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"This is a true win:" Pete's Fruit Market will open in Milwaukee's Bronzeville neighborhood

Milwaukee (CBS 58) -- Pete's Fruit Market will open for business in Milwaukee's Bronzeville neighborhood on Thursday.

Alderwoman Milele Coggs grew up down the street from King Drive and North Avenue. She says having Pete's Fruit Market on the corner is like gold at the end of a rainbow.

"So many neighbors and residents believed it could happen and fought. To see the end results of what we fought for actually happen is really huge," said Ald. Milele Coggs.

Community members wanted a full-service grocery store. Instead, Dollar Tree came in. Alderwoman Coggs says the community came together and stopped them from getting a food license, forcing them out.

"There are those that wanted a Dollar Tree and it's my hope that they will see the fight was worth it and what we did for them."

Ald. Coggs says in parts of the 6th District, people have to travel miles to get fresh fruits and vegetables. Having Pete's, a grocery store she says will invest in the community, will make a difference.

"Hopefully we will have a healthier community."

"Not only was this community a food dessert, but it was also a hope dessert and inspiration dessert and achievement dessert and for people to stand up and say this is what we want, this is how we want it, we won't settle for less. I think that everybody is inspired, everybody has hope," said Real Estate Developer Kalan Haywood.

Much of that hope came from the process. The store's developer Haywood group and JCP Construction.  Both African American owned companies employed around 100 people to build Pete's in their community.

"This is a true win, this is a model of how you get things done in a very challenging tough environment."

Ald. Coggs says she hopes the store will be a symbol of that win for a long time.

"A generation from now, when people see that Pete's sign there, I want people to see more than a grocery store. I want people to see the power of a community setting standards for itself and demanding what it wants."

The store will be open Thursday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m.

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