For Oakland Restaurant (and More) Week, we look at the businesses – in addition to restaurants – that have been nourishing Oakland’s communities.
Oakland is home to a number of independent grocery stores with deep connections to local communities, often times filling gaps in fresh, affordable groceries for Oakland’s communities of color.
Yolanda Romo, one of the members from the DEEP Grocery Cooperative (formerly known as the East Oakland Grocery Cooperative), has taken on the mission to provide a reliable grocery store in Deep East Oakland - reliable meaning options in dairy, meat, produce that’s fresh, organic and affordable.
“East Oakland residents are surrounded by liquor stores and major supermarkets that give highly processed or not the freshest food. DEEP Grocery Cooperative is a remedy to that."
DEEP Grocery started selling at AKOMA Market, a local open-air market put on by Black Cultural Zone to give a vending space to Oakland’s Black and Brown businesses. While DEEP Grocery is prioritizing finding a brick-and-mortar space, seeking fundraising and looking for a fiscal sponsor, the cooperative’s mission and vision remains as important as ever:
“The DEEP is a worker-owned grocery cooperative dedicated to restoring East Oakland’s community through fresh organic produce, community education, and cooperative economics, prioritizing the wellbeing of Black and Brown people.”
As the world looks at what will be different after COVID, here’s a list of local markets and alternatives to larger grocers to support in 2021.
Unlike conventional supermarkets and grocery stores, Mandela is a full-service grocery store operated, centrally governed, and democratically controlled by their worker-owners. Their structure and operations are guided by cooperative principles and a strong community centered mission.
PC: Mandela Grocery
West Oakland - Community Foods Market
3105 San Pablo Avenue
Community Foods Market is built on the belief that food can bring people together, build community and strengthen families. And that socializing and great experiences often happen in food spaces, creating long-lasting memories and relationships.
PC: Community Foods Market
East Oakland - AKOMA Market
Liberation Park @ 6955 Foothill Boulevard
A certified farmer’s market in Deep East Oakland that highlights local Black and Brown farmers, vendors, organizations, and artists! It occurs every First Sunday from 10am-3pm (weather permitting).
PC: Akoma Market
East Oakland - The DEEP Grocery Cooperative
Currently looking for a brick-and-mortar location in 2021, DEEP Grocery Cooperative aims to be a source for healthy groceries in East Oakland.
PC: The DEEP Grocery Coop