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Near Northwest Neighborhood holding public meeting to discuss Martin’s change

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A public meeting is scheduled for Monday night at the Near Northwest Neighborhood Community Center to talk about changes coming to the Martin’s on Elwood Street.

 “We’re really interested in a strong, quality grocery store in our neighborhood,” said Pastor Michael Patton, whose Kingdom Life Christian Cathedral is down the road from Martin’s. “We see Martin’s as a neighborhood grocery store for a strong community. And so we’re really interested in them being friendly and kind and being a part of our community.”

Monday’s meeting will take place from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the community center at 1013 Portage Avenue in South Bend.

The store manager from the Martin’s on Elwood Ave. will be present to talk about the changes coming to the store at the end of the month.

Martin’s announced back in June that the Elwood store would transition from a fully-operational grocery store to one that only carries essentials like meat, produce, and dairy.

The company’s CEO said in June that the decision for the change came because the store – which used to be a top performer in the area – has seen sales slow in recent years.

Martin’s said the hope is this new format will give the company some more flexibility, while still providing the basics for the community.

 “We’re really pleased that there will continue to be a grocery store in the neighborhood, but we’re also concerned that our research suggests that a large percentage of neighbors actually don’t – this is not their primary grocery store,” said Andre Stoner, a member of the Near Northwest Neighborhood team. “And so there’s a disconnect there. So, this evening is a chance for neighbors to find out what the plans are for the store. We think there’s some interesting information they’ll find out. And also to hear from neighbors – what they would like in this store and to work together with the Martin’s management to say how can we together help the new store that’s here succeed.”

The store will briefly close from the end of September through the beginning of October to undergo some renovations.

Pastor Patton and Stoner said they encourage community members to attend Monday’s meeting so they can see firsthand the plans Martin’s has in store for the Elwood location.

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