Yash La Casa Market was one of the typical corner stores of East Los Angeles that caters primarily to a Latino clientele. It was stocked heavily with sweet and salty snacks and packaged foods that were crammed into a shop plastered with posters for Budwesier, Tecate and other beers. But, on Saturday, Yash La Casa Market at the corner of Hammel Street and Hazard Avenue will hold a celebration to show off a new look and strategy that plays up healthy food and drink options as part of a public health campaign to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The makeover, organized by the UCLA-USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities and funded by the National Institutes of Health, included the removal of soft drink and beer ads from the front windows and the addition of a juice bar, refrigerators for fresh produce and an outdoor vegetable garden. Free Wi-Fi, too. Local high school students helped out by peeling away the beer posters and repainting the store exterior. The program plans to eventually make changes at four East Los Angeles stores.
The ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 29, which features Supervisor Gloria Molina and officials from UCLA and the county health department, will begin at 10 a.m
Now, the big question is will the customers of Yash La Casa Market buy into the healthy makeover?