L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Emiliana Lopez, mother of La Placita Market owner Ricardo Lopez, proudly shows off healthy food offerings at their Pico-Union community market
EWDD provides Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), which spearheads the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network (HNMN). The program improves the healthy food offerings of corner stores in Los Angeles by transforming corner markets and liquor stores into convenient and healthy food retail options for residents in food deserts.

La Placita Market is a Healthy Neighborhood Market Network participant. This year, the market has invested in making capital improvements to their business by leveraging the support of the program and community partners to facilitate their new look for the benefit of their community.

As a family legacy business, under the leadership of Ricardo Lopez, he and his family have created a space for community engagement by hosting cooking demonstrations and participating in SEE-LA’s market match program, which offers produce incentives to EBT customers. The family has coordinated the operations and marketing efforts of this incentive to expand access to quality food for all Angelinos. Further, they have met with leaders of produce companies to discuss how they can further their impact.

Today, Ricardo continues to lead the operations of the market in hopes of one day opening the family's second location after 16 years in the business. Currently, they are working on launching a crowdfunding campaign to paint a mural with a Mexican artist as a narrative of the cultural roots and legacy of the families in the Pico-Union community.

“I am grateful for the support of the city’s (business resource services) and their help to ensure that we stay in business to serve our community,” said Emiliana Lopez, Ricardo’s mother. “The support has allowed us to make much needed improvements in our market to provide a better customer experience. Now, we are focused on making sure that our exterior facade communicates the quality of our offerings we have inside our market.”

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of June 19, 2023. Read this issue and more.