INDIANAPOLIS — Owning the largest supermarket in his own neighborhood has been a dream for Michael McFarland, and thanks to a partnership with Cook Medical Group, his dream is becoming a reality.
"It's a dream come true for me and I'm sure it's a dream come true for the neighborhood to be able to have the dignity to go to a grocery store within their own neighborhood to purchase fresh food," McFarland said.
The partnership with Cook Medical will create the 14,000 square foot Indy Fresh Market, a full service grocery store built across the street from the Cook Medical manufacturing facility currently under construction at 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue.
In October 2020, McFarland and his business partner, Marckus Williams, gave WRTV an up-close look at The Wall Street Market, a small neighborhood grocery store that planned to grow into something bigger. McFarland and Williams caught the attention of Cook Medical after being open for less than a year.
"They heard about the efforts we were putting in. They probably seen the interview that we did with you guys. Just word of mouth and putting in the hard work," McFarland said.
When it's all said and done, Cook Medical will build the store, while IMPACT Central Indiana will provide start-up capital. McFarland and Williams will follow a lease-to-own plan with the goal of eventually owning the real estate while also operating the grocery store. When the store opens next summer, it will be easily accessible by IndyGo's Purple Line and easier to find than the nearest major supermarket.
The neighborhood is about 4.5 miles from a Kroger and more than 5 miles from a Walmart. McFarland said their effort is about being part of the solution to feed a massive food desert on the east side of Indianapolis.
"We care. That's why we're here putting in the work because it's our neighborhood, we know no one else was going to come and do it, so we're going to strap our boots up and the job done," McFarland said.
When the store opens next year, 15 to 20 employees will be hired earning $10-13 per hour.
The Cook Medical manufacturing facility is set to open on Indy's east side by the end of the year and will employ 100 people.