The first Black-owned autonomous grocery store opens in Atlanta

Illustration by Shemar DeBellotte | The Signal

With alternatives to traditional grocery shopping – like grocery delivery – doubling in popularity in the past three years, many Americans’ grocery shopping experiences now involve some form of technology.

Instacart, Shipt and Amazon Fresh may dominate the American grocery delivery market, but local Atlanta businesses also delve into non-traditional approaches to grocery shopping.

Nourish + Bloom, the nation’s first autonomous grocery store with robotic delivery, opened in Atlanta on January 21, 2022, joining various other local delivery options.

The store provides a unique no-contact grocery shopping experience. Customers download the Nourish + Bloom app, scan a QR code when they enter the store, shop and pay with their phones. Every interaction from entry to checkout is digital.

The market stocks around 1,500 options on its shelves and primarily offers local products to decrease its environmental impact. According to the business site, none of their products contain GMOs or high fructose corn syrup.

Jilea Hemmings, Founder and CEO of Nourish + Bloom Market said, “The idea of the store occurred to us during the pandemic. We wanted to provide a solution for customers where they wouldn’t have to wait in line or touch anything while checking out.”

Hemmings said that she and her partner ventured into the food industry after their son was diagnosed with autism, realizing their calling to make eating “healthy and convenient” for everyone.

Nourish and Bloom, the store’s two delivery robots, make Nourish + Bloom’s products accessible and convenient to those who would not otherwise be able to visit the store.

The two robots, produced by DAX for “last mile” delivery, can deliver customers’ groceries within three miles of the store. They can cruise through snow and rain, and designers even equipped them with the technology to temperature control groceries.

“We believe that everyone deserves to eat healthy,” the Nourish + Bloom website explains.

Nourish + Bloom also houses a bistro, which serves freshly prepared meals throughout the day. While payment is digital for all items, staff members are on-site to help customers and make food in the bistro.

Nourish + Bloom is located at 300 Trilith Pkwy Suite 250, Fayetteville, GA 30214, and is open 24/7/365.