October 11, 2012 may have been the day that the Kinsman food desert was permanently abolished.
Over 150 people celebrated the grand opening of Bridgeport Café and Cornucopia Place on that day. Both projects are cornerstones of Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.’s Healthy Food Access Initiative, which aims to drastically change how low-income inner-city residents think and act when it comes to healthy food.
In addition to touring the spaces during the grand opening, visitors were able to see Chef Eric Wells prepare some culinary delights, watch a slideshow depicting the history and progress of the project, peruse the Bridgeport Café menu, and speak with BBC staff about facets of the project. The Bridgeport Mobile Market, a refrigerated food truck that will deliver fresh produce to residents throughout the Cleveland’s east side, was also open for tours.
The program featured remarks by Mayor Frank Jackson and Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland. Ronn Richard of the Cleveland Foundation, Susanna Krey from Sisters of Charity Foundation, and Maria Thompson of the Third Federal Foundation spoke about why their organizations supported the project and how they view it as a major catalyst for improving the wellness of those living in the inner-city. Resident Priscilla Fayne offered another perspective of the project, proclaiming her excitement for the healthy food options of which her neighborhood has been devoid for decades.
Following the program, attendees were invited to enjoy complimentary refreshments, including wraps and cookies prepared by the staff of Bridgeport Café.
Bridgeport Café is open weekdays from 7am to 6pm and Saturdays from 10am until 6pm. To learn more about Bridgeport Café, please visit bridgeportcafe.com. For more information about CornUcopia Place, including upcoming cooking and nutrition classes, please visit bbcdevelopment.org/cornucopia-bbcd.