Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/68592

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Page 104 of 207

NATURAL SELECTIONS 1. Healthy Fresh Food Pop-ups Seattle is not a city associated with poverty, but it has neighborhoods lacking in wholesome, affordable food. Stockbox Grocers has ambi- tious plans to fill those voids with a mini-grocery concept. The plan involves stocking fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat in a reclaimed shipping container, and then dropping the mini-market in a park- ing lot within walking distance of impoverished neighborhoods. An initial test run was implemented in late 2011 and the first permanent outposts are anticipated for 2012, with a bigger rollout planned for 2013, including a brick-and-mortar store. Carrie Ferrence and Jacqueline Gjurgevich came up with the idea last year as part of a school project for their M.B.A. degrees at the University of Washington. At an entrepreneurship compe- tition run by the school, they were awarded Best Idea for Retail/ Service Business for 2011 (out of more than 100 start-ups from the Northwest), which helped them get grants and raise an additional $20,000 on social-funding platform Kickstarter. "The test model we opened last year helped us get a better idea of what communities are looking for," says Ferrence. "People are excited to have access to perishables. They're the hardest foods to procure in their communities." Stockbox is currently working with several nonprofit pro- grams, cooking instructors and farmers to teach shoppers how to prepare healthy meals. "Our intent is to rebuild people's connection to food," Ferrence says. "We want to shift their relationship away from canned, boxed or partially prepared food to fresh food. A healthy community," she continues, "has businesses and resources embedded in its fabric. It's not just about promoting good food." 2. Small Grocers and Organizations Moving In A recent story in The New York Times profiled the New Orleans– based actor Wendell Pierce ("The Wire," "Treme"), who is spear- heading a health-oriented grocery-store chain, Sterling Farms, to serve neighborhoods still hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina. Last December, Pierce and his partners opened Sterling Express, their first convenience store, selling fresh produce and salads as well as pantry staples and snack foods. The team's first full-service Sterling Farms will soon launch in New Orleans suburb Marrero, providing free shuttle service for anyone who spends at least $50 in the store. One of Pierce's partners in the enterprise is John Weidman, Stockbox Grocers uses reclaimed shipping containers stocked with fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat and drops them in parking lots within walking distance of impoverished neighborhoods. Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 1814 82 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com

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