Southside grocery store to donate 2022 profits to community efforts

Nettie Carter-Smith picks up some fresh fruits and vegetables in December at the new Groceryland store on South Limestone Street. The grocery store will be donating this year's profits to community efforts. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Nettie Carter-Smith picks up some fresh fruits and vegetables in December at the new Groceryland store on South Limestone Street. The grocery store will be donating this year's profits to community efforts. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

The owner of a new grocery store in the southside of Springfield announced that profits will go towards local community efforts.

Vipul Patel, a local physician and owner of Groceryland, said that he will be donating this year’s worth of net profits toward aiding southside residents.

The grocery store opened in December at a former Kroger location on South Limestone Street. The closing of that Kroger in March 2020 lead to the southside being classified as a food desert, an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. That classification impacted an estimated 22,000 people.

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Patel, who has practiced medicine in Springfield since 2003, said that opening a grocery store in the southside was not only a business opportunity, but also fulfilling a crucial community need.

Groceryland became interested in purchasing the former Kroger property from after hearing concerns about the area being a food desert, he said.

Now the goal is to further contribute to the area by investing and providing assistance to residents and local organizations.

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Dr. Vipul Patel, owner of the new Groceryland on South Limestone Street in Springfield, speaks druing the grand opening ceremony for the new store in December. The store provides fresh food for Springfield's south side, which was formally a food desert. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Dr. Vipul Patel, owner of the new Groceryland on South Limestone Street in Springfield, speaks druing the grand opening ceremony for the new store in December. The store provides fresh food for Springfield's south side, which was formally a food desert. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

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Dr. Vipul Patel, owner of the new Groceryland on South Limestone Street in Springfield, speaks druing the grand opening ceremony for the new store in December. The store provides fresh food for Springfield's south side, which was formally a food desert. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

“Our intent in opening Groceryland was to fill a gap and meet a need that was evident within our community. Now that we have established this resource, we quickly realize that there is much more work to be done. We are now seeing that opening a grocery store is just the beginning,” Patel said.

“With this in our hearts, I and my partner have decided to take all profit for the year 2022 and put it back into our community. We are planning to use this money to support our community in various ways, such as providing assistance to our employees, high school students seeking higher education, local food pantries, religious organizations, and many more,” he added.

Patel said its hard to tell how much net profits they will have this year due to the grocery store being new to the area and finding its footing in the community. However, the goal is for the business to generate a total of $10 million in revenue by the end of the year and at least $200,000 and $300,000 in net profits.

Groceryland is in the process of identifying community partners as well as potentially sending up a scholarship fund that would use some of the donated profits to help residents and local students.

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That is in addition to the business’s aims of providing affordable healthy food options in the southside said both Vipul Patel and Groceryland’s president Ravindra Patel.

Groceryland purchased the former Kroger building for $769,000 after it was donated to the Clark County landbank with the purpose of being used for a future grocery store.

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Linda and Alexander Avery shop at the new Groceryland store on South Limestone Street in Springfield following the grand opening ceremony in December. BILL LACKEY/STAFFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Linda and Alexander Avery shop at the new Groceryland store on South Limestone Street in Springfield following the grand opening ceremony in December. BILL LACKEY/STAFFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

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Linda and Alexander Avery shop at the new Groceryland store on South Limestone Street in Springfield following the grand opening ceremony in December. BILL LACKEY/STAFFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Since then, more than $2 million has been invested into the new grocery operation and Groceryland has hired dozens of people to work at the store with many being from the area.

“We are grateful for the efforts that (Vipul) Patel and his partners have made with their investment in the South Limestone corridor,” said Springfield City Manager Bryan Heck. “This initiative by Dr. Patel and his team demonstrates what we’ve known for a long time – that they have a deep commitment to effecting positive change for the people and future of the South Side community.”

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