Indianapolis, Ind. — What started as a project to address a business challenge and expand manufacturing capacity for Cook Medical has turned into a community collaboration that includes a 100-job manufacturing site and a new grocery store called the Indy Fresh Market.
“We believe that you can do good business while doing good. We’re building a manufacturing facility in this neighborhood and one barrier the community faces is access to fresh food. That’s a problem we can help solve to ensure that community and in turn, our manufacturing site, thrives,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical and Cook Group.
Run by local neighborhood entrepreneurs Michael McFarland and Marckus Williams, the Indy Fresh Market will bring a full-service grocery store with fresh food to a neighborhood with some of the highest levels of unemployment and poverty in the state. The new grocery store is brought to life through a truly unique neighborhood, corporate, and non-profit collaboration.
“Over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many of the residents, community leaders, church leaders and neighborhood associations in this community. It’s abundantly clear that the members of the community are engaged and passionate about making their neighborhood better,” Yonkman said. “Cook, along with the other corporate and non-profit partners on this project, are all committed to working with the community to provide our time and resources to build with them and bring opportunity back to Northeast Indy.”
The 38th and Sheridan project is a collaboration between Cook Medical, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, the Indianapolis Foundation (an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation or CICF), and the United Northeast Community Development Corporation (UNEC) to build a Goodwill Commercial Services manufacturing site in the Devington neighborhood in Indianapolis. The Indy Fresh Market is the second phase of the project and will bring a much-needed food source to the community. Currently, there is not a grocery store within miles and many residents do not have reliable transportation. The Indy Fresh Market will help fill a vital gap in the infrastructure of this area and provide fresh, healthy food options to the employees and families of the future manufacturing facility and the community.
“The 38th and Sheridan projects reflect Cook’s commitment to removing barriers that prevent individuals and communities from reaching their full potential. Our purpose as an organization is to use our core business opportunities, skills, and resources to not just do good business, but do good in the world. We’re fortunate to have found an engaged group of partners that are committed to removing barriers in Northeast Indy with us,” Yonkman continued.
- Michael McFarland and Marckus Williams – owners and operators of the Indy Fresh Market
- Cook Medical – build the store with a goal of 100% minority owned contractors
- The Indianapolis Foundation and IMPACT Central Indiana – provide additional start up capital
- Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana – provide wrap-around services to employees including housing support, legal aid, mental/physical healthcare, case management services, etc.
- Martin University – Developing an official curriculum that would allow individuals to earn accredited certificates and degrees in grocery store operations.
- United Northeast Community Development Corporation – create community connections
- “Joe the Grocer” – supervise the store’s development and training for owners
About Cook Medical
Since 1963, Cook Medical has worked closely with physicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery. Today we invent, manufacture, and deliver a unique portfolio of medical devices to the healthcare systems of the world. Serving patients is a privilege and we demand the highest standards of quality ethics, and service. We have remained family owned so that we have the freedom to focus on what we care about: our patients, our employees, and our communities.
We believe that it’s possible to do good business while doing good in our communities. We’re proud to work in collaboration with partners on a community development effort by building both a manufacturing site and a grocery store in Indianapolis. Located at the northwest corner of 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue, the project will help people and communities reach their full potential. Find out more: www.38thAndSheridan.com.
News coverage of this announcement
Inside Indiana Business/ WISH TV 8 – Groundbreaking Set for Indy Fresh Market
WRTV-6 – Groundbreaking begins for Indy Fresh Market
WTHR-13 – Indy Fresh Market breaks ground on Indy’s northeast side
Fox 59/CBS 4 – Ground broken on new grocery store in Indianapolis food desert
Indiana Public Media – Cook Medical helping to eliminate food deserts
CBS-4 – Neighbors in Indy food desert one step closer to much needed relief
WFYI – New grocery store breaks ground as part of Cook Medical project