The Village Market: New Columbia Goes Shopping for Food Justice
The Village Market is a nonprofit Healthy Corner Store that has been open since May of 2011 in the mixed-use, mixed-income New Columbia housing development in Portland, Oregonâ€™s Portsmouth neighborhood. The venture began as a â€œcommunity-ledâ€ effort in partnership with Janus Youth Programs and Home Forward. The project was conceived after a private enterprise in the small grocery space designed into the development failed, leaving the neighborhood without easy access to healthy foods. This dissertation is a case study of the development process, the operation of the market, and the degree to which it addresses food justice and health equity concerns, among others, of residents. It is a case study of the Healthy Corner Store movement that uses food regime theory and political economy perspectives to critically examine the translation of Healthy Corner Store movement theory into practice, highlighting the perspectives of New Columbia residents on the endeavor. It explores the transition of the store from a community-led project to a management-led social enterprise, and the impacts of that approach on local autonomy, food justice, health equity as well as its successes and shortcomings. The storeâ€™s situation in a mixed-income community meant that it had a particularly diverse set of expectations to navigate, and the changes to the store over time reflect Village Marketâ€™s growing understanding of the implications of that situation but also a limited capacity to accommodate residentsâ€™ differing tastes and the price sensitivity that many of them exhibit in their shopping habits.