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This Black-Owned Grocery Chain With 38 Stores Just Secured $13.5 Million To Expand

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Yellow Banana is a Black-owned grocery chain that operates 38 locations under the Save-A-Lot brand. Its stores can be found in major American cities such as Milwaukee and Cleveland. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the corporation recently won $13.5 million in governmental subsidies from Chicago’s City Council’s Finance Committee to purchase and refurbish six run-down Save-A-Lot grocery stores.

Yellow Banana was started in 2021 by three entrepreneurs. They are Ademola Adewale-Sadik, Michael Nance, and Walker Brumskine, and they have a vision to address food insecurity in the United States. “Our objective is to provide critical nutrition to working families at reasonable pricing.”

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They met while studying at Yale Law School; Adewale-Sadik and Brumskine also attended Harvard Business School. Joseph Canfield, a seasoned operator and co-founder of 127 Wall, joined them. Two of the company’s co-founders are African-American, and a third is both African-American and Latino.

Ald. Jason Ervin, chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus, told The Chicago Sun-Times that the current stores require refurbishment as well as rehabilitation of relationships with the neighborhood.

“The city is putting a significant investment out here, but at the same time we want to make sure that people will actually utilize this. And that may be something that may hold people up from doing it,” he said.

“The city is putting a major investment out here,” he says, “but at the same time, we want to make sure that people will actually use this.” And that could be something that prevents people from doing it. There will be some difficulties simply because of the name and what has transpired in the town in the past.”

Michael Nance, one of Yellow Banana’s partners, stated that he and his partners have given “tremendous attention” to the rebranding challenge highlighted by Ervin.

“We fully appreciate the reputational damage that Save A Lot has done in the city of Chicago by shutting down stores, such as the store that we seek to reopen at 79th and Halsted. … We understand that it’s unacceptable to unilaterally make these kinds of decisions without including the community’s voices,” Nance told the finance committee.

“One of the things that we’re considering in terms of branding is actually doing a mural on the side of that building that embraces the culture of that community. So we would pay out of our dollars to hire a local artist to help brand that store in a way that community respects and feels dignifies their voices,” he added.

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Written by How Africa News

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