Neighborhood grocery opening this fall in downtown Harrisburg
A small neighborhood grocery store will open in downtown Harrisburg this fall, the first grocery retailer to spring up in the city business district in several decades.
Local entrepreneurs Shaun Donovan and Adam Porter own the new store, which will focus on fresh produce, dairy and meats, in addition to natural products and cleaning supplies, including organic options and a section that accommodates people with food allergies.
Provisions will sell food mostly in bulk, allowing shoppers to select specific amounts of products they want to buy while also reducing food and packaging waste. That model also will allow the store to carry more items, including healthier food options, at a variety of price points, Donovan said.
"We've been looking in the city for three years," he said.
Donovan is the economic development specialist at the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp. He also owns Appalachian Organics, a web-based store for natural products that has been open since 2013.
Porter, who is a partner in that online store, is the co-founder of Startup Harrisburg, a co-working space in Midtown Harrisburg.
Strawberry Square was the right fit for the grocery business because it is centrally located downtown, where there has been steady apartment development in recent years, Donovan said. Plus, it's close to the transit center.
There also has been a gradual rise in retail and restaurant options in the downtown, mostly around the square.
"The demand for downtown apartment housing is strong and Provisions will greatly enhance the quality of life and walkability to goods and services for residents and downtown workers," said Brad Jones, president and CEO of Harristown Enterprises, which owns and operates Strawberry Square.
Harristown is currently working on new apartment units near the square, while also pursuing other mixed-use development projects that could add more housing and commercial activity downtown.
Growing foot traffic could help Provisions, which will operate seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The new store is expected to create about 16 jobs, including six full-time staff.