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SÜPRMARKT: Supplying South L.A. with Organic Produce

A box of greens prepared by SÜPRMARKT. | Still from "Broken Bread"

SÜPRMARKT didn't even have its own table when the fresh food pop-up launched in Leimert Park in 2016. "We brought a table from another vendor," founder Olympia Auset recalls. "It was a broken table." You can catch a glimpse of SÜPRMARKT's inception way back in its Instagram feed, with a selection of fruits and vegetables laid out on a lopsided table covered in a striped cloth.

Even back then, though, SÜPRMARKT created a buzz; notice of its first appearance got a social media shout out by Vegan Food Share. In the nearly three years that have passed, though, the small company dedicated to bringing fresh, organic produce into food deserts in South L.A. has grown immensely. Now, SÜPRMARKT hosts weekly pop-ups and one special event per month. They built up a grocery delivery service and spawned a non-profit arm, SÜPRSEED.

Olympia Auset of SÜPRMARKT| Still from "Broken Bread"
Olympia Auset of SÜPRMARKT | Still from "Broken Bread"
Olympia Auset of SÜPRMARKT | Still from "Broken Bread"

Join Roy as he meets the individuals bringing healthy and affordable food options into South L.A. communities that lack access to fresh food on "<a data-cke-saved-href="https://www.kcet.org/shows/broken-bread/" href="https://www.kcet.org/shows/broken-bread/" target="_blank">Broken Bread</a>" S1 E2: Access. Watch now.

Olympia Auset of SÜPRMARKT and Roy | Still from "Broken Bread"
Olympia Auset of SÜPRMARKT​​ selects produce with Roy Choi.  | Still from "Broken Bread"
Vegan grocer Olympia Auset assembles a box of fresh produce for a client. | Still from "Broken Bread"

"It was driven by necessity," says Auset of SÜPRMARKT. It took her two hours by bus to get to a store where she could find healthy food options. Auset had also seen a need for access to fresh produce from her family and friends, as well as others in her community. "I just wanted to set it up to make it affordable, especially for myself and friends who wanted to eat healthier at the time," she says.

"The whole business and concept was designed around personal experiences with the inability to access food," says Auset. With that in mind, they developed a subscription service so it costs about $100 a month. Auset notes that, on average, a person receiving EBT will get about $194 per month. "It allows a person to potentially spend half of their stamps and make sure that they have fresh fruits and vegetables that are organic in their fridge each week," she says.  

"Since we started, we've provided over 25,000 pounds of organic produce," says Auset and the company is working to further expand its reach. They're planning on opening a permanent, physical location that will be a hybrid grocery story/restaurant, which will help them reach their goal of serving 1,000 Angelenos weekly by mid-2020.

SÜPRMARKT is currently raising funds to open its first store. Donations will contribute to the purchase of a historic house that once housed Mr. Wisdom's, a shuttered health foods store located near Nipsey Hussle's clothing store. To learn more, visit SÜPRMARKT.LA.

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