On June 20, 2018, the city of Grambling officially opened its first full-service grocery store in 35 years.
Legends Market features a bakery and a deli that services breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“Residents lacked access to quality, affordable fresh foods. Members of the community were forced to travel to surrounding areas to shop for groceries and other basic retail commodities,” said Jones.
“Not only was the additional travel inconvenient, it also meant that precious tax and economic development dollars were being exported to surrounding localities instead of generating benefits for the City of Grambling.”
Before the new establishment, the city was named a “food desert” by the USDA, meaning people didn’t have access to quality, affordable fresh food.
The market accepts G-Flex, a student’s tuition account that has a credit balance that may be used to purchase goods. This will help keep revenue in Grambling and add to the general fund.
Over $4 million was spent in 2017, and as of the end of August Legends Market has generated 3x the amount of sales compared to stores its size for a year.
Many alumni took to social media to express their gratitude for the overdue addition. “Wow! Go G-Town! We didn’t have this during my years at Grambling,” said Yolanda Anderson.
According to local newspapers, city government has worked on this grocery store since 2011.
The market will also feature a Tiger pharmacy under the owner and pharmacist, Materra Comer. The pharmacy will include a prescription saving service and free delivery to your home or work within Grambling.
However, while the store is expected to be a success, some have mixed feelings.
Take Chriselle Thompson, a resident of Grambling. “The prices are extremely high compared to stores in Ruston. I would rather drive to Super 1 for pork chops.”
“There were over 200+ applicants,” said John Doe. “But at the grand opening you did not see [your] people at top level management. We were promised more than what we got.”
While I cannot speak on organizational leadership, I can say employees are cheerful when customers come in.
I took a visit to Legends Market to see for myself. While yes prices are higher than other local grocers, the environment is better than any store within 60-mile radius.
It was like shopping at a boutique for food, out of the norm for the rural area.
“Hopefully, the store and added jobs will entice more of our young people to not only come to our city to attend the university, but also to settle here and make our city their home, said Jones.”
The full-service grocery store will save shoppers gas and make financial sense. The store is located in Legends Square plaza.
Right off I-20, the plaza honors Grambling greats Ralph Waldo, Emerson Jones, Eddie Robinson, Collie J. Nicholson and 20 others recognized for their dedication and contribution to the community as well as Grambling State University. Legends Square “Walk of Fame” sit on the left side of Legends Market.
Legends Square is a $10 million development to provide affordable good and services to Grambling’s under-served community. The plaza also includes Hibbett Sports and Dollar Tree.