This is an easy, no-brainer business to do but does require energy. Perfect for the YOUNG MARRIED set, just having first children, bigger food budget, less inclination to frequent restaurants. With a team of young marrieds, create a FOOD CO-OP out of your own garage and kitchen. If it's a huge hit, move it to a local shopfront or get a delivery truck and also use the truck to find nearby farms.
IF WE CAN DO IT IN OKLAHOMA, YOU CAN DO IT ANYWHERE!
THE GIMMICK is that even with no truck, you hit the wholesale market downtown a few times a week and give your coop members farm-fresh organic vegies, legumes, dried fruits an dfresh fruits, nuts, staples flours also ready-made entrees and your home, home made breads, gluten free desserts of a quality that it's impossible to get with a hundred stops at a hundred different stores. Or buy at WHOLE PAYCHECK for anything close to a budget price!
You give all this luxury and taste with ONE STOP SHOPPING, major convenience for just a subscription fee and of course, they pay for the items they want. CARRIAGE TRADE FOODS, for farm stand prices. For seniors, you deliver it! 5$ extra. The Super Market charges l0$ for delivery. Free if you buy over 50$ worth but who does?
Then, your Co-op will do other favors, FRESH BAKED CARBS, small quantities. How about a QUARTER genuine chocolate butter cake, but not a whole one. Market won’t do small portions for seniors, plus their cakes are white flour; yours are gluten free whole grains.
Who wouldn't SIGN UP FOR your coop? Anyone who hears the full scope of the offer will leap. Do this business with a group of pals. First get your resale number so you can buy wholesale at local produce market. My city, L.A. doesn't make you pay if the biz isn't up and running yet. At least investigate what's involved in a resale number. Send that info to chums along with this article. Then test market your complete circle of friends (getting to the hundreds now,) with an email hustle blurb. "Would you join a wholesale food co-op for a lost cost monthly fee? We visited wholesale market and found we can get walnuts in the shell for 2$ an lb. Doesn't that beat the current 6$ supermarket cost? " Etc, with a lot of tasty choices mentioned in your first email, and prices of course. "The pineapple,lemon, almond white cake with butter frosting is 7$ for a quarter cake. But it's a double layer, a pound in weight..)
Write all these delicious details down, include adjectives like fresh baked, unsprayed, organic, fully ripened, not SUPER MARKET GREEN/UNRIPE!!! Create a typed up ad throw in images, give a stack to each member of your inner circle to disperse in the city getting to a few dozen people to test market the concept, just in a hypothetical way. They answer the questions, fold it, and mail it to you. OR give you an email and you email the questionaire form to them. You'll see, they'll all say that WERE YOU TO START THIS UP, and get your license, resale number and visit the wholesale produce market, the client group mostly WOULD go for it on a trial, one month, four week basis. So for one month, cook, bake and go to farms and carry the results to a dozen clients' homes. They get the slice of pie or cake and they give you their first check.
Fix your garage up like a small healthfood store.
When your subscribers and coop members realize their super market shopping is done better, cheaper, faster by email (you deliver) or a with quick phone call and via YOUR shopping LEGWORK, your gasoline, your time, -- not theirs, --- you will find these excited, overjoyed CLIENTS will bring you other clients. Your subscribers can also become CO-OP TEAM RUNNERS. Share in the work and the profit. And in the family celebrations, the bi-annual GARAGE SALE. The BRING YOUR OWN POTLUCK BUFFETS and NETFLIX BIG SCREEN MOVIE NIGHTS. Why should 20 families pay 100$ for a flick. ONE family pays 5$ --over and done. And there's a feast in the patio or den. Can't get Chablis at a movie theatre, mostly. Not out of a box for a quarter a glass.
Everyone will get cheaper groceries when more people subscribe so anyone who joins will do PR. This business will mushroom incrementally as people will soon realize that the MORE pals they get in on it, the lower their produce costs are.
WHO WILL I GET? Your clients (the first month) will be your close pals, who will do it out of friendship but when they find they get more vegies/ fruits/ grains cheaper and better they will give you a recommendation. This word will go out to their relatives and friends. So that first month, you must do it right. WHAT DOES DOING IT RIGHT MEAN?
It means elegance, style, a hyper pure profile, too, organic. For one thing, CALL THE BUSINESS FRESH N' ORGANIC and drop in a print-out from Steinman's "POISONS IN OUR FOODS" which says that most supermarket vegies and p-nut butters have up to a hundred different pesticides. No wonder cancer is l00 times more prevalent than in l900!
Add the elegant, "EASY COOK" SUBSCRIPTION feature. You hand deliver a weekly basket of fruits/ vegies/ eggs/ grains/ pulse all fresh from the farm. In with it are a few hand baked goods, cookies, cakes, muffins, also printed out recipes for vegetarian protein or savory dishes that they can easily make from these often new and unfamiliar products, such as millet or tofu.
Or add the INTERNET feature, “drop us an email with your shopping list!” Get a website, mine cost me 15$ a year for the domain name, not a big deal, . 5$ a month for the spot in cyberspace at a webhost. Then, DO ads and have pals circulate them to their lists. Don’t know anyone with less than l00 names on their pal list.
WHY WOULD CROWDS OF PEOPLE JOIN YOU? Well, People are motivated to join as Apples are $1.50 a lb at the local super market and that makes about 1 glass of juice on MY JUICER. Your pals/neighbors want a break, lower food prices. Can you deliver them? Check the wholesale market at dawn, writing down prices. Decide. After a trial month, your clients will make applications for annual or lifetime membership. They pay a monthly fee for deliveries or other special treatment. Each additional feature incurs a new fee. BAKED GOODS CLUB is one fee. 2$ or something just enough so you know if you bake loaves, x amt of people will be waiting. A PIE CLUB is another. DESSERT CLUB a third. PUDDING CLUB another fee. SALAD DRESSING CLUB another. SANDWICH FILLING CLUB..boy I'm just gettin' started!
If you ever get so big you have to rent a proper store, then customers can come in off the street. Even strangers can shop with you but the FOUNDING Members get 'shop cards' issued. They will get special discounts at the STORE CO-OP, and not only at YOUR STORE but at local bakeries and butchers who have TIE-INS with you. You arrange this with your butcher or baker. I'll bring you MANY new clients. They'll bring a special card with them. Give them a discount. I want no kick back from this, whatsoever. It's my gift to you for treating my people right.
This Co-op could be organized under a Non Profit tax exempt Corporation act. You are allowed a salary for running and so are a few of your friends. Members could have votes. A system for input can be arranged. Any accountant or bookkeeper could do your non profit incorporation for 50$. And for charity you feed a few geriatrics for free.
Usually, the Annual memberships expire a yr from date of application. Members may terminate, receive payment back if they want out early. Members could GET an additional 3% discount on all purchases. l0% discount by helping out in store 4 hrs a month.
You get special deals at other local businesses. You in New England? Maple Syrup for instance, or gorgeous home made baskets from local basket-makers or you have a mill near you? Organic whole wheat bread as you start your own coven of bakers. Baking is an art which you may not know now, but don't feel that you can't learn it fast enough (I have files on bread baking which might make it easier for you.) I'd say you should TRY to be the baker at first, and add that to your profits. Later, when the loaves are over l00, use a pro baker, but get him the best, organic whole grain, stone ground flour and make sure he does at least a 2 hour rise so dough loses its phytic acid. BEST is to use sprouted grains then grind with a vita-mix which can triterate grain. SOAK grains overnight. Call that BIBLE BREAD. Costs a fortune in Bev Hills but has no acid in mouth after chewing. Amazing stuff!
JUST FOR BEING ABLE TO COME IN THE DOOR, many food co-ops charge for Membership which can cost 60$ a year. It's refundable (pro-rated) if someone opts out. On top of it, customers pay for the vegies or foods they buy weekly. Walnuts at 2$ a pound if you do not take a profit, 3$ if you do, as the Co-op chief worker.
WHAT DO I NEED? Only a BIG KITCHEN or GARAGE and a big van or VW bus to or closed truck.....used to transport and hand deliver the food. Of course, it's nice if you have a terrific VITAMIX and mix master to make delicacies like Humus, Falafel balls by the frozen bag, chile rellenos, quiche, stuffed vegies, Tofu with shitake or tofu/vegie meatloaf --all made in your own kitchen and sell them on large, plastic serving plates at a huge mark up price from sheer cost of ingredients. In that case, you need an oven, pie tins and the like. My fave food in the world is falafel balls to drop, frozen into a pot of simmering broth. Most delicious protein though my VEGIE BURGERS are incredible, (blanched toasted almonds)
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO? It's simple. Go to the wholesale market district and set up a wholesale account for yourself. Find a farmer who has unpasteurized, pure goat milk, better for us than cow. Try to get only unsprayed, organic foods. That's a selling point. Arrange with nearby farmers who can prove they do not use pesticides. Buy their fresh eggs, cheese, milk and vegies/ fruits/ nuts. So there's driving out to the country side once a week. Could be fun if you've got kids. Or, take everybody's kids along, pay them a buck to carry, and charge the parents 5$ a kid for the FARM OUTING! You have to have insurance on the kids for this deal....so check that out. Or get parental waivers.
So, back to the food ideas. ONE CUSTOMER will buy minimum 30$ a week, times a year equals 1500$ a year. At that rate, which is lowballing it, ten customers would be $15,000 a year. One hundred customers would be $150,000. In that case, get a delivery boy and pay him 20k a year. It's much more probable that when they taste your eggs, milk, cheese, cookies, their grocery purchases could go up to l00$ a week each! That's a half mil a year! CHECK OUT THE BETHLEHEM CO-OP, a model of features.
This business is guaranteed to put a great social life and friends in your Xmas stocking. You will soon know all your members and their children and mates by name, be invited to their parties, introduced to their friends. Until it gets too big. One day you'll become a corporation and have employees and all that will be over. You have to give your workers HMO's and dental plans.....ALTERNATIVE ones, of course! By then your village will have a few alternative holistic doctors, and you may have caused that to occur!
Visit the big INTERNET guys in this biz, netgrocer.com. There’s always a 5-10$ delivery fee, so it’s for yuppies who get palpitations when they’re forced to handle mundane realities like shopping. GO see NET GROCER dot com. Just to see how a nat'l level shop is done. Their prices are not so hot. Same as super tho super has special sales and coupons work at supers. I guess this is for folks who live far from city, want a fed ex truck bringing their groceries.
To start your investigation, Google terms like healthfood community co-op. Add keywords “HOW TO START A FOOD CO-OP.” Keep a hyphen in that word, too. See CLEVER MARKETING TURNS GARAGE CO-OP INTO big successful HEALTHFOOD STORE.
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