Why do corner stores struggle to sell fresh produce?

It’s a decades-old problem. But a new store—and an ongoing effort to change things in Los Angeles—paints the picture in a fresh light.

Earlier this month, Danny Park reopened his parents’ Los Angeles corner store. Best Market, as it was known, was in many ways an ordinary mom-and-pop shop. Park and his mother worked the register. They sold sundries, like batteries, Pepto-Bismol, Mentos and rolling papers. Racks of chips and candies sat near the entrance. The store’s two aisles of food were stocked with pantry staples, like beans, tuna, jam, and bread. Drinks were in back.

The Skid Row Peoples’ Market, as it’s now called, is different. The store has been redesigned and repainted, with new flooring, refrigerators, and a freezer. There’s a fresh produce section: a tasteful, wooden end-cap display, stocked with bananas, pears, avocados, and cucumbers donated for sale by Imperfect Produce. At a remodeled deli counter, Park sells $3 potato and pasta salads, which he makes

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