Joe and Mariam Maldonado

Joe and Mariam Maldonado, owners of Luna’s Groceries, will be the keynote speakers at the Rotary Club of Madison’s luncheon meeting on Wednesday, June 12, at Park Hotel.

The Rotary Club of Madison (also known as Downtown Rotary) is made up of over 500 business and professional leaders and is one of the largest service clubs in the world. The club donates over $500,000 a year to scholarships for young people and to local community service organizations. The club hosts weekly speakers who address a broad range of timely community issues.

In January 2019, Mariam and Joe Maldonado leveraged the support of the community to open Luna’s Groceries, a small, full-service grocery store on Madison’s southwest side. For almost a decade, the community had not had a close, walkable grocery store. The Allied-Dunns Marsh Neighborhood, where the Maldonado family has lived for the past 6 years, has been identified as a “food desert” prior to the arrival of Luna’s.

“We’ve got mangos, papayas, Mexican zucchini, collard greens, mustard greens, guava, plantains. We have so many different types of fruits and vegetables that folks from a lot of different ethnic groups consume regularly,” Joe Maldonado told Madison365 in an interview for an article back in January announcing the opening of Luna’s. “Our neighborhood is really diverse, so I have no doubts that folks will be walking over to get that kind of stuff and driving from other parts of the city to get it, too.”

Both Maldonados have deep community ties – Mariam has worked as an employment training supervisor at the Urban League of Greater Madison and Joe as director of community impact in academic success at the United Way of Dane County.

Luncheons are not open to the public. To plan for sufficient seating, members bringing guests to weekly meetings are asked to contact the Rotary office with the number of guests you plan to bring by Tuesday noon (phone 255-9164 or [email protected]).