Skip to content
Grist home
All donations TRIPLED!

Articles by Alison Cross

Alison Cross has been running The Boxcar Grocer, an alternative corner store in Atlanta, Ga., with her brother Alphonzo since 2011.

Featured Article

A guest at The Boxcar Grocer's recent grand opening celebration shows us how glamorous kale can be. (Photo: Lady Flashback)

Alison and Alphonzo Cross (Photo by Christopher Octa.)

Note: Earlier this year, we ran an interview with Alison about the corner store she and her brother launched in 2011. Now, we’ve invited her back to share her own perspective on the store.

Convenience store. Bodega. Corner store. Call it what you will, the one thing you cannot call most corner stores is healthy.

The reputation urban corner stores have is pretty consistent: crowded shelves, stuffy aisles, coolers filled with liquor and syrupy sweet sodas, lottery tickets spilling out from atop a dingy counter. You know there’s something wrong when the quality of the bulletproof glass at the register far surpasses the quality of the food in front of it.  At its core, the corner store has been begging to be reinvented for decades.

When my brother and I began crafting our store, The Boxcar Grocer, as a way to give more people in the Atlanta community access to good food, we had no idea it would evolve into a mission to change an entire industry standard.

Our store concept challenges the notion that healthy food cannot be made available... Read more