South Dallas Church Bringing Food Market to Community

Cornerstone Baptist Church, in partnership with the Real Estate Council, is preparing to open the Southpoint Community Market in South Dallas

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When the leadership at Cornerstone Baptist Church saw a need for healthy, fresh food in their South Dallas Community, they looked for a solution. The answer? Southpoint Community Market, a small non-profit grocery store the church partnered with the Real Estate Council to make a reality.

"One of the issues that came up was the fact that there was not access to fresh and affordable food items," Cornerstone Baptist Church Pastor Chris Simmons said. "They need good, quality food at an affordable price."

South Dallas is a food desert, where access to fresh, healthy food is limited and so are transportation options. The effect of that trickles down to community health.

"We have people who have high levels of high blood pressure and diabetes because a lot of the times they're eating foods that are saturated in fat," Simmons said.

"We live in an area that used to be the 'wet' side of Dallas," Cornerstone's Program Director Donald Wesson Jr. said, referring to the number of liquor stores in the area. "Rebrand South Dallas as a place for food and community, not for whatever South Dallas is known for today."

The 800 to 1,000 square foot space in an abandoned shopping strip on South Ervay is being renovated as a market with space for local entrepreneurs to sell their products as well. The hope is, the market will lay a foundation for more businesses and jobs in the neighborhood.

"It's a 'if you build it, will they come?'," Wesson said.

"Our hope is that it would send a message to the broader community that there is a need for a major grocery store in this area," Simmons said, saying if a major grocery store came in and put them out of business, "that would be a good thing."

The Southpoint Community Market is planning a June 19 grand opening.

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