We always wondered why Indian Head didn’t have its own grocery store. It seemed obvious that residents needed this amenity in their town.
After opening our business in town, we always felt strongly that residents of Indian Head deserved a place of their own to find supermarket staples and healthy options.
Yet it wasn’t until we began the process of making it a reality that we truly comprehended the depth of that need, the overwhelming desire for their own local grocery store and the many varied reasons that residents craved it.
Earlier this year, as we moved through important phases of securing the needed civic and financial backing for the project, we asked local residents to go online and pledge their support and to tell us why it mattered to them.
The responses blew us away. More than 400 people chimed in within a matter of days. Their comments illuminated the many different perspectives that fed this need to have something like Oasis Fresh Foods Market open its doors in town.
So we’ll share some of the responses we got and just a few of the recurring themes we noticed.
“It would be wonderful if I didn’t have to drive 10 miles round-trip to pick up staples. … Oasis would be a huge asset for the town. Also the proposed ice cream shop would be a bonus.”
— Eileen K.
Today, when an Indian Head resident needs to shop for groceries, there isn’t a single destination in town where they can find everything in one place.
It’s been more than 20 years since SuperFresh and CVS shared space in a building along MD-210 in Indian Head. At that time, up the highway in Bryan’s Road, Safeway and Food Lion were both open, as well as another CVS.
Today, four of those five stores are closed. Only Food Lion in Bryans Road remains. For residents of Indian Head, it is an inconvenience at best and, for some, a significant problem.
Access for Those Without Transportation
“I am 87 years old and driving the short distance to Bryans Road is now a challenge. We need a local grocery store for all the obvious reasons. I appreciate the town leaders trying to make this happen.”
— Bernice R.
Within any community is a segment of the population that simply lacks ready access to their own transportation. They may not be able to drive for age or health reasons. They simply may not be able to afford to own and maintain a vehicle.
As the pandemic showed us, they still have to eat, just like all of us. And we can’t allow a lack of transportation to keep residents from accessing the nourishing foods that sustain us all.
In Indian Head, access to public transportation is limited and not available seven days a week. Having a local grocery store within the town will remove a significant obstacle and enhance the quality of life for these residents.
Availability of Healthy Foods
“Our town has no fresh groceries and I have a growing child that likes to eat healthy foods. We deserve better.”
— Ashley M.
Healthy communities are vibrant communities and having access to healthy foods is key. It’s that simple.
Right now, there is no place in the town of Indian Head to consistently find fresh fruits, produce and meat. These are the building blocks of basic nutrition.
Oasis Fresh Foods market will finally make these things available to residents again. When they have the realistic option of selecting fresh foods instead of pre-packaged, processed foods, it’s a game-changer for families when grocery shopping. We are also establishing relationships with local farms to make local fruits, vegetables and meats available at Oasis.
It doesn’t get any fresher or healthier than locally raised foods.
We strongly believe that the result will be that our citizens will be healthier and that our town will enjoy all the trickle-down benefits that it creates.
Residents Want ‘Local’ Businesses
“Indian Head could use a boost. Many big chain groceries don’t see the benefit of our small community. The people in this area deserve healthy options.”
— Sandra S.
We have nothing against responsibly run nationwide franchise businesses. The best of them add a great deal to our communities.
But those business models generally focus first and foremost on the bottom line. Too often, that leaves small towns like Indian Head to do without.
So we need local businesses to create the town that we know Indian Head can become. The opportunity is there, and the benefits are so great. Small, locally owned businesses become a point of pride for the town and a place where residents can forge deep connections. Oasis will be the community’s store.
As Oasis Fresh Foods Market becomes fully established, our goal is to move from private ownership toward an Employee Ownership Trust model that gives our team a stake in the business and a strong incentive to see it grow and thrive and sustain itself as a pillar of daily life in Indian Head. Oasis will reinvest in the Town, the community, and its residents.
A Much-Needed Boost for the Town
“I work on base and live in the Town. It would be a huge convenience factor for me personally to have a grocery store closer than Bryan’s Road. Additionally, redeveloping long-vacant buildings will only serve to increase property values and bring even more businesses to our town.”
— Amanda M.
Longtime residents look back with sentimentality on the days when the town was a thriving place, filled with local shops and restaurants that they patronized daily.
Residents and employees of those businesses, as well as the local naval base, didn’t have to leave town for a quick trip to the grocery store or the bank. They had a good selection of restaurant options when they wanted a meal.
For a generation or more, business has been declining in Indian Head. Now, progress is happening. It’s not happening as quickly as any of us would like, but it is happening.
The town’s leadership has made intelligent growth a priority, and we’re seeing it come to fruition. It creates a snowball effect. Successful businesses attract more successful businesses, and each one fills a void in our community.
Oasis will be a vital piece to that puzzle, and we are thankful for all the support we’ve received along the way. Especially the support we’ve received from you, the residents of Indian Head and the surrounding areas.