The BLDC honors Black History Month 2021 with City Fresh Foods

The Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC) would like to highlight the powerful contributions one minority owned business is making to improve the lives of all Bostonians.

Born out of a need for access to fresh foods in urban areas, City Fresh is the brainchild of Glynn Lloyd. What started out as a market outside Franklin Park in the 90s, has evolved into a state-of-the art 14,000 square foot facility that provides home-style nutritious meals. During the current crisis, their mission is now more critical than ever.

The BLDC is proud to have been able to assist with a small business loan to City Fresh when Glynn Lloyd had just launched in 1994 out of a kitchen in Roxbury.

As City Fresh Foods continued to grow, Glynn was joined by his brother Sheldon in 1996, who is now the CEO. City Fresh Foods has now become a staple in the Boston food service community and has worked to address food insecurity throughout the City by delivering nutritious, delicious and ethnically diverse foods. Their mission has always been to bring healthy food to communities whose needs have often been ignored.

City Fresh’s menu is fueled by and reflects the diverse makeup of its employees and the community in which it operates. The team specializes in bringing meals to children, the elderly and their families. They reach these groups through servicing schools, child care and adult care programs, while also providing home delivery services for the elderly. This business model is what has led their team to be a critical support for economically vulnerable populations, especially during today’s COVID-19 crisis.

City Fresh Foods has also started a program with the YMCA of Greater Boston to provide emergency feeding at dozens of sites around the Boston area, at local YMCA’s but also other places like Prince Hall Grand Lodge and The Freedom House in Grove Hall. Since the pandemic start, the company has increased meal and delivery production to up to 20,000 meals a day.

On this past Juneteenth, on what could not have been a more appropriate date, City Fresh Foods was able to announce that it had succeeded in buying out its shareholders and had finally become a fully minority-owned company! Glynn and Sheldon Lloyd then finally had full ownership of City Fresh Foods. They didn’t stop there.

The dream of the Founders has, for years, been the idea that City Fresh Foods would one day be a community-operated, managed and owned company. In December 2020, that dream would become reality when City Fresh Foods was able to introduce an Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP). Employees were able to buy in and now, in addition to Glynn and Sheldon, there are 34 employee owners of City Fresh Foods; thirty-one of whom are People of Color.

Glynn left the day-to-day operations at City Fresh Foods in 2015 and now serves as Executive Director of the Foundation for Business Equity. The Foundation for Business Equity was created to help address the widening income and wealth gap in Greater Boston, experience most acutely by Black and Latinx communities.

Now producing up to 20,000 meals a day, the company has always maintained its roots in the local community. Ninety-five percent of City Fresh’s clients are in Boston, and the majority of its 150 employees are Boston residents, with many calling Roxbury and Dorchester their home.

Sheldon recently told the BLDC “Part of our next chapter is creating a model for employee ownership, creating equity and wealth, for those typically excluded from such opportunities that helped us build the company. A majority are of color and Boston residents and BLDC is part of the village that helped get us here by providing our first loan of the 27-year journey.”

The BLDC has always recognized that financing for minority owned businesses like City Fresh Foods has been both a struggle and a hindrance to growing wealth within Boston’s predominately Black and Brown neighborhoods. The BLDC is a 501(c)3 staffed by BPDA employees and has been lending to Boston’s small business community since 1982. The BLDC has always demonstrated a commitment to lending to these historically disinvested businesses. Sixty-three percent of existing privately owned BLDC Borrowers are Minority, Immigrant and/or Woman Owned Businesses. More specifically, twenty-five percent are Black Owned Businesses.

The BLDC is under the direction of a Board of Trustees. Seventy-five percent of the Board Members are women, immigrants, and/or representatives of minority groups. Sixty-three percent of the Board are members of minority groups. The composition of the BLDC Board has always helped to ensure that the choices the BLDC Staff makes when reaching out to disproportionately affected communities are informed and impactful.

Under the direction of this diverse Board of Trustees, the BLDC has historically demonstrated tremendous success in lending to a diverse community. While the charter of the BLDC describes its purpose as creating jobs for Boston’s residents, attention to supporting the expansion of the City’s minority owned business community has always been an important component of the BLDC program. For more information on the BLDC program, please go to our website at You can also follow us on LinkedIn at We regularly provide updates on our program and any other information that might be helpful to Boston’s Small Businesses.