Proposed Health Food Store Could Bring Healthy Competition to Downtown Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Could a new health food store help revitalize downtown Little Rock? 

One resident believes so and has put her research in writing. 

Walking around downtown isn't just for tourists anymore. 

"The neighbors are wonderful. They're so involved. Everyone puts in some type of effort," Starre Haas said. 

Haas has lived in Little Rock her entire life and moved downtown about 4 years ago. 

Since then, she and her husband have invested in several buildings in the financial district but wanted to do more. 

"I have a great passion for urban revitalization and specifically Little Rock because it's my home," Haas said. 

That passion was the driving force for her to attend the Clinton School of Public Service and turn her hopes into action starting with a health food grocery store downtown north of I-630.

"It's really about ease of access and walk-ability. Yes, there are other grocery stores but I want to make it more customized more like you're getting that urban feel and I really think it's something that should be offered in this area," Haas said. 

Nearby business owner, Don Dugan offers a few grocery essentials at Stratton's Market. 

"It's been nice to see the growth that's happened down here, how people have all started to move back downtown," Dugan said. 

As for the grocery store competition, he says bring it on. 

"I'm all for having more people down here, more people to compete with the more people that are down here the better off we all are," he said. 

Dugan agrees walk-ability is key. 

"People that live here and live down in this area like the fact that they can walk 2 blocks and go to the store." 

Haas hopes more developments will be just around the corner. 

"Over the past 10 years it's developed so wonderfully and I believe that if the community members just keep pushing, we're going to get downtown to where it needs to be," she said. 

Click here to check out Haas' Needs Assessment for a health food store in downtown Little Rock.

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