Eating healthily takes effort, planning and can be incredibly expensive.

In many places, there are few, if any healthy options. And we don’t all have kitchens in which to cook.

So, what do you do? Have another artery-clogging belly-buster from your local greasy spoon? 

Howard alumna Olympia Auset wasn’t going for that. A resident of Inglewood and a raw vegan, Auset found herself traveling up to two hours to buy food. And once she got there, she found herself spending a fortune on a week’s groceries.

She found herself wishing that there was a store she could walk to that offered fresh fruits and vegetables at a low price.

Finally, in 2016, she decided to stop wishing, and to create one of her own.

Called SÜPERMARKT, Auset’s store is a supermarket pop-up shop that operates every week, selling certified organic produce to her community.

Photo: SÜPERMARKTAuset keeps her prices low by offering surplus and unsellable produce alongside the standard produce you’d see at your nearest organic food store.

She was motivated to source unsellable produce as she felt there was an alarming amount of food waste in the Los Angeles area. Auset saw SÜPERMARKT as an opportunity to curb that waste while ensuring her community had access to food that was just as good as the food in wealthier neighborhoods. 

Patrons can buy by the case, and a subscription service is also available. Customers can even pay with EBT. Photo: SÜPERMARKT

Auset recently told Black Business, “I think the greatest takeaway about this project is it shows there are things every person can do to tackle societal issues that face their community. It isn’t always about waiting on corporations or governments to get things done.” 

Now almost one year old, SÜPERMARKT has been a smash success. Auset says the store has sold several hundred cases of organic produce. And she has received grants to help sustain that success from sources like LA Kitchen and The Pollination Project.

If you live in the L.A. area and would like some inexpensive organic food on your table, you can find out where it will be popping up next on the SÜPERMARKT website.