“Success breeds success. Activity brings more activity.
Revitalization of Indian Head requires continued investment.”

Bringing a new independent grocery store to Indian Head has been no small feat. If it were easy, it would have happened 25 years ago.

Oasis Fresh Foods Market is succeeding because we’ve rallied the support of what feels like the entire town. Perhaps most importantly, we’ve built an Advisory Council that includes some of the smartest, strategic thinkers in our area. They’ve been absolutely essential to this effort.

They are passionate about Indian Head, its residents and its prospects for future prosperity. We want them to share their stories about why they feel compelled to help bring Oasis to our food desert town.

Matthew M. Martin is the chief financial officer and executive vice president of Energetics Technology Center, Inc., headquartered in Indian Head. He has been among the biggest champions of this effort from the very beginning.

Check out the Q&A to find out why he’s done so much to ensure that Indian Head residents will soon have easy, everyday access to fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and more.

What made you want to join the advisory team for the new grocery store in Indian Head?

I live and work within the community of Indian Head. I see the need for increased business activity outside the base gates. The community has been “hungry” for a community grocery store for over two decades. When I was asked to join, I jumped at the chance.

What unique value or perspective do you bring to the advisory team?

I have a general business background and years of community development experience.

What have you seen as the biggest challenges in bringing the store to Indian Head?

Population density and creative investing. While Indian Head punches above its weight class, people often overlook that only roughly 4,000 people live in Indian Head, and about the same work on the base. However, a full size grocery store generally needs 20,000+ people within a reasonable radius to attract traditional grocery store investors. A unique and right-sized solution driven by non-traditional investors was required.

How do you think the new grocery store will most benefit local residents?

Fresh food within walking distance to most town residents. Revitalization of a currently abandoned facade. Additional lunch offerings for workers inside and outside the base gate. Unique experiences and ice cream. Who doesn’t love ice cream?

How do you think the new grocery store will enhance the town of Indian Head overall?

Success breeds success. Activity brings more activity. Revitalization of Indian Head requires continued investment. While some activity has started, and we are seeing the streetscape continue to improve, this project will continue the energy and momentum.

What have you learned from the experience of working with this advisory team?

The power of positive, caring and determined people. Mark and Marilyn Steele have maintained a constant focus and positive attitude about brining Oasis to Indian Head. Traditional institutional investors won’t touch a project of this size due to the time, effort and risk involved in investing in a small community. M&M truly care for their community and they put their money where their mouth is.

What does this grocery store coming to Indian Head mean to you?

It means the community revitalization continues to be successful, and the lives of residents and base workers continue to be improved. It means another option for me to get a high-quality lunch at a convenient location. It means summer evenings eating ice cream with my family while walking the Village Green.