As a graduate of Howard University, 26-year-old Olympia Auset, has founded a low-cost organic grocery store that serves low-income communities in Los Angeles. Known as SÜPRMARKT, the store operates on a weekly basis and provides 100% organic produce. It aims to make great health and healing available to the communities that need it the most. With the high-cost associated with operating a food market, SÜPRMARKT is trying to get community support with getting the word out, building partnerships, and gaining the exposure needed to keep this worthwhile endeavor going. Olympia realizes it’s a huge barrier in convincing people to eat healthy but it’s a barrier she desperately wants to break through.
While there are many organic and vegan grocery stores, very few of them are affordable to low-income families and individuals. Olympia said her mission is to bring great health and healing within reach of communities that need it the most, and her grocery store’s motto is “Save Big. Eat Great.” Describing what motivates her, she stated, “I think the greatest takeaway about this project is it shows there are things every person can do to tackle societal issues that face their community. It isn’t always about waiting on corporations or governments to get things done.”
SÜPRMARKT is able to provide lower-cost organic foods by blending new produce with slightly impaired produce to balance out the food waste that currently takes place. This is achieved by Olympia partnering with major organic suppliers in the Los Angeles area to distribute un-sellable food to communities that can make use of it.
The store operates on a subscription service model which offers low-cost weekly packages of produce, and EBT is accepted for all food sales. With such cutting edge approaches to reducing cost, SÜPRMARKT has created a viable solution to tackling the questions of food insecurity and food waste, while also building a healthier world.
After opening one-year ago in June 2016, Olympia’s grocery store has sold hundreds of cases of organic fruit, vegetables, and seeds affordably to low-income communities. Due to her commitment in uplifting low-income communities, she has received grants from The Pollination Project and Co-Opportunity. In addition, she has gotten support from food figures such as Robert Egger of LA Kitchen and organizations like The Underground Museum.
For more details about SÜPRMARKT, visit www.suprmarkt.la