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South Central woman on the rise

Las Palmas Market | Instead of implementing more stores, one South Central woman's small market will be revamped through a market conversion, in order to make fruits and vegetables much more convenient to the people of her city.

Photo Credit: Danica Ruberti | Las Palmas may not look like your typical grocery story, but it is loaded with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dry foods.

Photo Credit: Danica Ruberti |

Photo Credit: Danica Ruberti| Upon walking into Las Palmas, fresh fruits and vegetables can be found directly to the right.

Photo Credit: Danica Ruberti | Maria Palmas takes pride in the unique art work that surrounds the store.

Photo Credit: Danica Ruberti | Las Palmas also has a meat market to the far left of the store.

By Danica Ruberti

Las Palmas, owned by Maria Palmas and her family, will undergo a market conversion to not only compete with the markets in her area, but to provide healthy proudce to the people of South Central.

"It is very important for me to provide healthy alternatives in my store," Palmas said.

Las Palmas is a tiny local market covered in graffiti on the 2700 block of Central Avenue, sitting on one of the biggest plots of land on Central Avenue. She provides fruits, vegetables, meats, and many dry foods.

The CRA developed a market conversion program that would help develop small businesses in this area, so Palmas has worked with Johnny Andrade to make this dream come true.

"Las Palmas was selected as one of the five businesses to get selected for amarket conversition here in the area," Andrade said. "It is going to provide her with some grand fundign to revamp her store, provide her with new refridgerations for fresh fruits and vegetables."

Palmas already sells fruits and vegeltables, but with this funding, she can create a larger, more accessible space where the produce can be a more obvious option.

Regardless of a market conversion, business will remain tough for Palmas, with a Fresh and Easy right down the street.

"Personally I don't feel like I'd like to see big markets or chains come into the area," said Palmas. "We should just help the small businesses offer the same types of services that they do."

Las Palmas sits on one of the largest plots of land along Central Avenue. She has survived three different markets that have come into the area. Not only this, but Las Palmas has become an important part of her life.

"It's so important to me because this is the first market that me and my husband built together," Palmas said. "I've done everything that I have through this small market. I've given back to the community and that is why I hold it so close to my heart."

By giving back to the community, she holds Zumba classes every day of the week to promote healthy , active lifestyles. She also offers her area to support local residents in the community.

"Our communitties celebrate from quinceanera to baptisms to weddings," Andrade said. "So she allows folks to come here and use her property because, again, it's communitites that don't ahve a lot of money or resources."

Despite the challenges in her near future, Palmas knows her Las Palmas Market has a special place in the heart of her community.

"I just have hopes," Palmas said.