Since the closing of the Charleston Naval Yard in 1996, jobs have been hard to come by in North Charleston and the area has seen a steady decline until recent years. Located in a Low-Income Community with 44.8% Poverty and 29.4% Median Family Income ($19,271), the North Charleston Restaurant Depot created 135 direct jobs, providing much needed relief to the neighborhood, which has an unemployment rate almost 2 times the national average.
With locations in 33 states, Restaurant Depot is a business-to-business grocery and food service distributor. The majority of its customers are independent restaurant owners, small retailers, caterers, and non-profit organizations which benefit from a full range of quality foods sold at prices significantly lower than traditional delivery wholesalers. Additionally, Restaurant Depot’s willingness to sell without minimum quantities allows small grocers and operators of corner stores and bodegas to opt for fresh, healthy foods rather than long shelf-life products.
The Innovate Fund’s $8.5 million investment funded a 55,027 square foot healthy food wholesale distribution facility, located in a federally designated Food Desert. The New York Times has identified the Company as being vital to providing daily access to a full range of dry and perishable goods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. This access is most valuable to independent food businesses and non-profit providers of meals and food to at-risk citizens.
“I’ve said before that the key to revitalization and creating new jobs is attracting private investments to the area,” “This allocation from The Innovate Fund and the trust of JETRO Holdings to build here sends a clear signal to other businesses that North Charleston is ripe with opportunity.”
– Keith Summey, Mayor of North Charleston