Northeast Oklahoma City sees new oasis in infamous food desert

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Another major step forward to end northeast Oklahoma City’s food desert

Months ago, The Market at Eastpoint opened its doors; now, a long-awaited Homeland store will follow suit Wednesday.

“50% nervous, 50% excited, 50% scared. I don’t know just a whole combination of emotions!” said Homeland CEO and President, Marc Jones. 

It’s been a dream for years and Wednesday it becomes a reality. 

The new Homeland built from the ground up at NE 36th and Lincoln is now ready for customers. 

KFOR got a behind-the-scenes look Tuesday as staff continued to prep for the big day. 

“It’s a hive of activity! Now, we hope tomorrow after we open that it’s filled with customers and our neighbors coming in to shop,” said Jones. 

Fresh food is a focus for the new store. 

“I’m just going through making sure everything is perfect,” said Produce Manager, Mark Collard. 

Photo goes with story
Inside the new Homeland at NE 36th and Lincoln.

They’re hoping to serve all Oklahomans with different needs. 

“Our mission is to be a company of Oklahomans feeding Oklahomans and it’s not Oklahomans selling groceries just to the rich folk, it’s not Oklahomans feeding some Oklahomans, we really want to feed all our neighbors,” said Jones. 

It took a village to fill this space, and you might see some familiar faces… like Charles Smith who runs Lil Leo’s BBQ. 

“Ribs, beef, hot links, bologna, beans, slaw potato salad, macaroni, BBQ place my one and only, now you come to Lil Leo’s when you’re feeling hungry,” said Smith. 

It’s a community staple, now offering their mouth-watering BBQ inside the Homeland. 

“I’m used to opening businesses by myself and this time I have a company that believes in me and has me come and join up with them,” said Smith. 

“For us it feels like we’ve been running this marathon and the finish line is right there, that finish line is actually the starting line of running the store,” added Jones. 

They’ve also got a bakery, Not Your Average Joe coffee shop, and a pharmacy. 

The first Sunday of every month they’ll host a community event that will feature food trucks and music.

Doors officially open Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 9 a.m.

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