Step 1 - Assessing the Market
Establishing a viable grocery store enterprise must begin with trustworthy information on the market. Researching the grocery needs of the potential service area is an important first step. Below you will find resources that will help to identify the “potential grocery market” within your area.
Food system assessment is an important first step toward understanding the local food system and identifying opportunities for strengthening and enhancing the system. Community food assessments (CFAs) may also serve as a starting point for building relationships and beginning conversations among diverse community members and stakeholder groups about the local food system and how they would like to see it grow or change.
This website provides a number of reports and resources to assist a potential businessperson to better understand the market, including business valuation resources, compensation and salary surveys, and industry analysis reports. Search the site with the key words “Grocery Store” to get industry specific information.
The United States Census Bureau collects information on communities and residents across the nation. The American Community Survey provides a compilation of the census data collected and can be of assistance in determining the demographics of the anticipated store’s service area. The page entitled “Which Data Tool Should I Use?” provides guidance in finding valuable information through the “market analyst” and “business owner” profiles.
The USDA.gov food atlas provides population statistics for rural areas – but also provides interactive maps to explore the local population’s access to a supermarket. By typing in zip code information on the Food Access Research Atlas, a potential storeowner will see data by census tract.
This map is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture for the purpose of showing local and regional food system efforts across the US. The map can help identify current efforts in your area.
One of the most accurate ways to learn about the food needs of a community is to ask! Developed by the Oregon Food Bank, the Community FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions, Together) guide provides a model for facilitated community conversations to support the development of strategies for improving local food options. See the Market Assessment resources for existing stores for more information.
This comprehensive web site, hosted by the U.S. Small Business Association, has many resources to guide the establishment of a new business.
This private, Internet based organization provides several helpful resources for starting a business.
Grow Your Own is a ground up, community-based approach to economic development. Instead of putting resources into economic development strategies that reach outside of the community, it focuses resources on existing community strengths, small businesses, and developing job-creating entrepreneurs. Communities using a Grow Your Own strategy develop policies and activities to spur innovation, entrepreneurship and local business growth.