New grocery store on Prospect looking to hire dozens of employees during weekend job fair

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new grocery store on Prospect Avenue expects to hire dozens of workers Saturday from the surrounding neighborhood.

Neighbors on the east side are getting their first look inside the new Sunfresh store at the Linwood Shopping Center.

There hasn't been a grocery store operating at the center in more than 10 years.

Neighbors have called eliminating the food desert one of their top priorities.

Saturday starting at 10 a.m. there will be a job fair at the shopping center to hire more than 50 workers for the Sun Fresh grocery.

The store operator wants to hire people who live nearby, those who can make the job into a career and have a vested interest in revitalizing their neighborhood.

"The good thing about that is they are jobs that almost anybody in the neighborhood can do," developer Donald Maxwell said. "So often we have projects that are developed and folks from the neighborhood can’t get involved, can’t do the work. These are sackers, checkers, stockers and so forth. Almost anybody from this neighborhood can do that work."

This is the first look inside the new 40,000-square-foot supermarket. Unlike the Aldi store, which opened just to the south on Prospect, this new store offers full service shopping, stocking more than 50,000 items.

Neighbors who've had to travel miles to buy groceries now are hopeful the store will be a one-stop shop for virtually anything they want.

"A brand new grocery store!" exclaimed G.G. Owens, who lives nearby. "Everything is new. And with the new employees, or career oriented people, just to see their smiling faces and know they are there because their lives are changing. This is going to bring a lot of people up out of poverty. Poverty is prevalent in the inner city. It’s just a beautiful thing to know that people will be able to get to work. Everybody will be able to eat good. This food desert is going to be gone."

It's taken years for the city to make this store a reality. Kansas City had to purchase the property for $950,000 and is spending another $13 million to redevelop the site. Property taxes generated by the center will be used to pay off those costs.