Webinars & Workshops
Thursdays at 1:30pm CT, January 28 – March 18
Free and open to grocers, prospective grocers and community stakeholders.
Click here to register.
For questions about this webinar series, please reach us at email@example.com.
Update: Apply for the Grocery Business Transition Mentorship Program
Rural Kansas grocers have an opportunity to receive in-depth, customized technical assistance following the Keeping Groceries Alive webinar series. Technical assistance may be provided on a range of topics related to grocery business transition, such as creating a business plan, assessing markets and community needs, establishing a community-owned grocery store, and so on.
About Keeping Groceries Alive
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.
All webinars will be held on Thursdays at 1:30pm Central using Zoom. This series is free and open to the public. Save your spot by registering today. You may register for the entire series, or just the webinars that are relevant to you. If you miss a webinar, recordings will be posted here.
1. January 28: Grocery Business Transition Planning Overview
Why is it so important to keep grocery stores alive? In this webinar, we will discuss why rural grocery stores are essential community infrastructure and why business transition plans are critical to keeping a grocery store’s doors open. We’ll explore a few examples of grocery stores that successfully transitioned ownership while staying engaged with their community.
- Rural Grocery Resource Providers (pdf)
- Benefits of Hometown Grocery Stores Fact Sheet (pdf)
- Mercantile on Main. Northwest Kansas Today, Summer 2020
- City of Erie moves forward with grocery store purchase. KOAM News Now, August 31, 2020
2. February 4: Understanding Grocery Ownership Models
The options for grocery store ownership are numerous. For many years, the family-owned grocery store was king, but alternative forms of grocery ownership, including shared ownership models, are becoming more common. Often, alternative models are the right fit for rural communities. This webinar will explore why it’s helpful to consider shared ownership models when transitioning grocery ownership and describe the basic characteristics of rural grocery shared ownership models.
- Food Co-op Initiative Resource Library
- Rural Grocery Toolkit
- Rural Grocery Success Stories
- Business Entity Comparison Chart, Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (pdf)
- Grand Avenue Market Timeline (pdf)
- Now That’s Rural, Leon, KS
3. February 11: Preparing for Business Transition
How long do business transitions take, and who should be involved? What does a transition plan look like and what are the steps to prepare for transition? How to estimate the value of a store? What can you do to pave the way to success for the next owner and store manager? Jack Harwell and John Addessi with the Kansas SBDC and the Kansas Center for Business Transition will cover these essential considerations and more in this webinar to help you prepare for transitioning store ownership.
4. February 18: Assessing Markets & Community Needs
Communities change over time, and ownership transitions present an opportunity for the grocery store to adapt to community needs. Are there new services that should be offered, does the store need a facelift? What about partnering with another business to provide an additional amenity for your community? This webinar will discuss methods for assessing an existing grocery store, involve your community and gauge the store’s market in order to facilitate a successful business transition.
5. February 25: Planning Your Business
With a change in store ownership comes the need to develop a business plan. This plan will help guide new owners and store managers into the future, as well as promote the business to potential partners and funders. There are many things to consider: what is the market like, what costs should you expect, what offerings could you provide in addition to grocery? Join NetWork Kansas, the Kansas Small Business Development Center, and the Rural Grocery Initiative to learn how to get started on your business plan.
- NetWork Kansas Overview (pdf)
- Teck Farms Success Story (pdf)
- Business Startup Checklist, SBDC (pdf)
- Business Planning Tool, SBDC
- Business Plan Guidelines, SBDC (pdf)
- Customer Persona Template, SBDC (pdf)
- SWOT Analysis Template, SBDC (pdf)
- Census Business Builder
- Financial Projections Spreadsheet, SBDC (excel)
- IbisWorld Industry Report for Groceries (pdf)
- IbisWorld Industry Report for Convenience Stores (pdf)
- Grocery Store Startup and Operations Guide (pdf)
- 2020 Independent Grocers Financial Survey (pdf)
- Ace Hardware for Grocery Stores
6. March 4: Funding the Transition
Let’s work on fitting the funding puzzle pieces together. We’ll feature a recently completed grocery project in Central Kansas that compiled more than 10 types of funding to make their store a reality. For current and prospective grocers, this panel of funders will share details on relevant funding opportunities - federal, statewide, local, municipal and others - that can be used to support rural grocery. While some of the funding opportunities discussed are available across the country, this webinar will have a focus on Kansas-specific funding opportunities.
7. March 11: Recruiting Store Managers
Recruiting a store manager can be one of the greatest challenges in transitioning a grocery store. In this webinar, hear directly from grocery store owners to learn how they found and developed leaders to take on the grocery business. Panelists include Carly Whorton, owner of Cecil K’s in Holton, KS, and Tasha Malay, owner of Malay’s Market in WaKeeney, KS.
8. March 18: Mastering Grocery Store Nuts & Bolts
Are you new to the day-to-day management of a grocery store? This webinar will cover the fundamentals of grocery operations. Join Sean Park from the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs as he shares some of the basics you’ll want to know when you first get started. We’ll also hear from Aaron Floersch of Ray’s Apple Market and Jenny Osner of Hired Man's Grocery and Grill as they share what it took to learn the grocery industry and walk through what a day at the grocery store looks like.
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.