ROXBURY, MA. – Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC) and Tropical Foods International are excited to announce the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Tropical Foods Supermarket, a 44,000 square foot relocation and expansion of a third-generation family-owned grocery business that has been operating in Roxbury for over 40 years. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 450 Melnea Cass Boulevard.
In addition to project partners, Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and local elected officials are scheduled to offer remarks regarding Tropical Foods Supermarket and assist with the ribbon cutting. With almost 3,000 new items on the shelves, the new store opened in February 2015. It currently serves over 12,000 customers per week.
“Our customers shop here because we not only offer a complete, modern supermarket shopping experience but also have special product offerings catering to Hispanic, Caribbean and other ethnic consumers; they’re thrilled with the beautiful new store that allows us to better serve them,” said Tropical Foods co-owner, Ronn Garry, Jr. “We felt it was important to invest in the community that has given us so much.”
The Tropical Foods project was built on Parcel 10, land owned by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Massachusetts Department of Transportation and developed under long-term lease to MPDC and Tropical Foods International. The $16 million development features a new 44,000 square foot relocation and expansion of the Tropical Foods supermarket, as well as parking and pedestrian improvements. Tropical Foods International has tripled its retail floor area, allowing the supermarket to provide almost 3,000 new offerings throughout the store and new bakery, deli, and fresh fish departments; and has created almost 40 new jobs.
“Dudley Square’s revival continues with the opening of the brand new Tropical Foods Supermarket,” said Mayor Walsh. “It couldn’t have come at a better time, as hundreds of employees from the newly opened Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building around the corner will find a great place to shop for multicultural cuisine. I want to congratulate Ronn Garry, Jr. and his team for their work to maintain and grow this neighborhood gem so that the community can enjoy its offerings for many generations to come.”
Tropical Foods is the first phase of this public-private master development, which upon full build-out will also bring 30 new mixed-income residential units and 67,000 square feet of additional commercial uses to the site. Adaptive re-use of the existing historic building will begin construction this summer.
“I’m so proud to see the first phase of this important project completed and contribute to the economic expansion and health of Roxbury’s Dudley Square,” said Jeanne Pinado, CEO of MPDC.
Financing for this state-of-the-art shopping destination was provided by Bank of America, MassDevelopment, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Healthy Food Initiative, and the Commonwealth of MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED).
Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC) was founded in 1966 when a group of community activists said no to the threatened destruction of their neighborhood. For almost 50 years, MPDC has become a champion in revitalizing Lower Roxbury and saying yes to resident-led development and community empowerment. MPDC’s mission is to create quality, mixed-income housing, and to promote the renaissance of Dudley Square as a thriving neighborhood business district, recognized as a center of commerce and culture.
The Tropical Foods historic food operation was initially started by Pastor Medina after his emigration from Cuba three generations ago. In 1988, Medina sold the store to his son-in-law, Ronn Garry Sr. Ronn Garry Jr. and Randy Garry bought the store from their father in 2006. The third-generation of family operators have continued Pastor’s initial emphasis on hiring local community residents and moving them up the career ladder, while serving the community demand for specialty and traditional products. ###