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Kensington Community Food Co-op is raising funds to turnaround the store and save it from permanently closing, so that we can continue to serve our community in Kensington on a whole new level. Funds in this phase are needed to keep our store and cafe/bar in existence and unlock the turnaround plan.
*Our fundraising campaign is still open! By continuing to raise funds, we will ensure a solid foundation for KCFC staff to build from while shoppers return and sales grow. We met the original target and with our reboot, we will be starting over in many ways to improve the shopping experience for more of our neighbors.
Donations can be made via credit or debit card on this page or through paper check or Venmo (@kcfcoop). (Please note: We lose about 3% of the total amount raised on Fundrazr.com to credit card fees.) Donations to KCFC are not tax deductible. All donations from our community of supporters are extremely appreciated! Thank you for standing with us and supporting us to make this transition happen.*
Historic underinvestment in the store has kept our community-owned grocery store from thriving. Our sales have hit rock bottom and our costs of operating have outpaced our sales, putting us in a dangerous cash burn position. KCFC faces a critical crossroads and needs a cash infusion of at least $200,000 to execute a critical turnaround plan. With an expert turnaround General Manager now at our helms, we have a plan and the expertise to implement a turnaround plan -- but need immediate cash in order to make that happen. Meeting our target of $200,000 would allow KCFC to unlock this turnaround plan :
- Complete overhaul of product offerings and mix, with more low-priced items and products that people need to complete their grocery trip in full, plus a rotisserie chicken stand
- Reset arrangements of products and store flow
- Invest in management, new leadership positions (Assistant Manager, department leads)
- Marketing & advertising, reach new customers, update Bottle Shop
- Exterior improvements (permanent signage, deep cleaning, lights), security & landscaping
We’ve invested in a contracted Interim General Manager named Dennis Hanley, who has 47 years of retail grocery experience and has turned around over 25 co-ops. Dennis has been employed in 49 of the 50 US states, as well as 15 international assignments. At his last assignment, he increased weekly sales from $37,500 in weekly sales in January to over $100,000 in weekly sales in October. Dennis is a true expert and professional in retail grocery. In less than three weeks at the store, Dennis has brought an energy, wisdom, and expertise to KCFC that is unprecedented to us.
The conundrum is this. We have Dennis with us for 4 months. We only have the funds to operate for two more weeks. To have come this far and not be able to give our new leader the financial runway to enact his plan would be a tragedy for our business. We need $200,000 immediately to give our store a chance at turnaround.
Here’s where the $200,000 would go right away:
$75,000 Complete overhaul of product offerings and mix (including a rotisserie chicken stand), plus reset visual arrangements of products and store flow
$40,000 Accounts payable catch-up
$25,000 Landscaping and exterior improvements, cleaning the outside of the building & sidewalks, security fence for dumpster, security cameras, tree removal, new and refreshed store signage, lights
$25,000 Marketing store & Bottle Shop to new customers
$35,000 Staffing, including new leadership positions
Would you help provide the financial infusion to get us through these 4 months so that we can launch into a truly new and refreshing chapter of KCFC that could thrive and serve our community the way we always intended?
After you give, please also consider: Who is in your network? Who do you know who has the means and the heart to save our community grocer?
Pass our campaign on so that we can rebuild our community-owned
grocery store, together.
More on our background:
KCFC was conceived in 2008 by a group of neighbors who wanted to support local farmers and vendors and provide healthy food access to the Kensington neighborhood. In 2014, we chose a location at Frankford Ave and Lehigh Ave, intentionally situated at the crossroads of several neighborhoods, with the goal to serve all. We opened our doors in 2019 with this vision: As a mission-based organization, Kensington Community Food Co-op will sustain a thriving, healthy community, a vibrant cooperative economy, an active and engaged membership, and a community educated in social, economic, and food justice.
As a cooperative, the business is owned by member-owners (about 1,500 currently), and governed by a Board of Directors, with a General Manager running store operations. Members and non-members alike are welcome to shop in the store, to purchase beer or wine in the Bottle Shop, or to hang out in the cafe or on the patio. Over the years we've been open, we've provided fresh food to the community including over $150,000 in SNAP/EBT sales, supported dozens of local vendors and farmers, and hosted countless community events.
In the 3 years KCFC has been operating, a series of challenges has kept us in a holding pattern of struggle, including:
- Higher-than-anticipated design and construction costs meant more pre-opening debt taken on, and less operating capital.
- Construction delays pushed our grand opening to April 2019, over two years behind schedule.
- High product prices and narrow profit margins have plagued us as a fledgling small store without access to bulk and group-purchasing options (yet).
- COVID arrived in early 2020. After a brief increase in foot traffic during lockdowns, KCFC began experiencing the ensuing domino effects such as:
- Member-owners moving out of the city to the suburbs
- Supply chain interruptions leading to empty shelves
- Inflation leading to even higher prices
- Folks returning to eating out more and cooking at home less
- There’s been slow progress in the new residential construction anticipated around the store (for example, the Woods Brothers lot across the street is still undeveloped).
- Growing prominence of the portion of our community experiencing homelessness and active addiction has led to worries about safety in and around the store.
Right now, we find ourselves in a perilous financial situation. As expressed earlier, our costs of operating have outpaced our sales, putting us in a dangerous cash burn position. KCFC faces a critical juncture and needs at least $200,000 to execute our turnaround plan. You may have noticed that our campaign is "all-or-nothing"-- this means that no funds will be collected unless the full $200,000 target is reached. We structured the campaign like this because without the full $200,000, there is no turnaround, and a turnaround is necessary to give the store what it needs to deliver on an improved customer experience, higher sales, and financial sustainability. Can you stand with us and pledge generously to our campaign today?
- Raising the $200k to implement the turnaround plan does not guarantee longer-term success of the business. It simply unlocks the ability to implement a plan now that provides an opportunity to achieve solvency in the next 4 months and beyond.
- Donations to KCFC are not tax-deductible.
- If you would like to pledge to this campaign and give via check, Venmo, or ACH transfer, please write the Board of Directors via firstname.lastname@example.org and we can manually add your pledge to this campaign outside of the built-in credit card processing system.
- When you give, the website will ask you for a "tip." This is completely optional and goes to the Fundrazr.com platform; it does not go to KCFC. Feel free to manually enter "$0" for a tip if you do not want to donate to the Fundrazr.com company.
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