February 2023 Newsletter

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The Mushroom Messenger

KCG Monthly Newsletter: February 2023

Bringing you monthly news of the Kennett Community Grocer, a growing Food Co-op committed to local food, community, and culture.

Hello to our Member-Owners and Friends!

Read on to discover details about what the KCG board has been up to, what recent market studies reveal about KCG prospects, and what you can do to help KCG reach crucial goals in 2023.


We are happy to report this month that our Membership has grown to 283 with 8 new Member-Owners joining in the past month. We are thrilled to welcome everyone, and our Board and volunteers are making progress toward opening this cooperative store.


On January 9, our new Board was seated. We are now 12 members strong and ready to go to work for you. After introductions, our conversation turned to the need for defining a Marketing Strategy to increase our membership to 500 by the end of 2023. We also presented the Market Study completed in November by Debbie Suassuna from G2GResearch. Debbie spent 2 days in Kennett Square and then several weeks of analysis to produce an excellent report which defines key business metrics for planning the emerging store. Her study gave us a sales feasibility analysis detailed in the Special Feature Section. (Spoiler: The Co-op is feasible!)

In a positive sign of the organization’s growth, the Board restructured the ways we do community outreach and marketing. The MOVE committee is no more, and its once combined duties of Marketing, Outreach, Volunteers, and Events have been divided into teams with Board leadership and volunteers on each. The new teams are Communications, Outreach, and Events. Our Business Advisory (BA) group will remain a formal Committee populated by Board members. This year the BA Committee is tasked with writing our formal Business Plan and Proforma to prepare us for the next phase of growth, characterized by raising capital and getting loans to open the store. If you have any interest in joining a team, please send us a message at [email protected] today!

The Events team is excited to announce an April event to launch our Founding Five-Hundred Drive. On April 13 from 7 to 9:30 at The First Presbyterian Church, 211 S. Broad Street, Kennett Square, we will welcome  Jon Steinman, a nationally recognized Food Cooperative expert, to talk about the state and impact of food co-ops and specifically the significance of and outlook for Kennett Community Grocer. Local farmers will be on hand to talk about what they do. This event is a co-presentation with the Kennett Collaborative. Once again we will bring together a community of people committed to the mission of KCG as we get this year’s crucial membership drive off the ground. Please join us!
SPECIAL FEATURE: Kennett Community Grocer Sales Potential and Call to Action

In 2022, KCG did a Market Survey of both our Member-Owners and non-members. We also did a formal Market Feasibility Study to look at the feasibility and sales potential of the store. We will be sharing more information of the sales potential with our Member-Owners, and if you have not already joined, we encourage you to do so to get this information.

We are happy to report that our food cooperative will be profitable given the parameters detailed in the market analysis! These parameters include the definition of the trade area, the population to be served, the size of the store, the types of merchandise in the store, the physical space of the store, and the staff. We were delighted to see the Market Study emphasized the characteristics that were deemed the most desirable by our Market Survey. What people want is what will make us successful!!

With a trade area of approximately 9 miles in all directions radiating out from Kennett Square Borough, a population base of 76,200 people, and a store of approximately 6,000 square feet, we will have a food co-op that is family-friendly and employs staff with great customer service and knowledge of the products they are selling all in a place that encourages community gathering.  Products will be locally grown, fresh, clean, reliably sourced, and presented in an environment with attention to ambiance and good environmental practices. We plan to have grab-and-go meals, a hot soup bar, deli items, dairy items, meats and poultry that are hormone free and grown by farmers who you can trust, as well as other products that are free of artificial color, artificial sweeteners, and high fructose corn syrup. Our emphasis will be on clean, local, responsibly grown, naturally produced, and environmentally sustainable merchandise. (*See additional details below.)

CALL TO ACTION: We need your help to get us there. We need a membership base of 500 member households to get us to the next step of private and public financing of this store. So, become one of the Founding 500 AND recruit one friend or relative to join us. If our present Member-Owner base of 283 meets this call to action, we will exceed 500 by the end of this year. We are giving you a year to get out there and get a friend, neighbor, or relative to join. When we get there, our Founding 500 will have a special place of honor in the store. Send us ideas about what that honor look likes. Perhaps a special wall, a stone walkway with names, or ?. Send ideas our way. Plan to attend the April event to learn more! A “Save the Date” email is coming soon.

* The Market Feasibility Study analyzed three separate sites within the Borough of Kennett Square. These included State Street where the old Library is located, 600 South Broad, and the New Garden shopping center at the corner of Scarlett Road and Cypress Street. There is strong sales potential for a store with 4200 square feet of retail space and 1800 square feet of storage space. The study details what type of store and products will be most successful and this analysis is compared to known standards across the food cooperative industry.

However, our Market expert did indicate that potential sales will be stronger if we locate at the area of the Kennett/Oxford Bypass of Route 1. It is crucial that we have input from Member-Owners as we write the Business Plan and Proforma using this market analysis. Our Annual Meeting this year will be a forum on the sites, the business plan, the proforma, and the planning for financing of the store. This will be an important event, and we will be soliciting your input and voting accordingly. This is your store. Member-Owners each have an equal voice, and your majority choice will be respected.
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