Imperial Beach

Health-food co-op dream in Imperial Beach still $1.6 million away from happening

If the grocery store opens in the area it will be one of the community's few health-food alternatives amid scores of fast-food alternatives

The Suncoast Market Co-op has spent seven years organizing efforts to open a locally owned and locally sourced health food store in Imperial Beach, but it still has quite a ways to go.

“This would be the first co-op of its kind in the South Bay,” Imperial Beach mayor Paloma Aguirre said.

Organizers have raised $1.8 million so far but they need to raise $1.6 million more to make the co-op a reality.

If the grocery store opens in the area it will be one of the community's few health-food alternatives amid scores of fast-food alternatives.

“It’s important to give these options to our community, especially in the context of what we are having to live with day-to-day, which is the sewage emergency," Aguirre said. "Our water is polluted, our air is contaminated. We need locally sourced food to keep us healthy."

In fact, Aguirre made that pronouncement on the same day a boil-water order was issued for her city.

Health organizations continually stress the importance of healthy eating for a person’s overall wellness.

“Healthy food is so important for our cardiovascular health," American Heart Association executive director Jessica Newmyer said. "It’s super-important that we eat healthy and are active. There are a lot of components that make up our overall health and well-being, and healthy eating is certainly one of the most important things we can do to strengthen our cardiovascular health."

The co-op has support from people in the community who want to see the grocery store open.

"We don’t have many grocery-store options here in the area," ,” Michelle Gonzalez said. "It’s basically Grocery Outlet or Von’s, and Grocery Outlet is kind of, like, whatever is in-stock at the moment, so I definitely think we need more healthy food options."

Organizers say that Suncoast Market Co-op, which is targeted for a summer 2024 opening date, could add as much as $6.5 million to the local economy.

Suncoast has a

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