During cold Wisconsin winters and rainy days, Harambee neighborhood resident Theresa Garrison waits for the bus to go to the closest grocery store, the Pick ‘n Save in Milwaukee’s Riverwest area.

“The biggest inconvenience is that I have to leave my neighborhood to get groceries when I don’t have a car,” Garrison said.

Soon both north side and south side residents will see more grocery options closer to their homes. Pete’s Fruit Market will open a store in the Harambee neighborhood, and a Cermak Fresh Market will open in the Walker’s Point area.

Garrison has lived in Milwaukee all her life and remembers when a handful of grocery stores operated near her home.

There are corner stores in the neighborhood, Garrison said, but their items are usually more expensive and usually do not include fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods.

Milwaukee’s small corner store groceries have food prices that are often 40% higher than those in larger supermarkets, according to a recent study conducted by the Hunger Task Force, said Sherrie Tussler, executive director.

Also, the lack of fresh foods can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Pete’s Fruit Market will open soon in a remodeled former Walgreens store at the northwest corner of N. King Drive and W. North Ave. The 13,700-square-foot store will be a full-service grocery, despite the “fruit market” name, similar to the Pete’s at 1400 S. Union St.

Community leaders became very…