THIS JUST IN: Near Eastside to regain grocery outlet

The Healthy Harvest Market at Brookside will sit in the former home of Pogue’s Run Grocer on East 10th Street.

In the food desert known as the Near Eastside, it’s about to rain. Affordable food, that is.

Saturday will mark a “soft opening” for Healthy Harvest Market at Brookside, a partnership between Brandywine Creek Farms and the Ross Foundation. The market will also house Liberty Pie Co. and Café, which will feature alternative ways for needy customers to pay back.

The new market will be housed in the former home of Pogue’s Run Grocer, a co-operative which had an eight-year run at 2828 E. 10th St. just east of Rural Avenue ending in 2018. As of this writing, the nature of Saturday’s event was unclear, pending city approvals. But if no food can be sold, the owners – Jonathan and Amanda Lawler of Brandywine Creek Farms – still plan to host visitors.

According to news reports, the Lawlers had originally planned to open the grocery next year, but sped up the planning after connecting with Dee Ross of the Ross Foundation, an Indianapolis nonprofit. Unlike Pogue’s Run Grocer, the new operation will not be a co-op, but the mission is similar – to provide access to healthy, affordable food in a distressed area.

Since 2015, Brandywine Creek Farms of Greenfield has been focused on battling hunger, partnering with organizations such as Community Health Network and Hancock Healthy on mobile food farmers that travel around Indianapolis. The farm’s mission, according to its website, is to “inject healthy, locally raised food into food deserts across Central Indiana while establishing sustainable food systems in the areas with the most need.”

The Ross Foundation’s mission is focused on improving the city’s Far East side through youth programming, economic development, and community engagement.