The underserved South Crenshaw community of Los Angeles may get a new grocery store soon, thanks to actress and entrepreneur Tiffany Haddish.
Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish, starring in the upcoming movie, “Haunted Mansion,” hopes to get into the grocery business. She shared with the Washington Post that she is saving and raising $25 million to build a market in her hometown neighborhood of Crenshaw in South Central Los Angeles.
She dubbed the store Diaspora Groceries— named for groups of people who have migrated from other places to this country — and aims to have products provided by black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) suppliers that meet the tastes and needs of BIPOC shoppers. Her ultimate goal, Haddish said, is to improve food access and education in an underserved area. According to the Diaspora Groceries website, the mission of the market is to “empower our community by utilizing food as medicine providing access to local, sustainable healthy food, BIPOC products, and resources.”
In addition to carrying a variety of groceries and everyday essentials, the store will serve as an educational hub in the community, according to the actress. “I know so many Millennials right now that don’t know how to cook. And people my age — what am I? Generation X? — that don’t know how to cook. But they’ve been doing TV dinners and fast food their whole life because that’s affordable, which is ridiculous because it’s more affordable to cook your meals,” she said.
"I'm a firm believer that once you understand how money works, once you understand how food works, you become a healthier, happier human being,” Haddish continued. “And when you're healthier and happier, the family's healthier and happier, and the community's healthier and happier."’
Applications from prospective BIPOC suppliers are currently being accepted on the Diaspora Groceries website, which shared an anticipated opening year of 2024. Local community members are also invited to take a survey to share what they want to see in and learn from the new market.