The Neighborhood Grocery Store initiative relates to the MAP Initiative 1, Linking Learning, Health and Prosperity by providing neighborhood residents with competitive wages, increasing local business and entrepreneurship. It relates specifically to Action 2: Create and implement an economic development plan to expand competitive wage jobs. The residents in Industry have recognized that there is a need for both a grocery store as well as a need for jobs that pay a living wage. The creation of an affordable local Cooperative Grocery Store would meet both neighborhood and downtown residents needs. This entrepreneurial format has proven successful in other communities with similar challenges and needs.
Why this is important
During their first community meeting residents recognized that there is a need for a grocery store. Believing that there is a demand for increased access to good, healthy and affordable food choices the neighborhood has indicated a desire to see a grocery in the neighborhood. In addition, there are a lack of well-paying jobs and businesses located within Industry and several vacant locations that may be able to house a small grocery store.
What this will involve
The addition of a neighborhood grocery store would involve a good deal of research, desire, and follow through. There would be a need to complete a neighborhood market analysis and additional research on the inner workings of starting a cooperative grocery store as well as what the necessary steps would be to bring one to the neighborhood. There is a substantial amount of upfront costs in this kind endeavor, however case studies have shown that marketing, fundraising, and community commitment can see this kind of project through with great success.
Like many other initiatives, this would require a substantial number residents committed to the cause in order to be successful.
Contact information for funding/assistance sources
Ball Brothers Foundation
222 S. Mulberry St
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 741-5500
Contact: Donna Munchel, Grant Process Manager
Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County
201 E. Jackson Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 747-7181
Fax: (765) 289-7770
Contact: Cheryl Decker, Executive Assistant
Case Study: Renaissance Community Co-op, Greensboro, NC
The Community of Greensboro, NC recognized that there was a substantial need for good food and jobs, in an area with severely limited access to grocers. Stores were across the city and many people did not have access to transportation. The Renaissance neighborhood is primarily made up of African American families who had lived in the neighborhood for most of their lives. The group of neighbors worked to bring a major grocer into the neighborhood but had no success, so residents began researching co-operative grocery stores instead. They were empowered and enthusiastic and worked together to raise the funds needed to bring the store into their community.
The fundraising was no small task. They used IndieGoGo to start a campaign, where they were able to raise $16,001 of their $15,000 goal. This was used to hire someone to help with the marketing and fundraising. Other sources of funding have included individual memberships; every share of the Cooperative is $100 and anyone can buy in, this provides a lifetime shareholder/membership allowing them to vote on all matters.
Additional funding has to come from other sources including grassroots fundraising, owner loans, commercial loans, grants, and public financing.
Source: Renaissance Co-op