LAURELTON, Queens (PIX11) — A Black-owned Queens supermarket helps provide the community with organic and vegan food options.
Customers walk into Earnest Foods on Merrick Boulevard and they immediately see products that they can’t find anywhere else. That’s the point, said co-owner Ernest Flowers. He’s making it his mission to help his community stay healthy, one customer at a time.
Flowers said his two passions are healthy food and serving the people in his community of Jamaica, Queens. Now, he said he’s doing both. His biggest fans are his regular customers. Flowers said he is the first Black-owned natural and organic supermarket in Queens. Every shelf, he said, has a unique story.
From the vegan ice cream to the mangos, it’s all organic products inside. Flowers said a priority is giving local businesses a shelf to shine. Flowers also said he couldn’t have stayed open without the support of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.
Its director, Aron Kurlander, said they have already helped connect businesses to $34 million over the past decade, including $8 million during the pandemic. And more money is coming.
A new program, the Small Business Restore/Revival/Rebirth Grant Program, will launch this fall, providing Queens small businesses with $500,000 in grants. Flowers said his business is thriving; he hopes to show his love for his community healthily and deliciously.