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Food & Drink

CocoAndré Co-Founder is Opening a Convenient ‘Grocerant’ in Elmwood

Olmo Market will be a place to find groceries, convenient items, and hot food along a walkable, budding part of the Elmwood neighborhood.
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Dalia Guadalupe

Cindy Pedraza knew there was something missing from her Elmwood neighborhood. She was craving a place to grab a quick bite or pick up an ingredient or two on her way home from work without having to drive out of her way to a big box grocery store.

The CocoAndré Chocolatier and Horchateria co-founder came up with the idea of opening Olmo Market, a hyperlocal grocery-restaurant—more commonly known as a “grocerant”—a few years ago. Grocerants, like Eatzi’s or Berkley’s M.K.T., offer shelf-stable items, some produce, and ready-to-eat food. Olmo (which means “elm” in Spanish) will be a similar concept, but Pedraza says she wants to add “a little bit more affordability, and even more inclusivity.”

“We haven’t had something like that here for a while,” says Pedraza.

Pedraza and her husband, Armando Puente, will run the market, and Paul Hernandez will be the executive chef of the kitchen. Hernandez runs plant-based Planta Potosí and has cooked for Justin Bieber, Post Malone, and Coldplay. When Pedraza mentioned that she wanted to open a grocerant in Elmwood, Hernandez said his head “blew up.”

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Jars of Fly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp and Zhong Sauce, some of the offerings Olmo Market will have on its shelves. Dalia Guadalupe

“This makes perfect sense,” he says.

Olmo Market will have sections for shelf-stable food, personal hygiene, household items, fresh produce, hot food, and more. Hernandez wants to create a plant-based deli-style menu of sandwiches and soups for the grab-and-go area, and he plans to offer some of his specialty items like tacos and tortas. During the soft opening, Hernandez wants to experiment with the dine-in menu to possibly include things like barbecue, breakfast items, and more plant-based proteins.

Shelves will be stocked with items like olive oil, sugar, flour, grains, and some items found at specialty grocery stores like H Mart, the nearest of which is in Carrollton and about 30 minutes away. Local artisans and vendors will also have a chance to sell their products on Olmo shelves, a practice Pedraza is carrying over from CocoAndré. The produce section will at first be supplied through larger grocery companies, Pedraza says, but her hope is to one day bring in produce from local farmers from the neighborhood. There is already one nearby: Elmwood Farm is just under a mile away near Tyler Station.

“My dad grows his own produce … chiles and tomatoes and stuff like that,” she says. “Wouldn’t it be cool if this was a place where people who are older like my dad—or young farmers—can come sell their produce and nourish the people in their neighborhood?”

The overall goal is convenience and affordability in between grocery store trips, Pedraza says. The store is located about a mile from a Kroger at Wynnewood Village and two miles from a Tom Thumb on South Hampton Road. Individual eggs can be purchased to complete a recipe, and olive oil will be available in smaller sizes for a one-person household.

“We want you to be able to buy just what you need for that day for, for the week, maybe, until you get to your next trip,” she says.

Olmo Market is located at 2111 S. Edgefield Ave., next to Pizza Fritta. Peaberry Coffee is expected to open a few doors down later this year. A soft opening is scheduled for the end of the month, and a grand opening is slated for March 18.

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun

Nataly Keomoungkhoun

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun joined D Magazine as the online dining editor in 2022. She previously worked at the Dallas Morning News,…

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