RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — For Max Ammons, there are perks to calling downtown Raleigh home.
“One of the big things that’s nice about living downtown is not having to get in your car to do things,” Ammons said.
However, it’s been different when it comes to grocery shopping.
“About a 10-minute drive over to Cameron Village would be one of the closer grocery stores,” he said. “So, 20 minutes round trip in a car versus a five-minute walk.”
But this weekend, he and his girlfriend, Cassie Smith, were able to shop for food a little closer to home with the opening of the Weaver Street Market.
According to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA), it’s the downtown area’s first full-service grocery store to open in years.
“We are thrilled to have a grocery store in downtown Raleigh, which affirms our residential growth and helps with walkability,” DRA President and CEO Bill King said in a statement. “We are also happy to have a locally owned store, which was part of the reason we at the Downtown Raleigh Alliance worked so hard to get them here.”
Store manager Micki McCarthy told CBS 17 the store focuses on products from local farmers, and is run as a co-op, owned by those who work and shop there.
“We’re not a publicly-traded company, so all of the profits that we make, they stay in the community,” McCarthy said.
Both Ammons and Smith believe the new store will foster growth throughout downtown.
“I think it definitely makes it much more of a neighborhood downtown,” Ammons said. “This can kind of help establish long-term residents that don’t really have to leave.”
They hope it will help other local businesses grow and thrive.
“I feel like a lot of people our generation, once they start having kids, then they’re thinking ‘okay, we have to move outside of town because there wasn’t a grocery store’,” Smith added. “I think this will be a big difference.”
The store will also celebrate its opening with a “baguette breaking,” which store officials say is their version of a ribbon-cutting, with city and county leaders on Monday.