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Community News: South

WATTS : Group Wants to Buy Into Supermarket

October 11, 1992|DUKE HELFAND

A citizens group hopes to persuade the owners of The Boys market in the Martin Luther King Jr. shopping center to establish a joint venture that would give the community partial ownership of the grocery store.

The Watts Towers Community Action Council hopes to establish a market that would would feature check-cashing services, a sales area section for local businesses, and tables and chairs for Sunday afternoon jazz performances, said Lauren Frelix, chairwoman of the council's business and economic development subcommittee.

Frelix said the council is creating a private holding company, the Watts Community Business Consortium, and a stock ownership program to raise about $170,000 to establish the partnership.

Tony Schnug, senior vice president of administration at Food 4 Less Supermarkets Inc., which owns The Boys markets, said the company is proceeding with plans to reopen the market as a "super warehouse," possibly by the end of the year. The new store is expected to gross as much as $28 million annually, twice what The Boys store grossed last year.

Schnug said there have been no official discussions with the council over a partnership.

Schnug said he and Food 4 Less President George Golleher have been meeting with the Watts branch of the NAACP to address the community's demands for bagging, check-cashing and other services that were available at The Boys before the riots.

Schnug said the new store will provide bagging for customers who request it and that the minority-owned Founders National Bank is considering opening a courtesy booth or a mini-branch in the store to offer check-cashing, money orders and other services.

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