$801,750 FCLF financing (2 loans)
Construction and term loan
4,275 sq ft Community market offering fresh foods
“FCLF has facilitated bringing Tootie’s Grocery from a dream into reality with their dedication to assist development of affordable housing in economically challenged communities and access to fresh produce, meats, and seafood in food deserts such as East Mims, Florida.” – Aldon Bookhardt, President
Tootie’s Grocery will be a new retail food store located in the city of Mims, Florida, in Brevard County. Located in an area that is low-income with low access to supermarkets, supercenters, and grocery stores, Tootie’s will offer a range of fresh produce, meats, seafood, prepackaged fresh meals, staples, packaged foods, and beverages – as well as items that are typically found in a convenience store, but with higher quality and lower prices. A hot food bar and café will also provide breakfast and lunch. Tootie’s will be within walking distance of everyone in the community; and provide goods and services that are not available within 3 miles.
The mission of Tootie’s Grocery is to respect the past, present, and future of the East Mims community. East Mims was once a thriving residential and business community that was the homestead of many African American families after World War II. Locals recall those in the civil rights movement, including residents Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriett who lost their lives when their home was bombed because of their activism with the NAACP. Tootie’s Grocery will be located at the corner of Harry T. Moore Avenue and Main Street, a location that pays honor to the local history and civil rights movement.
With financing from Florida Community Loan Fund, Tootie's Grocery will build and open this new 4,275 square-foot community grocery store, which will be a catalyst to the renaissance of East Mims. In addition to the new construction of Tootie’s Grocery, the community is anticipating an increase in the development of affordable housing. Tootie’s plans to be an integral part of the community, acting as a host site for the MLK Parade, for voter registration, and for short- and long-term community planning. There will be new jobs created, with a focus on providing jobs for locals that pay higher than minimum wage.
The principals of Tootie’s acquired another FCLF loan to refinance a 2-unit rental home, providing affordable housing nearby, and continue to build Affordable homes in East Mims.
FCLF has received funding for a portion of its food access projects from the U.S. Department of Treasury CDFI Fund’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI).
Pictured above, architectural rendering of Tootie’s Grocery. Below, construction progress Fall 2021.