Grocery Store as Personal Dignity

Buying food can be empowering. But, when individuals lack privilege or choice, that same act can become a source of indignity.

Like when someone at a checkout register has to ask the cashier to take items off the ring up – as everyone in line watches – until the total gets to what he can afford.

Or when a mother has to make not-so-healthy food choices for her children because she can’t afford more nutritious choices, even though she wants to do the best she can for her kids.

Or when someone has to shop at a corner store or discount store – because it’s the only option in their neighborhood – and has to pick from a very limited selection of items with no opportunity to choose the things s/he really wants.

At People’s Community Market, we believe that everyone deserves the right to choose what they want to buy and eat. That’s why we’re creating a community food market in West Oakland that will offer real choices in a respectful, dignified manner in a clean, well-lit shopping environment where our staff will treat customers with respect, creating a welcoming experience for everyone.

People’s Community Market will be a store with a mission, designed to reach families who struggle to eat nutritiously. Understanding that nutrients are expensive and calories are cheap, we’ll focus on supporting our customer to buy nutritious fresh foods, delicious prepared foods and groceries at affordable prices.

One way we’ll do this is by providing discounts and benefits through our Get Fresh membership and rewards card. We’ll also offer incentives to increase buying power for fruits and vegetables among customers who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). And we’ll put a relentless focus on sourcing fresh foods and creating healthy meals as affordably as possible.

But we also recognize that a health-focus can go too far, to the point where individuals feel judged, shamed or unwelcome for not being on a health kick. This can create another experience of indignity. So we’re being mindful to make sure our customers can choose from a wide variety of foods to make their own food choices and satisfy their own personal dietary preferences. And while our staff will be trained in diet and health, they’ll also be trained in being sensitive to and respectful of personal choices and dietary differences.

Individual dignity isn’t a common focus among grocery stores. We believe it’s as important as any other focus in creating this market.

Help Secure a $40,000 Match to Maximize our Mission

An Oakland nonprofit and a local investor have pooled a $40,000 match if we raise $40,000 from supporters by Friday, December 2. This is the final end-of-the-year push to reach our $2M goal.

This match will double every dollar invested in our project in the next 16 days. If you’ve been thinking about buying stock in our social enterprise, this is a great opportunity to double the impact of your investment and help us raise twice as much! With your investment, we can turn a $40,000 investment into $80,000, which would bring us to 85% of our goal for this public stock offering.*

We’ll be retiring our stock campaign at the end of 2016, so this is one of the last chances to become a Founding Shareholder.

Why it matters: The funds from selling stock will largely be used as working capital, which is the daily cash used by a business to operate. Startups like PCM have difficulty getting working capital because they lack the collateral. The working capital we’re raising fills a key gap in our cash flow needs and helps ensure that our market will be sustainable and can offer affordable prices on quality foods. This funding also allows us to focus and invest in our social mission, instead of focusing on paying off more expensive financing.

We only have two weeks to meet this match. Help us finish this campaign so that we can get to work creating a grocery store that will serve 9,000 families and prove 50 local jobs. Buy Shares today.


*These securities are only offered to California residents. Investors must meet certain suitability standards and other requirements. The Commissioner of Corporations of the State of California does not recommend or endorse the purchase of these securities.