Gem City Market

Building an Oasis and Empowering a Community  

Grocery stores have long been pillars of their communities by providing nutritious, affordable food like fresh meats, dairy and produce. What happens to communities without access to these essentials? They become food deserts. More than 23 million Americans live in areas that lack easy access to nutritious, affordable food, which negatively impacts the overall health of the community and families for generations. 

West Dayton, Ohio had long been labeled a food desert according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service, with limiteaccess to nutritious food for local residents. Co-Op Dayton recognized the problem and set out to create their own solution. The mission was to empower the community to build and operate a local grocery store. After planning, organizing, breaking ground in 2019 and continuing through the pandemic in 2020, the Gem City Market opened its doors to the eager Dayton neighborhood May 12, 2021. 

Chef Leah Bahan-Harris, the general manager of Gem City Market, gave her insights into this inspiring project. “It’s really a community effort that brought us together,” says Chef Harris. “A lot of our partners are community-based, everything from Globe to Wyse Construction that built the project...”.  

So how did Globe get involved? When word about this mission spread among local foodservice manufacturers, Globe quickly stepped up”, eager to serve our vibrant and resilient community. Kevin Woods, the President of Globe, met with the team in the development stage to assess the needs of the store before making product recommendations. Premium slicers, price computing and portion control scales and a 20-quart mixer were among the pieces donated to contribute to the success of the deli and bakery


Globe SG13A Slicers at Gem City MarketBeing able to slice on demand is obviously the main service at any grocery deli. “We wouldn’t be able to slice any of our meat [without Globe]!” Chef Harris said with a laugh, later remarking on how her staff were hugging when the slicers came in“It’s very good for our labor to have an effective tool like that so that’s really powerful... It’s a blessing to have two slicers,” she elaborated. When asked about what solutions these slicers have provided, Chef Harris commented on how “We are developing right now a sandwich program and so a lot of our production is going to come from those slicers, and they’re nice, and they’re efficient.”  

Behind the deli in a food prep area stands the Globe 20 quart bench mixer. Gem City Market utilizes their SP20 mixer for mixing bakery items and saucesand also for grinding meat with the #12 hub and attachments. They are planning to further develop their bakery offerings in the autumn of 2021 with items like quick breads and other baked goods.  

Globe SP20 Gem City MarketA BRIGHT FUTURE 
While the Gem City Market has been serving the community and continuing to develop over the last three months, the partnership also continues to grow. Chef Harris agrees, stating that “Globe has been a supportive partner, and making sure that if we need training it happens... Sometimes that is a unique challenge in the industry, having accessibility to training and to the resources [where your equipment comes from] … we have that partnership and it’s really awesome.”  

Both Globe and Gem City Market look forward to strengthening the community and offering fresh products to West Dayton.  



September 1 marks the beginning of Hunger Action Month. This year, NAFEM committed to providing 7 million meals for people in need and is nearly 70% of the way toward achieving their goal. If you’d like to take action and help provide meals in your community, find your local foodbank here