The Central Topeka Grocery Oasis (CTGO), a group of neighbors organized to reestablish a full-service grocery store in Central Topeka, is proud and excited to reveal the market study commissioned to discover the viability of the grocery store.
The CTGO held a presentation ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, in the first-floor conference room of the Buchanan Center, 1195 SW Buchanan.
The market study, paid for through a $12,500 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) and conducted by Dakota Worldwide, shows that a new Central Topeka grocery store is viable. The CTGO started 22 months ago with this mission: “To resolve the food desert/insecurity that exists in Central Topeka created by the closing of the Dillon’s grocery store.” The CTGO also has worked to establish a new grocery store in Central Topeka because it sees the store not just as economic development but also as community development because of the array of services that can be offered (check cashing, bill payment, money order, postal, and pharmacy services), the array of healthy foods that will make people stronger physically, and the importance a store holds as a place for people to socialize and become better neighbors to one another.
In addition to the completed market study showing that a Central Topeka grocery store is viable, the CTGO has been busy talking with those in the grocery store business about the study. The CTGO has been looking at locations for a grocery store in Central Topeka. The CTGO understands the costs associated with the choice of a site, the costs of construction, and the costs of running a store that meets the needs of our neighbors and Central Topeka visitors.
During the past 22 months the CTGO has met with and engaged area residents, City of Topeka policy and decision makers, the Shawnee County Health Department, local and state nonprofits, and other individuals and entities to achieve its mission. The CTGO will continue to encourage those and other individuals and entities to be involved not only in its efforts in Central Topeka but similar efforts across our city and county as 60 percent of Topeka is a food desert.
KHF supports those groups addressing food deserts/food insecurity. Per KHF’s grant, the CTGO knew early on that there also were economic and financial considerations to addressing those issues with a grocery store. To determine those considerations, the CTGO hired a consultant with KHF funds. Dakota Worldwide is well regarded in its field. The CTGO also consulted with the Small Business Administration of Washburn and Kansas State University and the Greater Topeka Partnership (GTP) to look at the economics of a Central Topeka grocery store.
The GTP, which serves as an umbrella agency for various local efforts that support economic development and quality of life in Topeka and Shawnee County, is serving as the fiscal sponsor of the KHF grant.
"The Kansas Health Foundation is a philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of all Kansans. For more information about the Kansas Health Foundation, please visit www.Kansashealth.org"