New grocery store delivers options to southern Dallas food desert

Grocery store arrives in food desert

DALLAS – The opening of a neighborhood grocery store is generating a considerable amount of buzz in the Highland Hills community of Southern Dallas.

A new Save a Lot is opening at 3540 Simpson Stuart Road. Neighbors say it’s the first grocery in the area in nearly eight years.

Farrington says the new market has been all the buzz with many of her friends.

”I’m very impressed,” Farrington said as she looked around the produce section. “I mean it’s clean. It’s nice. This is the best looking store I’ve seen in a long time.”

It has been a long time since this southern Dallas community has had access to any grocery store. Most neighborhoods travel several miles for food. Many rely on corner stores for quick items.

”Well, you have to go to another city, practically,” explained Farrington as she described her grocery shopping routine. “You have to go to DeSoto, Lancaster, or somewhere else to find anything.”

This new Save A Lot is independently owned and operated by local businessman Joseph Kemp and his family.

Kemp said, ”It’s a give back to the neighborhood.”

He owns an apartment complex nearby and he is familiar with the food challenges in the area.

Kemp said, ”A lot of mornings, I would see kids eating cheese tots, or donuts…Not saying that those aren’t good. But they are not nutritional.”

As a dad, Kemp said he wanted to do something.

”Now a kid can come across the street and get him an apple, get him an orange,” Kemp explained, “rather than go to the donut shop.”

Opening the Save A Lot in this area was not easy. Kemp says he navigated hurdles with the help of former Councilman Tennell Atkins.

“This neighborhood is an oasis,” Atkins explained. “It’s growing. You’ve got UNT, Paul Quinn, but you’ve also got Amazon, Inland Port. You’ve got 30,000 people in this little 2-mile distance here that need food.”

Folks also need jobs. And the grocery store is bringing some to the community.

Kemp explained, ”For 25 to 30 jobs, I had in excess of 800 resumes.”

Neighbors like Farmington are giving their seal of approval.

”I see everything is organized,” she said as she examined the aisles and prices.

City leaders say they are optimistic the grand opening of this market could be a sign of great things to come in this community.

Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Erik Wilson said, ”We want to make sure that’s successful so that spurs development, not only in this area, but throughout Southern Dallas.”

The Save A Lot in Highland Hills will celebrate its grand opening at 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 28.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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