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Who is Jeff Brown?

The affable, community-minded grocery store magnate has thrown his hat into the race for Mayor of Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know about him.

Who is Jeff Brown?

The affable, community-minded grocery store magnate has thrown his hat into the race for Mayor of Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know about him.

Jeff Brown is the first non-elected official to announce his intention to run for Mayor of Philadelphia. The popular founder, president and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores has a baker’s dozen Philly grocery stores, all ShopRites and Fresh Grocers, most intentionally located in food deserts. In addition to stocking fresh foods and local brands, these markets serve as what The Citizen has described as “de facto community centers.”

Although he’s largely a businessperson, not a politician, the Northeast Philly native has collaborated closely with Congressman Dwight Evans and has an impressive record of supporting equity, youth, and development in Philadelphia — and charisma to spare. The Citizen has referred to him as a “sophisticated political player.”

Brown chairs the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board and serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association and Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity. For 20+ years, he chaired the board of the Philadelphia Youth Network. He and his wife founded and chair Uplift Solutions, a national nonprofit that supports food businesses, government and other nonprofits working to sustain underserved communities.

But, he’s decidedly unlike most Philadelphians, in that he and his family live in a $4 million+ home in Rittenhouse Square. In this way, however, Brown is a lot like fellow candidate Allan Domb, only Domb has done his time on Philadelphia City Council.

Here’s what else we know about Jeff Brown

Brown takes a selfie with customers at the Parkside ShopRite. Photo from Brown’s Facebook page.

 

  1. HIS STORES HAVE EMPLOYED 700+ RETURNING CITIZENS. He’s also partnered with Ya Fave Trashman, Terrill Haigler, on an expungement clinic for returning citizens.
  2. IN ADDITION TO GROCERIES, BROWN’S STORES have offered onsite nutrition guidance, social work services, walk-in medical clinics for people without health insurance, credit unions, and low-cost bill pay.
  3. DURING COVID, HE JOINED JEFF BARTOS to create the Pennsylvania 30-Day Fund to provide small businesses with $3,000 forgivable loans.
  4. ALSO DURING COVID, HE HELPED PHA RESIDENTS ACCESS HIS STORES through a partnership with Uplift and Lyft.
  5. HE OPPOSED THE SODA TAX. He says it causes customers to do all their food shopping outside the city — and has caused him to eliminate jobs.
  6. HE’S A FOURTH-GENERATION GROCER. His dad, Lenny, had a neighborhood food store at 40th and Girard.
  7. HE WAS MICHELLE OBAMA’S GUEST AT THE 2011 STATE OF THE UNION, honored for his work bringing fresh foods to Philly neighborhoods without markets. (See video below.)
  8. HE SAYS EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT are his passions.

Citizen coverage of Jeff Brown

Videos featuring Jeff Brown

Clips from The Citizen:

PBS Newshour:

Take it from Michelle Obama:

More ways to learn about Jeff Brown

Check out Jeff Brown’s campaign website.

Follow Jeff Brown on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

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The Philadelphia Citizen updates this profile and all our Philadelphia mayoral candidate profiles on a regular basis.

MORE MAYORAL RACE COVERAGE FROM THE CITIZEN

Jeff Brown greeting the public at an event in Gorgas Park October 8. Photo via Brown's Facebook page.

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