Grocery Store as Social Enterprise

The dominant belief that maximizing profits is the primary purpose of business has caused food retailers to leave communities in which they don’t think profits can be maximized. The result is that over 23 million Americans don’t have access to the choices and services offered by grocery stores.

In order to ensure that all communities have grocery stores, we must move away from seeing profit-making as their sole purpose and only using financial metrics to evaluate their performance and success.

At People’s Community Market (PCM) we’re rethinking the purpose of grocery stores and the changes that must be made to the underlying structure and model of the enterprise. PCM is an effort to demonstrate how grocery stores can be run as social enterprises that have explicit health, economic and social impact objectives integrated into their core purpose and business models.

We are inspired by the ability of social enterprises and values-driven businesses to scale and be financially sustainable while doing important and innovative work to improve our world. We’re convinced that grocery stores can be transformed into social enterprises that have impact beyond sales and financial returns — becoming anchors, stewards and partners in creating community health, wealth and resilience.

A critical part to creating our store as a social enterprise is the way it’s funded. In order to sustainably pursue our social mission, we need funding that gives us the flexibility to invest in our mission and in related innovations, programs and partnerships that are essential to the social impact we want to have.

This is why we’re raising funding from regular people in the public who care about the issues we’re trying to address and believe in the model we’re creating. By purchasing stock and becoming a Founding Shareholder in our social enterprise, you help us create a full-service grocery store and social hall in West Oakland that keeps its social mission at the center and demonstrates a model of how grocery stores can play a bigger role in communities.

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