10/21 - Weekly Updates & News from Grassroots
Let’s Talk About Prices
We've had some comments and concerns since we opened about our store being too expensive to shop and that we should lower our prices. This is a normal and totally understandable reaction to a new food co-op opening. There are many factors at play when looking at the prices on our products, but there are two BIG ones.
First is Selection- We opened with what you'd call a 'core food co-op selection.' These are the normal brands you'd find in a food co-op, and they are in general the absolute highest quality and healthiest organic options on the market. Very similar to what you'd find at Whole Foods, which is also considered an expensive store. These options are expensive. They are the best of the best when it comes to quality, nutrition, and sustainable business practices, which adds up to a high cost to produce. Grassroots isn't making more profit on these items than Whole Foods is, or than Kroger is on similar organic options. We're actually often making less, which leads nicely into...
The Second BIG factor is Buying Power- A common misconception is that all grocery stores are buying products at the same cost. In actuality every grocery store is charged a different amount for the same products by distributors based on the volume of their overall purchasing. So, what Grassroots is charged for a can of beans if much more than what Whole Foods is charged for the same can of beans and we are often making less profit on the sale of those beans even though our price may be higher. This is why you don't see many independent grocery stores. It's an incredibly difficult market to break into.
With those two things in mind- At Grassroots, as a fledgling grocery store with no buying power, we are trying our very hardest to be as competitive as we can. We recently rolled out our monthly sale promotions. Our Bulk Selection has some of the best prices you'll find on organic bulk foods. We are developing our Basics Program where we will have options for staple pantry goods priced essentially at our cost to provide an affordable option on healthy foods for everyone. And we are adjusting our product mix to meet the needs of Lynchburg's diverse community and are bringing in more conventional grocery store brands to be more approachable by the normal shopper. Again, we won't have nearly the buying power that Kroger or Food Lion does on these conventional lines, so we will do our very best, but may be higher on some items.
Please do keep in mind that Grassroots is a mission based business here to grow the local economy, promote healthy life styles, generate good will and cooperation, and we hope our customers are willing to pay a bit more to see a business with these values and mission succeed. We're only as strong as our membership and community support, and without that support little Co-ops can flicker out quickly. If you can't afford to do all of your shopping at Grassroots, please do as much as you can. The more you buy, the more your Co-op is buying, which grows our Buying Power and Lowers our Prices.
We’d love to discuss this, or any topic really. If you ever have questions or concerns, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or just stop in the store and ask if Zack is around!
Click Our Monthly Sales Flyer and Weekly Menu below to view them!
Your Grassroots Local Market Team
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Grassroots Local Market is a co-operative grocery store, meaning community-owned. Individuals have the ability to purchase stock and become a lifetime part-owner of the store.
By becoming a member-owner, you are investing in your community by helping to bring fresh, healthy and affordable food options to downtown. As a member you'll receive store discounts and incentives, access to members-only events, have equal vote and the eligibility to receive annual patronage rebates.
If you are interested in investing in your community and supporting the local grocery movement, consider becoming a member-owner today.