Safeway takes a community-driven approach to the grocery business with new food selections and community partnerships
By Nicole Davis
As Americans have increased their time at home in the past year, they have eaten more home-cooked meals, and many have taught themselves how to cook and/or bake. That’s led to not only a growing demand at many grocers and retailers but also a change in which items customers purchase.
Scott Weaver, owner of Grace Foods which includes the Safeway grocery store at 2176 Shelby St., said his goal is the same as its always been since purchasing the business in 2016: to be a community-oriented store which caters to the individuals who shop there.
“As customers ask for items, we’ll sell the items our customers want,” said Jeff Kirkham, operations director. “Everything is customer driven. If it’s requested and we have the ability to get it, we’ll get it for them.”
The Southside Indianapolis Safeway is centered in between the Garfield Park and Fountain Square communities, an area which has seen much growth in recent years. Safeway, in turn, has made its own improvements.
The store has remodeled and reopened its deli which will now focus on prepackaged, grab-and-go items. This will include the deli’s “famous chicken,” fried chicken, prepackaged deli meat, salads, sides and more.
“The customer base at the store has been asking for it so we followed what they wanted and we’re reopening the deli,” Kirkham said.
The store is converting its light fixtures to LED to create a brighter shopping atmosphere. The produce section features all new cases with expanded offerings. The store has also partnered with Boost Mobile for a new Boost kiosk.
Safeway partnered with Big Car, a nonprofit which uses art to build community, to display a couple of large murals on the side of the building. One of those murals is currently on display: You, Me, WE by Carlie Foreman, a 60-foot mural representing an expression of the connection and unity of the Garfield Park neighborhood.
It is also partnering with the Marion County Health Department in its Fresh Bucks Indy Produce Prescription (RX) Program. This program aims to foster healthy eating habits by providing tools for healthcare professionals to refer their patients to receive nutrition education and financial incentives to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Learn more at freshbucksindy.org/produce-rx.
“We are very excited to be able to serve the neighborhood,” Weaver said, expressing his desire for the Southside store to continue being a neighborhood grocer that serves all of its customers’ needs.