the grand opening of the Mini Market in Micos in Gastonia, the fourth company owned by Micholas and Chyncia Rodgers in the community.
The company is named after Micholas but he also claims it was Chycnia’s dream.
“The thought behind this was that he should have come to work here, so I said if I call him by his name he will come to work,” Chyncia joked.
They hope this idea works because in this very little more than a tenth of an acre, there are big dreams of what the market might mean for the community.
The market that was once here closed in March 2020, just when the pandemic struck before Rodgers bought it in November.
“It was the store we came to all the time, so when it closed we had to go to this one down here and it is a bit higher (prices),” said customer Monica Brice.
Monica Brice and Anthony Sharpe were happy to see a market return to their community.
“We lost it, the comfort, the comfort of the neighborhood,” Sharpe said.
In this neighborhood, there is a lack of options.
According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, the market stands on the edge of a low-income, low-access area, commonly known as a food desert.
The nearest discount grocery store is more than a mile away. The nearest Lion and Shaw food are two miles away. That’s why Rodgers said to make sure menu production was mandatory.
“We want this store to be a community, as a destination,” said Chycnia Rodgers.
“We want to have food trucks here, healthy food options so people can get out their door and get accessible food.”
Sharpe acknowledged that the idea was necessary.
“This is the first store that has tried to open in the neighborhood with products and things like that so we need more in the neighborhood,” Sharpe said.
Rodgers says they plan to partner with local farmers, even have farmers markets and maybe one day a mini garden.
“Our vision is to probably have … a place where we can have people grow up in the community, where they can come and pick their vegetables, that ‘s definitely something we want to do,” Rodgers said.
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