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Man on a mission to open grocery store in food desert on Indy's far east side

Posted: 9:33 PM, Oct 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-02 01:45:57Z

INDIANAPOLIS -- A local man is on a mission to open a grocery store in one of Indianapolis' food deserts on the city's far east side. 

Robert Hearst purchased an old dentist's office, and now he's working hard to fix it up so he can open his store within the next month. 

Hearst has had to knock down walls to make room for the healthy urban grocery store he plans to open, called A & I Variety Meats and Produce. 

It's a mission Hearst says he and his wife have used their entire savings on.

"What made me so passionate, seeing the need for it," said Hearst. "Seeing nobody is trying to do anything."

A & I will be named after the Hearst's children, Ammirah and Izaiah. 

People living in the surrounding area near 38th Street and Post Road have limited access to nutritious foods and many of those people can't travel to grocery stores that aren't within walking distance. 

"A lot of these people are old - got to walk in the winter time to get groceries," said Hearst. "Have to walk more than a mile. I want to put something right in the heart, so they don't have to go as far."

Hearst's goal is to open A & I by the end of October. He says he already has vendors lined up to provide food for the grocery store once he gets it open. 

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