A decade ago, there were more than 50 liquor stores in West Oakland and zero full-service grocery stores. But in 2009, community members launched Mandela Foods Cooperative, a health food store in the neighborhood with a small but Whole Foods-like produce section.

Despite the high failure rates of new businesses–around 70% fail after 10 years–the store has survived. This year, it will expand into a new retail space more than twice as large.

One of the solutions the community identified that would be important is that they should own their own grocery store.

Before the store moved into the neighborhood, many current customers often ended up buying junk food from corner stores.

The health food store, by contrast, sells products like organic lentils and beans in bulk bins, kombucha, and locally-made tempeh and granola.

Read the full article on ending a food desert by Adele Peters at FastCompany.