History

In 1965, Mr. Roosevelt "Ross" Evans opened his supermarket in Palm Bay on the corner of Randolph and Florida Streets. The market was a neighborhood pillar that provided a safe, attractive place to buy healthy food and sundry items. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Evans created a place of employment for community residents and economic stability. Additionally, Evans Supermarket was an important community gathering spot. Elderly residents would walk to the store to shop for fresh meats or a box of salt, without the expense or hassle of finding transportation to stores further away. While children waited at the market for the school bus, Mr. Evans checked to make sure they completed homework assignments. The community suffered after Mr. Evans passing. New proprietors weren't connected with the community. The site became a place of cover for illegal activities an eyesore. The city of Palm Bay wrested control of the building and it was shuttered. In 2007, a group of neighborhood leaders and organizations began facilitating discussions to turn the market into a community asset again, and in 2011 Evans Center Inc. became a non-profit organization. Evans Center leaders engaged the community through a survey, conversations, and collective participation. In 2012, Palm Bay demolished the old market, making way for a new vision for Evans Center: a vision that would honor the past and serve present community needs. On March 9, 2019, Evans Center unveiled its community healthy living model. The facility is a critical component in stabilizing the community and rebuilding the vision of Mr. Evans for a strong, prosperous and healthy community.

Board of Directors

Peter Mannino, 
Board Chair

Vice President, Resident Director, Merrill Lynch, Daytona/Cocoa Beach Market President, Bank of America

James Bartell, 
Board President

Retired Fire Battalion Chief,
Community Liaison

Chas Hoyman, 
Board Treasurer

Retired CPA, Hoyman Dobson &
Company, PA

Lesli Dooley, 
Board Secretary

Vice President of Organizational
Development, Community
Credit Union

staff

LeAngela Aitken

Center Director

Arthur Derico, Sr.

Market Manager