A long-running grocery store in Los Angeles is being sold to a Black-led nonprofit organization. After nearly three decades, Skid Row People’s Market will be owned by the group known as Creating Justice L.A.
“Danny said ‘I don’t want a for-profit person to come in and just be about profit. I want the legacy of the market to continue,'” Creating Justice L.A. founder and director Stephen Cue Jn-Marie said in an interview with ABC 7 about owner Danny Park’s decision to sell the grocery store.
In 1995, Park’s parents purchased the store, previously known as Best Market. Park then took over the business in 2015 after the death of his father. The Korean American-owned convenience store, which is located in a predominantly Black Los Angeles neighborhood, has been providing low-cost food to the community for many years. The neighborhood doesn’t have any other grocery stores, AsAmNews reported.
“This market has been a place that offers store credit when you’re running low at the end of the month, free electricity and water, fresh and affordable products, a sense of safety, security and refuge for folks living on the streets,” Park said during a press conference on Jan. 10, according to ABC 7.
Creating Justice L.A., which runs a peace and healing center in Skid Row, strives to strengthen social and economic health in the community. The nonprofit also offers free coffee daily.
Jn-Marie said the organization still has big goals ahead, including its focus on addressing food insecurity and creating jobs within the community.
“We’re trying to raise $300K. Not just to purchase the store, but also to continue to run our nonprofit,” Jn-Marie said.
Park’s mother, May, who plans to volunteer with Creating Justice L.A., said she is thrilled to see that the nonprofit is in good hands.
“I’m happy. That’s what Danny wanted,” May told ABC 7.
Park wants the community to remember the story of Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old Black girl who was shot to death at a Los Angeles liquor store in 1991. Latasha, who was shot by a Korean shopkeeper, didn’t get justice, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Park, who has been keeping a framed photo of Latasha at the front of the store, said it’s important to keep the images close because “that’s how we heal.”
“Because by remembering, that’s how we learn,” Park told The LA Times.
The store also features headshots of the late George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
“We all believe, in whatever work we do, that we are doing some kind of good for humanity no matter what it is,” Park said in the same interview with The LA Times. “So why can’t that be the product?”