Jack Green is the owner of Green’s Fresh Market in the Hillyard neighborhood and has a long history in the grocery business. Some might remember Jack when he owned and operated Piccolo’s Italian Market and when he managed Cassano’s Italian Grocery store in the Chief Garry Neighborhood. As a resident and partner in the ZONE, he is dedicated to making fresh produce available to all of Spokane. From connecting with frequent customers to finding the best produce deals possible, Jack has turned his business into what he calls “a win-win situation” for himself and Northeast residents. Jack was thrilled to begin working with the ZONE on making fresh produce more accessible to refugee and immigrant families through our Nourishing Neighbors collaboration, as well as families accessing our Family Nutrition program. He says, “It was exciting to me because I like the idea that the neighborhood and the whole city of Spokane can eat healthy and have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Green’s Fresh Market has a large variety of fresh produce, as well as a deli and products like honey and baked goods from local business owners. It is a hub of activity, with customers constantly coming in and greeting Jack by name. “I have people that are in here two to three times a week, once a week, once a month,” Jack says. Residents of all areas of Spokane make an effort to stop by Green’s Fresh Market when they are in the area, especially because the Market’s Facebook page is constantly updated with new deals on produce. Jack says that the focus of the market is not “to be everything to everybody,” but “to make as much possible available to the public for as reasonable as possible.” He hopes that the market serves as an option for those who need to save money but can still have access to good quality produce instead of convenience store products.
When asked about his awareness of food insecurity in Northeast Spokane, Jack says that he realized the issue more recently. “I’ve been in the produce business basically all my working career and it was never really something I had thought of until I came here and realized that these people that are in the neighborhood were excited that I came,” he explains. “And it’s kind of like ‘Wow, this is nice that someone is excited that I’m opening a business that I love to do.’”
Jack is grateful for the abundance of support and loyalty from Northeast Spokane residents. For him, the gratitude of his customers is the most rewarding part of his work. “I’ve actually had people come to me and thank me and say, ‘I don’t know what I would have done raising my family without this support of your market and being able to afford good healthy food.’ That there alone is enough to make it and it just blows me away when people tell me how much they appreciate the market. Because the bottom line is I’m doing this for a living, but at the same time I try to find the niche that will be best for everyone else, too. So I try to go out and find the deals and pass them onto the people. And in turn that ends up making me money. So we all win.”