Recycled shipping containers to bring fresh food to America’s food deserts

Fresh food is a rare commodity in some areas of American cities. Even Walmart has recognized this and is looking to open smaller stores in areas not normally use to having small supermarkets anymore and bring fresh produce to area where it is easy to get a McDonald’s hamburger than it is a head of lettuce.

Enter Stockbox Grocers.

The company is a Seattle start up that want to take old shipping containers and convert them into mini-stores selling a range of fresh food, meat and dairy products. These mini-stores are intended to be set up in parking lots around these food deserts within every major city. They have already opened up their first prototype two weeks ago in the Delridge area of Seattle and plan on two permanent sites in early 2012, and with more to follow.

Carrie Ferrence, Stockbox’s cofounder, says the response so far has been promising. “The community has been really supportive of having access to good food. There is a level of education we need to do. But in the short period we’ve been in Delridge, we’ve been blown away by the level of engagement people have around food, and this as a food option.”

Stockbox picked Delridge because car-less residents currently have a 45-minute bus ride to the nearest decent grocery store.

“It’s mostly gas stations and convenience stores. There aren’t even many restaurants. While there are stores within a couple of miles, there are no direct bus lines. It’s difficult to get out of the community, and get somewhere with greater access,” Ferrence says.

via Fast Company

The company founders are graduates of Bainbridge Graduate Institute and the Institute’s MBA program which fosters “sustainable business” entrepreneurs. Carrie Ferrence and her partner Jacqueline Gjurgevich came up with the idea during their second year and have raised $50,000, including $20,000 via Kickstarter.