CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte nonprofit organization plans to open a distribution center in West Charlotte next year.


What You Need To Know

A new distribution center store aims to increase access to fresh and affordable food in West Charlotte and beyond

Carolina Farm Trust partnered with the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to make this project possible

The Carolina Farm Trust Market at Historic Hoskins will be located in a food desert, which is a low-income area with low levels of access to healthy food


Carolina Farm Trust is transforming a former egg plant into the Carolina Farm Trust Market at Historic Hoskins, a distribution center with a grocery store and a commercial kitchen offering fresh food from farms in the Carolinas.

“I’m super stoked for our project and being able to serve the community,” Carolina Farm Trust Market at Historic Hoskins General Manager Chris Peake said.

The distribution center will be located in a food desert, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines as a census tract with a 20% poverty rate and at least 500 people and/or at least 33% of the population lives more than a one mile away from the supermarket. The USDA says on average 4,000 people live in the area.

According to Mecklenburg County Public Health, nearly 15% of residents in the county live in a food desert.

Peake grew up in the Thomasboro-Hoskins neighborhood where the distribution center will be located. He said in the past it used to have several grocery stores, but now they have been replaced by convenience stores.

“I couldn’t ignore what I watched happen within in our community,” Peake said.

This area is also in the 28208 zip code, which along the 28205, 28212, 28216 and 28217 are part the Mecklenburg County Public Health Priority zip codes. According to the agency, these food deserts are characterized by an increased prevalence of poor chronic health and housing outcomes.

Peake is glad to be here to help.

“God led me to be come back to my community and be a part of the solution,” Peake said.

Increasing access to fresh and affordable food is one of their ways to make the community healthier not only in this neighborhood but in other areas of Charlotte.

This could mean partnering with hospitals, day care and schools to distribute fresh produce to them.

“It’s not just the west side. It’s located here, but we are bringing this within the community, but we are looking at all over as far as being able to supply that demand that is needed as far as fresh food from the farm to the table,” Peake said.

The project has an estimated cost of $14 million for construction and the operating costs for four years.

“We want to be able to be self-sufficient by the end of the year four,” Peake said.

The city of Charlotte provided $1.5 million and Mecklenburg County $3 million. The funds came from the American Rescue Plan, which was federal funding provided to governments during the pandemic.

Peake said the rest of the funding will come from donations and partnerships.

The plan is to open the distribution center next spring.