Grocery Business Transition Mentorship Program

Grocery Business Transition Mentorship Program

The Grocery Business Transition Mentorship Program provides rural grocers and community leaders with in-depth, customized technical assistance on a range of topics related to grocery business transitions. This may include creating a business plan, assessing markets and community needs, establishing a community-owned grocery store, and more.

Through this program, grocers and community leaders are paired with mentors who help identify needs and clarify goals, share information and resources, and serve as a sounding board. This dedicated partnership is intended to help program participants gain new insights, skills, and knowledge to advance their unique grocery projects.

To join this program, interested grocers and/or community leaders must fill out a short application so that we understand your unique needs and what you want to achieve through the mentorship program. Applications will open approximately two months before the program start date.

To learn more and apply, please read the following details.

Who can apply?

Transitioning a business is a long process. The mentorship program is open to people in various roles and various stages of business transition. This includes but is not limited to: grocers who are developing a succession plan, grocers who are transitioning their ownership model, grocers who are opening a new or transitioned store, and others who may play a supporting role, such as city and county officials, economic developers, etc.

This program is currently only open to grocers and community leaders in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa.

How many people from my store or community can participate?

Up to two individuals per store or community are allowed to participate.

What are the expectations?

Mentors and mentees will meet one-on-one for a minimum of 6 hours total during the program period. Because each grocery project is unique, it is up to the mentor and mentee to decide the length of frequency of each meeting. (For instance, they may decide to hold four 1.5-hour meetings biweekly, or six 1-hour meetings weekly, or some other combination.) Meetings may be virtual; however, mentors and mentees are encouraged to have at least one in-person site visit at the store.

Mentors and mentees are both expected to come prepared to have productive meetings, which could mean doing research or completing assignments between meetings.

What are the program dates?

The mentorship program will run three times between September 2022 and June 2023. Each round will last three months.

  • Round 1: September 1, 2022 – November 30, 2022 - Application Closed
  • Round 2: January 1, 2023 – March 31, 2023 - Application Closed
  • Round 3: April 1, 2023 – June 30, 2023 - Application Closed

What support is available?

Each grocer and/or community member who participates will receive a $500 stipend for actively participating in this program.


Please contact us at

This mentorship program is made possible by a grant through the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.