Updates on Expansion
- We’re in Grocery Business
- Local DVM interviewed General Manager Bob Thompson to get a little more detail on the announcement of the second location.
While the talk of expansion is exciting, there are many steps to work through before making any final decisions. We have been doing our due diligence in this planning process, and we feel we have made sound progress. We have received feedback on preliminary site plans, and we are currently working on any revisions that are necessary. The steps we have completed include:
- Market study
- Title search
- Drafted a 10-year financial model that includes sales, expenses, cash flow, financing, and project costs
- Drafted site plans and store floor plan design
- Exploration of building design and material options
- Preliminary construction cost estimates
We feel the future looks promising. We hope to be able to complete our planning and financing in order to proceed with the purchase as soon as possible. We anticipate construction will take about a year, and our goal is to open our new doors by Spring 2020.
Our current store is doing more than twice as much business as was originally planned for the location, and the 7th Street location is the prime location to help ease that pressure.
We value our community, and the 7th Street location is in the perfect place to help us meet that need. Close to the hospital, Hood College, schools, thriving downtown neighborhoods, and Fort Detrick, it would ensure those communities have easier access to local products.
In addition to the location, the former Safeway also has a site that meets the needs of the way we operate.
In opening a second store, we hope to achieve the following in our community:
- Improved access and service
- Expanding our customer base, and thereby expanding the knowledge of the co-op model
- Expanding local food production with increased purchases from local farmers and food businesses
- New jobs and advancement opportunities for current employees
- Making our store on Buckeystown less crowded, thereby making it feel more welcoming to new customers
- Making co-op operations more financially sustainable for the long-term
- Creating another welcoming space for our community and events
This time of analysis includes a team of individuals and businesses who are working to ensure the project meets our needs: our commercial real estate broker Jonathan Warner of Warner Commercial; Marty Bates of Bates Architects and Gary Large of Waynesboro Construction on our Feasibility Design Team; Richard Griffin of the Office of Economic Development; and our attorney Greg Burgee of Miles & Stockbridge. We are thrilled to be working with our city, Mayor Michael O’Connor, and our owners on this exciting endeavor to provide fresh, local food to Frederick.