Community Foods Market
Oakland, California

Community Foods serves as a prototype for providing affordable produce and groceries in urban communities where the lack of access to fresh food is an ongoing health issue. The store’s goal is to be “More Than a Grocery Store” by addressing the customers’ desires to improve their health, build community and become more socially connected. It is an oasis in the West Oakland food desert, catering to a community of over 25,000 residents.  

This project, relying on philanthropic funding and direct investment from the local community, allows neighborhood shoppers to buy fresh, healthy foods at a reasonable cost. The flexible floor plan allows for the creative display of produce and other goods and makes it easy to reconfigure the store to meet changing demands. The architecture is spare and utilitarian, evoking the truss-roofed structures throughout the neighborhood.  

The facility incorporates a sizeable, flexible interior gathering and dining space to accommodate after-hours meetings, events, and performances. Called the Front Porch Social Hall features a stage, ample seating, and a cafe service window making it a hub of activity. The market also partners with community health organizations to offer a variety of education programs, such as cooking demonstrations and workshops, and health services.  

The developer engaged with a Community Advisory Council (CAC), composed of area residents, to ensure that the design reflected the products, services, and shopping experience that the community truly desired while promoting a sense of ownership and pride in the business.  

From offering cultural food products to hosting workshops and speakers on food cultures to using performance art and creative expression to explore issues pertaining to food culture in the community, this store supports residents’ desires for a meaningful relationship to food that connects them to their cultural traditions, histories, and values. 


13,500 SF

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360 17th Street, Suite 200
Oakland, California 94612

tel : 510.836.5400


76 N King Street, Suite 204
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

tel : 808.769.6808



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