Healthy Bodegas

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The New York City Department of Public Health's Healthy Bodegas Initiative works with bodegas (small corner stores) in the city’s underserved communities to stock and promote more healthful foods and to raise nutritional awareness and encourage the purchase of healthy food. The design team explored opportunities to further the Initiative’s impact, particularly in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of the target neighborhoods. To better understand the key players and challenges faced, the team interviewed Initiative staff, bodega owners and partners, in addition to examining several bodegas and observing a cooking demonstration.
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June 18, 2013
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The design team focused on visibility to sustain the Healthy Bodegas Initiative after the intervention cycles end.
For example, punching through the visual clutter of the storefront, a bold, consistent voice communicates to passers-by on the street that changes have been made inside.
The final deliverable is loose leaf and packaged in a folder for convenient dissemination.
The folders include an overview of the research, design briefs and visual voice templates.
A sample of one of the design briefs. This one details the experience design for an engaging outdoor cooking demonstration with an emphasis on connecting to the community.

The Healthy Bodegas Initiative outlined their core challenge as sustainability. The Initiative works directly with target bodegas for seven months at a time. The problem is, how can their efforts be sustained after that direct engagement ends?


With a focus on visibility, the team developed a series of design briefs to engage and empower bodega owners and community residents to keep the momentum going. Briefs include a consistent visual voice, a stoop-line stand kit, a guide to store sightlines, tips for outdoor cooking demonstrations and a community cookbook.