Gooh Grocery (pronounced “go-oh”) is now open at 3554 E. Washington Ave. in Madison. The 3,200-sqft store features food options that are culturally relevant to the surrounding community, which includes West African, Hmong, and Latino residents.
The area was considered a food desert before Jerreh Kujabi and Samba Baldeh chose to turn this former strip club into an affordable and accessible resource for people in the surrounding neighborhoods. Previously, grocery options were limited to Hy-vee — which is across East Washington Avenue and I-90, not ideal for those on foot — and Kwik Trip.
Take a look inside:
“We intend to work with all the state and city agencies that provide food stamps ... so that the food is not only accessible by proximity but also by affordability,” says Baldeh.
While the store is now open to the public, a ceremonial grand opening is in the works to celebrate the neighborhood’s new addition.
On the other side of town, Maurer’s Urban Market is preparing to open next door to the soon-to-close Pick ‘n Save on South Park Street. To ensure the South side does not go without access to fresh food, the City purchased space from the Truman Olsen development project to offer a 15-year lease to Kristie Maurer of Maurer’s Urban Market.
Maurer is eager to bring healthy food options to the neighborhood. “I am beyond excited to be branching out on my own and creating a local, woman-owned grocery store,” says the second-generation grocer.
The 24,000-sqft store will be located on the base floor of the 1402 S. Park St. development. Though no firm opening date has been set, Maurer is hoping to open before 2025.