ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Calvin Holliman says his mother’s dream was to own her own grocery store, and now he’s making her dream come true by moving into the former Gray’s IGA on Broadway.
“I wanted to get the store, really, because my mom worked two jobs,” Holliman said. “She worked 16 hours a day.”
Now, Holliman is opening Mama Lisa’s Groceries, at 2010 Broadway.
Holliman says many people who live in the surrounding neighborhoods won’t have to drive to the nearest Walmart, and says he hopes Mama Lisa’s Groceries will become the new food source for the area.
Alderman Tuffy Quinonez (D-11th Ward) said he welcomes the new store, believing it will bring more foot traffic and convenience to the Broadway corridor.
“This will show the community that to invest into the Broadway area and we expect more new businesses come in when this place opens up,” Quinonez said.
Quinonez said the biggest need in the neighborhood is meats and fresh produce. There are already several ethnic food stores in the area.
“You have stores around here and they are great, all of them, great, but, like, people can’t get meats and good fresh produce,” Holliman said. “That’s what makes food taste good.”
Holliman said he hopes to be open by June, but has already made plans with local businesses to sell soul food, an ethnic cuisine familiar to Black Americans, on Sundays. Soul food often consists of fried chicken or fish, pork ribs, black-eyed peas, collard greens, and more.
“It’s going to be a relief, to know that this store opened and I had a big part of it,” he continued. “We worked hard at it, [we just want to] feed the community, take care of the community, and be there for the community.”