3

votes

Help me improve my grocery store idea

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 09, 2012 at 7:29 AM

I'm not talking about CSAs. This is completely different.
Also, don't think about "Boohoo, laws won't allow that!". Just be creative.

I will keep this post updated as ideas come in, giving credit to the person

How would you like it if... EVERY grocery store in the country was set up like this:

  • Very small parking lot, like a fast-food place.
  • There's also a drive-through where you can pick up your groceries, if you called ahead.
  • There is a counter between you and the store. You interact directly with the cashier, instead of picking items yourself.
  • Most of the grocery store itself is a self-sustainable farm, with bovines, ducks, chickens, sheep, piggies, etc...
  • Along with vegetables, nut trees, fruit trees...
  • During the winter in very cold climates, most of this land would simply become storage of preserved meats and vegetables.
  • They butcher animals and harvest produce as the shelves become empty.

There would be a small store off the side for staples like spices, sugar, flour, cheese, olive oil, coconut oil.. which may or may not be needed to be imported / brought from somewhere else.
Here, you also interact directly with the cashier.

There may also be smaller shops off-to-the-side too, for example, for bathroom products, school supplies, hygiene / beauty care... So you go to the one you need to go, unless you called ahead with your order, in which case they hand you everything at once at the main shop.

Notes:
1) You can call ahead or email your order if you want, and say when you'll come pick it up (2x 3 pounds whole chickens, 2 dozen eggs, about 2 pounds of kale, 1 pound of sweet potatoes.. etc... pick up at 7 PM Thursday)

2) Any extra goods (like too much milk and eggs, produce that will go bad if you don't harvest it soon, for example) will be sold to local convenience stores / corner stores for a reduced price.

These convenience stores turn these items into soups, stews, curries, salads, sandwiches, sweets, etc, that you can eat while on the go.

I know many laws may have to be changed, but that aside, do you have any other ideas to make this grocery store even better?

582e89904fef55ad5c7dac673653ef8c

(281)

on May 02, 2013
at 12:43 PM

It's just better if you know about the produce for yourself or look it up on a smartphone. Most of the staff is paid minimum wage to do a minimum wage job. They aren't going to put in a ton of extra effort to learn things they aren't paid to learn. Safeway seems to have the better staff as far as knowledge goes if you have one in your area.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 09, 2012
at 08:41 AM

But I'd definitely go shopping there :)

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 09, 2012
at 08:38 AM

I believe you can only put a bounty on it after 2 days, and if you have enough reputation to use bounties.

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10 Answers

7
7cab5a1f1fd48c3cc4938ab824fdb52e

on January 09, 2012
at 12:14 PM

I like picking out my own vegetables etc... And usually just walking around the produce department gives me inspiration for weekly awesome meals.

I dont want to steal your thunder, But perhaps a better idea would be a local grocery store that is essentially a club CSA. The store receives seasonal inventory from local farms etc. Then members pay a premium to shop amongst the fresh ingredients. That way the store has a large variety of products all from local sustainable farms, and customers can reap the benefits of grocery store convenience, with different products from multiple farms, in one stop, without the hassle and cost of multiple CSAs.

Just a thought...

3
Medium avatar

(2301)

on January 09, 2012
at 03:57 PM

No one likes to have to talk to someone to buy their groceries. This also doesn't leave a lot of room for impulse purchases.

3
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on January 09, 2012
at 03:14 PM

food shopping is a pleasure for me. i like smelling and touching the produce i buy. what would be an improvement under this model is if the "cashiers" actually knew something about the food. i no longer bother asking the local produce staff at my grocery store anything about the products cause they have no clue.

582e89904fef55ad5c7dac673653ef8c

(281)

on May 02, 2013
at 12:43 PM

It's just better if you know about the produce for yourself or look it up on a smartphone. Most of the staff is paid minimum wage to do a minimum wage job. They aren't going to put in a ton of extra effort to learn things they aren't paid to learn. Safeway seems to have the better staff as far as knowledge goes if you have one in your area.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 09, 2012
at 05:23 PM

I'd enjoy submitting an order form for the items that are in containers such as eggs or honey, but I want to eyeball any meat, vegetables or fruits myself.

Your question reminded me of the communes from the 60s and 70s. One large property producing many types of produce, poultry/eggs, dairy/beef, etc. I'd definitely be a customer if one was created near me. Otherwise, we definitely need more farmer's markets.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:32 PM

A drive thru? Really? What an Amerocentric addition! Ditch it, make the store small and embedded into local neighborhoods. I realise this would only work in small communities or large urban areas however (after all, the American way is to drive, drive drive!)

1
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 09, 2012
at 11:28 AM

So... a farm shop?

0
Bece741db5f5fed6bafa12e3548f973f

(715)

on January 09, 2012
at 11:47 PM

Drive through sounds too impersonal for me. We actually go to an on the farm place where you order from a co-op, can be done online. There is some stuff in stock, they feature some items from cottage industries like homemade soaps etc., have articles based mostly on info put out by Nourishing Traditions. It's family owned, run, operated. Once a week they ship in organic produce and you can shop the produce along with everything else. Little place that's grown by leaps. We also sometimes shop an Amish store with the same sort of principle although it isn't organic and doesn't have the produce. They deal in mostly bulk foods and dry goods. Another place that has grown by leaps and bounds. In the spring they have a green house. Not a Utopian idea.

0
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on January 09, 2012
at 04:33 PM

I wouldn't like it at all if EVERY grocery store were like this. I would like to shop there, but I also am a fan of choice.

0
A03f0d03067a43c61786481d91e5d3a0

(1078)

on January 09, 2012
at 11:25 AM

This grocery store would have to be pretty rural to be its own self-sustaining farm (otherwise it would be hard to get that much land). In fact, many farms already do sell their own produce to visitors. But few of them have a sufficient quantity of visitors to merit having a drive through because of their location. I also think that putting everything under one brand would not be successful because your target market tends to be quite discerning of different brands. It would be like if Kraft decided to start it's own selection of wines: connoisseurs wouldn't touch them, just like cheese connoisseurs don't go for Kraft cheese.

So while the idea sounds utopian, it's pretty unlikely to earn a profit and thus be economically sustainable. This isn't surprising - genuinely new ideas that work are not easy to find. You're better off looking at small changes to existing successful business models for supermarkets.

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 02, 2013
at 11:38 AM

sage shut up you idiot do you work as a cashier honestly they dont have to know shit there selling they work there for the money dim wit dip shit all they have to do is sell to you the idiot seller take you money and get their paycheck on fridays if you wanna know more on the food/produce read a fuc*ing farmers book stupid or ask a manager aint nobody got time to describe each vegetable an idiot like you picked up and doesnt even no about you low class broke customer!

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