A couple in Fayetteville, Georgia has opened the first Black-owned autonomous grocery store with a robotic delivery service in the country in the world.
Last month Jaimie and Jilea Hemmings held the grand opening for their grocery store called Nourish + Bloom Market – the first Black-owned contactless grocery store in the world.
The married couple said their journey into the food industry was inspired after their oldest son was diagnosed with Autism. They began experimenting with food that seemed to help improve his performance and decided to make similar healthy food available to the community through their store.
“We said instead of just thinking about meals for him, let’s bring a full market where everyone has access to healthy meals,” Jilea told CW69 News.
“All products provided at Nourish + Bloom Markets are made with the highest quality ingredients that are minimally processed,” a statement on the website reads. “No GMO’s or high fructose corn syrup allowed!”
The autonomous grocery store will be open 24/7/365 with no checkout lines, giving shoppers a “frictionless” experience where they walk in, pick their items and leave the store without waiting in line or scanning to pay.
After downloading the store’s app and inputting their payment information, customers will simply enter the store, grab what they need and walk out. The total for their items will automatically be charged to their account and they will receive a receipt by phone.
The store also has a robotic delivery system that will bring customers located within a 3-mile radius their order.
“The community response has been overwhelming,” Hemmings said. “They are just so proud to see a Black family doing this, and then also to experience the technology, people have been very excited about that.”
The couple hopes to expand Nourish + Bloom to hundreds of stores nationwide. They have partnered with Coca-Cola and Microsoft, among others, to create STEM and mentorship programs for underserved kids and teens through the store.