Compton's first Grocery Outlet store opened its doors on Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that invited locals to shop its affordable brand-name products, including fresh and nutritious food.
Residents say produce is hard to come by in Compton, where they're often forced to make a trek to the nearest grocery store.
"Well there's not too many options cause we only have Food 4 Less close by," said Angie Iniguez, a Compton resident.
Another shopper, Myka Dotson, was shocked at the store's steep bargains when she visited on opening day.
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"A bag of vegetables that's normally organic for $8.99 was $2.99, so I bought a lot of organic vegetables today," Dotson said.
The Compton Grocery Outlet promises up to 60 percent off on brand-name items that can be found in traditional grocery stores and create jobs for locals. Of the 33 new employees the independently-operated store hired, 23 are Compton residents. The store's owners, Liza Guerrero and Lito Guerrero, hope to become a staple in the Compton community.
"Whatever blessing we have we're going to share it with other people," said Lito Guerrero.
Over a year ago, the Grocery Outlet building was home to grocery store chain Fresh & Easy, which closed its doors and left Compton residents with one less place to find food for balanced meals. In March of 2013, the USDA officially labeled Compton as a "food desert," meaning the city's residents do not have adequate access to essential dietary foods such as fruits and vegetables.
The Compton Grocery Outlet, the ninth of 19 new stores slated to open in Orange and LA Counties, will host its grand opening celebration on Saturday, March 19, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will offer games and prizes for Compton families, including reusable bags for the first 500 customers, face painting and $1 hot dogs and drinks.
The store plans to donate $1,000 worth of food to the Salvation Army of Compton and $2,500 to local non-profit Compton YouthBuild.
Compton Grocery Outlet will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 2175 West Rosecrans Avenue.