Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- Tall grass, blighted properties, and a lack of grocery stores. They are all problems that continue to plague the Lower 9th Ward, but one business owner's push for a sweet shop has steadily overcome hurdles to change that.
When we first met Burnell Cotlon last summer he was in the beginning stages of a huge undertaking, turning a blighted property on the corner of Caffin Avenue and Galvez Street into a barber shop, sweet shop and grocery store.
"It is a daily fight to get this building up and running because when I first bought this building it was a two-story, damaged building, and I had to do all the work myself to get at the phase where it's at today," said Cotlon.
Now after months of work, the progress can finally be seen. The barber shop is now open and the sweet shop is well on its way.
"This is a food desert, there is nothing like this here," said Cotlon. "So this is imperative that we get a sweet shop, a barber shop and a grocery store here in the Lower 9th Ward."
In order to get to the closest supermarket over three miles away in Chalmette, many folks rely on the bus to get them there.
"It's hard when you have to take the bus or you have to pay somebody to take you and money is very scarce right now," said Celestine Anderson who has been living in the Lower 9th Ward for 36 years.