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CAMBRIDGE — Pires Market on Cambridge Street has been part of the East Cambridge community for 34 years.

When Cambridge in Motion approached Pires Market owner Diamantino Fernandes about joining its new healthy market program in 2013, he agreed without hesitation. The Cambridge Healthy Market Program is part of a Mass in Motion initiative that works with convenience store owners to make healthy food and drink options available.

Once he committed, Mr. Fernandes cleared a small space at the front of the store to display the store’s healthy items, and within a couple months, his healthy foods section had expanded to three times its original size.  More recently, Mr. Fernandes worked out an agreement with his distributor so that he can order produce in smaller quantities. This means he can stock a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, while avoiding spoilage.

Mr. Fernandes has plans to add produce specialty items that would appeal to his customers, who represent the cultural diversity that is a hallmark of Cambridge.  He will be stocking plantains for his Haitian customers, for example.

Mr. Fernandes takes pride in being a part of the Healthy Market Program, and is always thinking of new ways to improve the program and better serve his community. That is why Mr. Fernandes is Mass in Motion’s Healthy Market Champion.

Pires Market is located at 875 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA.

Photos: Top: Mr. Ferdandes with former Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis; right: The healthy foods section at Pires Market.

Posted on April 15, 2014

Cambridge in Motion, a Mass in Motion initiative based at the Cambridge Public Health Department, works locally to increase opportunities for Cambridge residents to eat better and move more in the places they live, learn, work, and play. Cambridge in Motion is working to implement healthy markets, farmers' markets, physical activity, school food, and Complete Streets initiatives that will make the healthy choice the easy choice for residents of Cambridge. The Cambridge Healthy Market Program is a collaboration of the Cambridge Public Health Department, the Community Development Department, and the Inspectional Services Department. Cambridge in Motion is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, with additional support from Community Health Network Area 17 and the City of Cambridge.