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What started off as a graduate school project has become a successful business for two women, and now they're opening a new store on Seattle's First Hill.

Stockbox Grocersplans toopen a store at 901 James Street inAugustof 2013.The co-founders say their goal to provide healthy food options to areas known as food deserts.

A food desert is an area where people don't have access to fresh produce or grocery staples within walking distance, says COO and co-founder Carrie Ferrence.

The first Stockbox opened in a shipping container in Seattle's Del Ridge neighborhood in 2011, as a graduate school project of Ferrence, and CEO and co-founder Jacqueline Gjurgevich. In 2012, they openeda 529 square-footstore in South Park.

The small stores don't face the same razor-thin margins that many large grocery stores do, according to Gjurgevich. They aim to offer a healthier selection than convenience stores and fast food restaurants.

When you walk in the door, you see produce, said Ferrence. And it's fresh and well stocked.

The co-founders say Harborview approached them about opening a store in the First Hill neighborhood, which lost M Street Grocery when it closed two years ago.

It's one of the most dense and walk dependent communities in the city of Seattle, not having a grocery store inside the community, said Gjurgevich. [It] means it's difficult to access produce and meals when you need it.

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