In New Iberia, volunteers are hoping to bring jobs and boost the economy through a community market on Hopkins Street.
Carl Cooper Junior is the president of Da Berry Fresh Market, where his produce goes from the garden bed to his store shelves, sometimes in a matter of minutes.
With help from Envision da Berry, Cooper created Da Berry Fresh Market to bring locally grown produce and other regional specialties to the Hopkins Street area.
"So they know where they’re getting their produce from and their food from and it’s made with love and it’s grown with love," says Cooper.
While the market gets some of its products from local farmers, most of the fruits and vegetables come from the store’s back yard and from the Iberia Community Garden down the street.
"We have been a partner with da berry fresh market from the beginning and the idea was to have a relationship where we could sell our produce locally to people seven days a week," says Phanat Xanamane, who is a founder of Envision da Berry and runs the community garden.
The partnership is giving those who pitch in a sense of purpose and those who shop at Da Berry a sense of community. Plus for young people, the hope is this market can be a teaching tool.
"It’s also going to open up opportunities for people to have jobs so it’s going to bring an economic base in, which is going to help eliminate crime and eliminate different activities that aren’t bringing much progress in town," says Cooper.
In a part of town plagued with crime, the store is drawing attention to what has been and what could be.
"We would like to resurrect the spirit of entrepreneurship and create flourishing businesses here that are thriving to bring back the economics in this district that used to have businesses flourishing along this whole street here," says Cooper.