On Sept 28th, Whole Foods opened its doors to a Chicago neighborhood that has been stricken with poverty and crime. The Englewood neighborhood of Chicago has seen its ups and downs in recent years but with the help of local businesses and city officials things are changing for the better.

Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz from the Chicago Tribune states that “Chicago is often cast as two cities, one wealthy and one poverty-sticken, but some say there also two Englewood’s – one who rampant gun violence leaves mothers crying in front of news cameras and one with enough disposable income to buy $4.50 pumpkin spices lattes.”  The introduction of a Whole Foods will hopefully change this sentiment.  In addition, local businesses were granted opportunities  to contract with the new store as, “…the Greater Englewood Community Development Corp. and the city of Chicago aimed to get small business owners ready to pitch their products to Whole Foods Market before the company’s Englewood location opened.”

The Whole Foods will be located next to a community college, Starbucks, and an array of local small businesses.

The store could create a ripple effect for local business in the community and benefit future projects in the city.  Chicago may get a bad rap for its violence and shady politics but change seems to be on the horizon.  

Dreams do come true, and 35 area businesses will now see their products sold at the Englewood Whole Foods store.

-Ray Hayes