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Rural Grocery Initiative

Keeping Groceries Alive


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Grocery stores are critical businesses in rural communities: they serve as essential sources of healthy food, they drive local economies, and they provide space for community members to gather and connect.

So when a grocery store closes, the community loses out. In order to maintain vibrant rural grocery stores over the long-term, grocers and communities must plan ahead.

This eight-part webinar series will present the steps for completing a successful grocery business transition. In many cases, some form of community or shared ownership model provides a viable opportunity for maintaining a vibrant rural grocery store. Each webinar will explore a different topic pertinent to successful business transitions.

Webinar Topics

Click the links below to find the recording, slides, and additional materials for each webinar in the Keeping Groceries Alive series.

1.  Grocery Business Transition Planning: An Overview 
2.  Understanding Grocery Ownership Models 
3.  Preparing for Business Transition 
4.  Assessing Markets & Community Needs 
5.  Planning your Business 
6.  Funding the Transition 
7.  Recruiting Store Managers 
8.  Mastering Grocery Store Nuts & Bolts

Grocery Business Transition Planning: A Guide for Community Leaders

Over the past 15 years, the Rural Grocery Initiative has learned that rural community leaders are essential partners in retaining local businesses and all the benefits they provide. Therefore, we developed this booklet so that community leaders are more prepared to assist with business transition planning, whenever the time comes. We invite you to review this resource, which will walk you through the basic steps toward a successful business transition.

Click here to download the booklet.

Sponsors and Partners

This webinar series is sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation through the Heartland Challenge.

It is presented by the Rural Grocery Initiative, in partnership with Kansas State Research and Extension, NetWork Kansas, the Kansas Rural Center, the Food Co-Op Initiative, and the Kansas Center for Business Transition.


Kauffman Foundation         Rural Grocery Initiative logo

       Kansas State Research and Extension Logo         NetWork Kansas Logo         Kansas Rural Center Logo

Food Co-Op Initiative Logo         Kansas Center for Business Transition Logo