Trader Joe's, the discount gourmet food chain, has nearly 300 outlets in 18 states. There are at least eight locations in Los Angeles, not including two in West Hollywood, thirteen blocks apart. Pasadena, a city of 140,000 hosts three, with others nearby in South Pasadena, La Canada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, and Monrovia.
Trader Joe's doesn't yet have a location in Council Districts 8, 9, or 10. The combined population of CD's 8, 9, & 10 is nearly 750,000, greater than Wilmington Delaware, Annapolis Maryland, or Newport News, Virginia. Much greater than San Clemente, San Carlos, or Santa Barbara (home to three stores).
Possibly there's a bit more moola in Santa Barbara than in "South Center City". But there would seem to be some moola here as well, as evidenced by the price of homes in Country Club Park, Western Heights, and LaFayette Square, to say nothing of View Hills, Kinney Heights or Victoria Park. Moreover, one doesn't need a lot of moola to afford a 69 cent pack of pasta, a 19 cent banana, or a loaf of multi-grain bread ($1.89).
For arguments sake, the Figueroa corridor might offer the most opportunity for the/an aspiring retailer. Close to U.S.C's grub-happy student population, downtown's soft-lofters, and a better option than the 32nd Street market for University Park's well-to-dos.
But who needs 'em? I buy most of my produce, and some of my other essentials (rice, beans, and tortillas) at Mercado Numero Uno. The warehouse style market is high-ceilinged, with broad aisles and open space. The in-store soundtrack includes zippy Cuban music. The location I like best is at 701 East Jefferson, where San Pedro and Avalon split. The Jefferson store hosts a pocket branch of the popular full sevice food provider Gallo Giro, with an exhibition-style kitchen offering traditional Mexican dishes like guisados and tamales, a bakery (panaderia), and juice bar (Aguas Frescas).
I'm addicted to the Platano incidentally.