FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — For the first time, Thanksgiving turkeys are readily available for residents in an area of Fort Wayne which was once considered a food desert.

Since the opening of the Pontiac Street Market, residents in that area who didn’t have the ability to get to and from the nearest grocery store have had a shopping option closer to home.

The market’s general manager Laqueisha Brown told WANE 15 that their mission of providing access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and all other products that people didn’t have access to has now transitioned to helping people prepare Thanksgiving meals.

“And not just the community within miles [of the store], but other communities have come out, we’ve had people from downtown, from the north side of town, from the west side of town come in, and organizations have come in to get their turkey for their turkey events as well,” Brown said. “So, we’ve had just an outpouring of love here at the Pontiac Street Market and it’s really about a community. People have really come into the market and really embraced what our mission is.”

Assistant Manage Alexandrea Dumas said that they handed out more than 400 turkeys to customers when the market first opened. They now offer a deal where customers receive a free turkey if they spend $100.

A spread of Thanksgiving ingredients at the Pontiac Street Market in Fort Wayne on Monday, 11/20/23.

They have 12 and 20 pound turkeys available.

“Everybody has been pretty excited about it, and it’s wonderful to see the community come out to support such a huge thing that we have for them and just to be able to come in and shop and get everything that they need,” Dumas explained.

On top of the turkeys, the Pontiac Street Market has everything available for any family’s full Thanksgiving spread. Dumas described how they’ve been surprised by what some people include in their Thanksgiving meals.

“Families cook so many different things for Thanksgiving,” she said. “It shocks me when people come in and they ask for certain things and we have it on the shelf because even me, myself, I’m like ‘Oh, wow you guys have that for Thanksgiving?’ and they’re like ‘Yeah, it’s great. We love to cook certain things for Thanksgiving.'”

“So, I think it’s pretty awesome that they can come in here and get the things that they need based on culture, based on ethnicity, and based on what they do for their families as far as Thanksgiving is concerned because one person’s Thanksgiving may be different from another person’s Thanksgiving.”

LaQueisha Brown added that the market is always taking feedback and requests from customers if there are products they don’t have in stock that those people are looking for.

She said they do their best to accommodate those requests as quickly as possible.