No More Empty Pots Opens Micro Market as an Oasis in North Omaha Food Desert

No More Empty Pots recently opened the Micro Market, a small organic grocery store at the Highlander Accelerator in North Omaha. The nonprofit hopes to further its efforts to combat food insecurity and promote sustainability in the heart of Omaha with Fresh Fridays at the Micro Market, starting this month.  

In an effort to combat food insecurity and promote sustainability in the heart of Omaha, No More Empty Pots opened the Micro Market, a small organic grocery store, in April. 

The Micro Market, located at the Highlander Accelerator near 30th and Lake Streets, aims “to provide local nutrient-dense food from the community that stays in our community,” according to No More Empty Pots Value Chain Manager Taylor Hanna.

The Micro Market sits directly underneath a 17,500-square-foot greenhouse that is operated in partnership between No More Empty Pots and Seventy Five North. The greenhouse is used year-round for vertical farming of fresh produce like leafy greens, herbs, botanicals and other value-added products—some of which can now be purchased at the Micro Market.

“This area specifically is a bit of a food desert. There aren’t very many grocery stores around here,” Hanna said, emphasizing the crucial role the Micro Market plays in providing access to fresh, locally sourced and organic produce for residents.

Starting in April, the market is open for “Fresh Fridays”, every Friday, 10AM-6PM, and offers an array of products ranging from fresh greens, seasonal fruits, and vegetables to dairy, frozen foods, meat and dry goods. Hanna said plans are underway to expand operating days and hours in the coming months.

No More Empty Pots is a 501(c)(3) that was founded in Omaha in 2010 with the mission “to connect individuals and groups to improve self-sufficiency, regional food security and economic resilience of urban and rural communities through advocacy and action.”

The market accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Double Up Food Bucks, aligning with its mission of promoting food security and sustainability.

Beyond offering access to high quality, nutritious food to local residents, the market also benefits the 20 or so producers who currently sell their products at the Micro Market. No More Empty Pots aims to broaden access to farmers who lack direct-to-consumer relationships.

“A lot of local farmers have this food, and they want it to stay within their community.’ Hanna said. “We’re supporting them in keeping their farm up and running, and educating about the story and value behind where people’s food comes from.”

Hanna is responsible for sourcing products for the Micro Market with an emphasis on producers using organic and regenerative practices.

In addition to fresh food items, the Micro Market supports local entrepreneurs in the No More Empty Pots Entrepreneur Journey program by featuring items from vendors like Benson Bounty and Dundee Popcorn. The Entrepreneur Journey program pairs entrepreneurs with coaching and resources like shared commercial kitchen space and educational opportunities.

While operating solely on Fridays for now, customers can sign up online for the Community Harvest program, which includes a CSA subscription and plant-based meal options. 

Hanna said the Micro Market is a natural extension of No More Empty Pots’ core values of education, stewardship, and sustainability.

“When you walk into the market, the overall goal is that it tells a story and you’re not just shopping for food,” she said. “But you’re being educated on where your food is coming from, what the nutritional benefits are of those foods.”

Looking ahead, Hanna outlined plans to introduce grab-and-go cold foods, such as salads and hummus, and to increase the variety of products sourced from local producers and the rooftop greenhouse.

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