They're changing the grocery shopping game!
The first Black-owned autonomous grocery store in the world just opened in Georgia, CW69 News reports.
Jamie Hemmings and his wife Jilea Hemmings are the founders of Nourish + Bloom Market, the world’s first Black-owned autonomous grocery store, located in Fayetteville, Georgia. After their oldest son was diagnosed with autism, the couple was inspired to open the new tech savvy shop and they hope that in doing so, they’re able to leave a legacy for their family.
“We said, instead of just thinking about meals for him, let's bring a full market where everyone has access to healthy meals,” Jilea told reporters.
From there, Nourish + Bloom was born, the owners recently celebrating their grand opening surrounded by the support of their community. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was filled with shoppers eager to check out the new tech-grocer, customers downloading the Nourish + Bloom app in order to scan their way into the store. Once inside, they were impressed by the ease of the experience and the items on the shelves.
“It’s very unique. I’m here with my daughter and my wife, and we’re just down here just taking in the sights,” said local resident Eugene Kendrick.
The store is replete with aisles and aisles of healthy food options, a bistro that serves hot items and of course, self-driving robots, that can deliver orders up to three miles away. Customers can peruse the shop as long as they please, using the store’s app to pay for their items.
“Once you pick up that item, you can just leave the store, and you don’t have to use a checkout terminal,” explained Jamie.
In attendance was Southern Crescent Women in Business Founder and President Ariel Shaw, who expressed her excitement about the couple choosing to bring this unique grocery store concept to their neck of the woods. The Hemmings have now joined other Black tech founders taking advantage of the autonomous technology and using it in ways that help the community. In 2020, CEO Aicha Evans sold her self-driving vehicle company Zoox to Amazon for a whopping $1.2 billion. Just last year, JéGO Technologies founder Frederick Akphoghene introduced his self-driving pods to the world, making them available to healthcare companies looking to provide easy contactless COVID testing.
Jamie Hemmings spoke about he and his wife’s accomplishment, saying, “Coming from where we were to this point right here, it’s just an amazing moment.”
The two hope to eventually open 800 Nourish + Bloom locations and franchises around the country.
Photo Courtesy of Nourish + Bloom