In September, 2013, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors established the SF Healthy Food Retail Incentive Program, known as Healthy Retail SF. Pilot programs in two San Francisco neighborhoods had revealed a need for additional training and technical assistance for store owners making the conversion to offering more fresh, healthy foods. The Fresh Produce Delivery Enterprise was conceived as a possible means to provide this assistance while also generating employment opportunities in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
This project aimed to uncover the operational, strategic, and financial determinants of feasibility, profitability, and needed start-up capital for the enterprise.
We began by convening the project team to align and prioritize goals – especially critical given the limited time and budget.
To establish baseline expectations for revenues and costs, I conducted a series of interviews with a diverse range of stakeholders and experts, including produce delivery companies, non-profits providing technical assistance for corner store conversions, and corner store and grocery operators.
I created a detailed, customizable financial model for the enterprise, which enabled me to efficiently explore multiple sales and operational scenarios.
Together with the project team, I determined the most likely and feasible scenario, enabling me to establish fundraising goals and next steps.
1. Members of the project team from the San Francisco Department of Public Health and Office of Workforce and Economic Development are currently seeking start-up capital.
2. A San Francisco-based steering committee is planning a regional convening of healthy corner store contributors from across the Bay Area. This will be an occasion to forge new relationships and share successes, learnings, and opportunities for further collaboration, building upon the interviews and connections advanced by my research.