Oasis in a food desert: New grocery store announced for NE OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY - Less than two weeks after the Smart Saver grocery store on 23rd and Martin Luther King closed its doors, the same company says it’s opening a new store less than one mile away.

The new store will be in the old Save-a-Lot building at 1124 NE 36th.

The pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Derrick Scoby, made the announcement alongside the owners Friday afternoon.

They said the plan is to have to store open in the next 60 to 90 days.

“We certainly want to thank our spiritual leader in this community, Dr. John A. Reed for giving leadership to this,” Pastor Scoby said.  “And for all of the patience of the pastors.  Many in the community.”

Scoby says area pastors, like Dr. John Reed with Fairview Missionary Baptist Church, and other community leaders worked with the Binkowski Family Ownership Group diligently since Smart Saver closed to make this new grocery store a reality.

“We prayed together, there were tears, there was some confusion, there was some spirited conversation,” Scoby told News 4.  “But we came together for the common good of the community, and now we have a grocery store that’s coming very soon.”

Scoby says he knows people were angry when Smart Saver shut down with little warning, but he says it was mostly due to a lack of communication.

The owners didn't let the community know why it was closing Smart Saver, so the community didn't get a chance to understand why it had to close its doors the way it did.

When in reality, Scoby says the Binkowski family had already been in talks to move the store to the new location on 36th.

“The deal could not get consummated before they actually had to close,” Scoby said.  “I know there had been a lot of rumors going around as to why they closed.  They had a severe plumbing issue in that store.”

Community leaders also hope to see the old Smart Saver location turned into something beneficial for the community as well.

“We are certainly going to speak to the Mayor and others, that they would do everything they can do to make sure the Binkowski’s have a smooth road ahead of them in building out the 23rd and Martin Luther King location,” Scoby said.

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