PHOENIX — The downtown Phoenix Fry's grocery store officially opened Wednesday, bringing a much-needed, full-service grocery store to the area.
The downtown location at First and Jefferson streets across from Talking Stick Resort Arena opened its doors to the public at 8 a.m.
The new store offers all the amenities found at a typical Fry's Food Store including fresh fruits and vegetables, online ordering and pick-up, a deli and bakery, sushi, and even a pharmacy.
The store marks the first full-service grocery store for downtown Phoenix, which is an area that was referred to as a food desert prior to the opening of the new Fry's store.
A "food desert" comes down to access, whether that be transportation or poverty which, according to USDA, plays a "primary role in defining food deserts." They're areas where access to affordable, healthy food is limited or even non-existent because grocery stores are just too far away.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 33% of residents in downtown Phoenix do not own vehicles and are more than half a mile from a supermarket. The new location would be within walking distance for many of them.
MAP: Arizona food deserts, via Arizona Department of Health Services
Monica Garnes, the president of Fry’s Food Stores, said in a previous release announcing the store's opening date that the new store would "alleviate a decades-long food desert" and provide healthy grocery options to those who work and live around downtown.
“This is a defining moment for the downtown community," Garnes said.