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This Mother-Daughter Duo Hopes To End The Food Desert In Their Community By Opening A Supermarket

This Mother-Daughter Duo Hopes To End The Food Desert In Their Community By Opening A Supermarket

New grocer alert!

A mother-daughter duo is working on opening a new supermarket in Richmond, Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Renee Thompson Truehart and her daughter Tyra Gallagher are in the process of opening Darrell’s Family Supermarket, located right in the heart of Richmond at the former site of the Henrico County grocery store.

Truehart, a veteran residential real estate agent, has been scouting the property for years, watching other supermarkets attempt to open but never succeed long term. When she saw a “for lease” sign, she felt it was her opportunity to jump on the 35,000-square-foot space located right off Richmond Henrico Turnpike. Since then, the family has been working on getting everything situated for launch. They are currently looking for a refrigeration specialist to inspect the store and secure wholesale suppliers for the market. Now, they have launched a GoFundMe to support their mission, intending to raise $95,000.

“We’re hoping to open before Christmas. We’re doing everything in our power to make sure that happens,” Truehart said.

Gallagher, who will operate as the store’s manager, said their goal is to provide fresh produce, luxury items and healthy foods to an area that otherwise doesn’t have it. The supermarket lies directly outside what has been deemed a food desert, a typically under-resourced area with little to no access to healthy and affordable foods. Truehart and Gallagher hope to change that at Darrell’s, supplying locally-owned products, healthy food alternatives, luxury items such as craft beer and vegan goods, as well as a pharmacy for the community. 

While there are obstacles for an independent grocer, especially one without substantial financial backing, Truehart and Gallagher are confident that they can find the resources and curate a place that benefits the community. Named for Truehart’s brother Darrell, who recently died from pulmonary hypertension, the grocery store is more than just a business venture for her; it’s a way to carry on her family’s legacy in a meaningful way.

“It’s something that’s very important to be able to bring healthy foods and produce to an area,” Gallagher said. 

Truehart is learning as she goes, working to build the supermarket and also model the customer service model of Chick-Fil-A or Carlie C’s, an independent grocer in North Carolina. She feels like her products are one thing, but her customer service and the overall atmosphere will keep people coming to Darrell’s. Eventually, she wants to work to open up the entire strip mall surrounding the market, but she’s in launch mode - for now. 

Darrell’s Family Supermarket is located at 5118 Richmond Henrico Turnpike in the Meadowood Square Shopping Center. 

To donate to their launch, click here.

Congratulations, Renee and Tyra!

Photo Courtesy of D’Andre Henderson/WRIC/Richmond Times-Dispatch