Cabbagetown community rallies around historic Little’s Food Store

Historic grocery store Little’s Food Store in the Cabbagetown neighborhood is still standing after a car crashed into the store.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 11:30 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A surprising update on the tiny, decades-old shop in Atlanta’s historic Cabbagetown neighborhood that a car crashed into over the weekend. As bad as it was the community and the business owner are managing to find a silver lining.

Little’s Food Store owner Brad Cunard was expecting the worst when he got a call early Sunday morning that a car had slammed into his family-run business on Carroll Street.

“It looked like it was about a four-foot section that was taken out. It jammed that entire wall where the doors are,” said Cunard.

The driver, who according to Georgia State Patrol was attempting to outrun a trooper after a traffic stop on I-20, slammed his Dodge Charger into the front corner of the nearly 100-year-old building - scattering bricks onto the sidewalk and street. Cunard estimates damages in the thousands.

“Thankfully, no one was hurt. I hope the young people learned their lesson,” he said.

Days later, the tiny community of Cabbagetown is on a mission.

“It’s easy to rally around Little’s Food Store and Brad,” said Emily Chan, owner of Jen Chan’s restaurant.

A neighbor, with carpentry skills, is replacing the old brick or ones from a damaged chimney and fixing the front doors. A restaurant owner up the street is organizing a fundraiser.

“Something like that could be so stressful. You have no idea how difficult it is to run a small business, especially after the last couple of years we’ve had, so getting the community together and having some found and hopefully donate some money,” said Chan.

Cunard is no stranger to life’s setbacks. He struggled during the 2008 Great Recession. COVID forced him and his wife Nina to scale back Little’s store hours and change up their business model. And nearly 20 years before that, Cunard lost his then-wife Lisa and their two young kids to a freak accident when a tree fell on their car.

But today, he’s grateful for the love he’s being shown.

“I guess because I dealt with so much I knew that this was going to happen. They love Little’s. I’m just a steward of Little’s. That’s the way that we look at it,” said Cunard.

The community is holding a fundraising cookout on Wednesday to help pay for the repairs to Cunard’s business. The event is happening next door to Little’s in the Tree Shade picnic area from noon to 7 p.m.

As for the police investigation into the crash. Police have identified the driver and issued a warrant for their arrest.