Sherman Park Grocery Brings Healthy Options to Milwaukee’s Food Desert

The building at 4315 W. Fond du Lac Ave. was in its fourth incarnation as a daycare center when the coronavirus pandemic forced it to close.

The owner of the property wondered what to put in its place.

“Another daycare just wasn’t for us,” said Maurice “Moe” Wince, a real estate developer who owns the property with his wife, Yashica Spears. “We kind of prayed over it a bit.”

The answer was right in front of them. Almost every morning, Wince would watch neighborhood kids go to two gas stations on the corner of Fond du Lac and Sherman Boulevard to buy Flaming Hots, juice boxes and Twinkies for breakfast.

“Nothing healthy,” Wince said. “None of this fits into the five food groups for a healthy diet.”

This wasn’t another daycare the Sherman Park neighborhood needed. It was a neighborhood grocery store.

And thanks to a grant from the City of Milwaukee Fresh Food Access Fund, Wince and Spears will open the Sherman Park grocery store in this building this Friday.

Yvette Watkins, left, and Chaleb Scruggs stock shelves inside Sherman Park Grocery.

“We are so excited, grateful and humbled to be here,” said Wince, of M&S Development and D&Q Investments. “My commitment is to this community.”

This commitment ensures Sherman Park residents have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The area, he said, is in a food desert with the nearest full grocery store about two miles away.

Getting there can be a challenge in a neighborhood where 22% of residents live below the poverty line and 20% don’t have access to a vehicle, according to research by Data You Can Use.

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