Chester's nonprofit grocer is 20% from breaking even. Here's what they've learned - Generocity Philly

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Jul. 6, 2016 11:22 am

Chester’s nonprofit grocer is 20% from breaking even. Here’s what they’ve learned

A fresh, crisp apple.

(Photo by Flickr user Bernardo R, used under a Creative Commons license)

Before food bank Philabundance opened nonprofit grocery store Fare and Square in Chester in 2013, the city’s impoverished residents had very limited access to healthy and affordable food options. The effort has gotten plenty of attention for bringing healthy foods to a low-income community.

The food bank saw a need and offered a solution. But, as WHYY reports, getting the community to take advantage of that solution has been a challenge.

Besides confronting the traditional financial woes that plague grocery stores, Fare and Square has had trouble getting customers to purchase foods that aren’t packaged or aren’t familiar, writes WHYY reporter Laura Benshoff, and the store needs to buff up revenue by 20 percent before it can break even.

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The solution? According to WHYY, the nonprofit plans on using “more of its customer level data” to inform how promotions and incentives like coupons are rolled out. But until the nonprofit starts making more money, it will continue to be subsidized by Philabundance.

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