SunCoast Community Fund

Addressing food access and food insecurity in Imperial Beach

The 27,000 residents of Imperial Beach, California do not have a full-service grocery store providing reliable fresh produce and healthy staples. 

The I.B. community is working to fix that. Please join our efforts.

A cooperative grocery store isn’t owned by a big corporation or outside shareholders. It’s owned by community members who purchase owner shares, and not controlled by outside interests. SunCoast Market will serve the needs of owners and the community. It’s a store that’s “by the people, for the people.”

SunCoast Market will will fill a huge void for the people living in Imperial Beach, who must rely on meager fresh food offerings or drive distances to get it.

Shopping at SunCoast Market keeps local dollars local and creates good-paying jobs. Co-ops are known for supporting local farmers and entrepreneurs, further supporting the local economy.

Imperial Beach Demographics




Grocery Stores


Outlet Grocery


Resident are
People of Color


Income Below
County Median

SunCoast Community Fund

is a program of San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project

a California 501(c)3 food-centered educational nonprofit

Educating, cultivating and empowering sustainable food communities in San Diego County since 2008

Why opening SunCoast Market Co-op matters.

San Diego Roots’ home base is Imperial Beach, California, the most southwesterly city in the continental United States. The city is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and the beautiful Tijuana River Estuary Reserve. Tijuana, Mexico is our neighbor to the south, the City San Diego borders our north and east. Despite the city’s magnificent setting, when it comes to food access, I.B. is critically deficient.

This city of 27,000 does not have a full-service grocery store with reliable fresh produce. The city’s demographics (key factors outlined above) make the city unattractive to grocery store operators. So every day these 27,000 people are forced to travel distances to the nearest grocery store, or rely on the meager pickings from fast food, convenience stores and outlet markets closer to home. The city suffers heavily from obesity and chronic, diet-related disease.

Fed up with these circumstances and wanting to provide a workable solution to meeting critical needs, in 2015 a group of I.B. residents began organizing to open a food co-op — a store owned by the community it feeds. Their motto is: local food, local produce, local control. 

The store will feature locally grown produce and locally produced goods, as well as bulk foods to reduce packaging, with a high concentration of foods produced organically. Embedded in the co-op’s principles are education about food, nutrition, and how food and community health are related. 

Now with over 900 paying members, the co-op is slated to open in 2023, which is where we come in….

SunCoast Market Co-op offers the most-meaningful, long-term way to address critical food access and insecurity issues in Imperial Beach. Recognizing this, San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project has partnered with SunCoast Market Co-op to fundraise toward opening the store. We’ve established the SunCoast Community Fund and dedicated it to gather donations and grants to build and open the store. With a $3,000,000 budget, we’ve got our work cut out for us. Please make a tax-deductible donation today!