Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Went to Orlando with the kids on Sunday to pick up liquidated shelving (30 4 foot sections 6 ft high) plus shopping baskets, signs and a lot of other stuff which I hauled back to Alachua in a 24-foot Budget truck (they're not called Budget for nothing). Believe it or not, the diesel for 195 miles cost us $73! Plus the rental was $118, and I also had to bring the Honda van, so add in another $30 for gas for that. Apparently it is not economical to rent trucks round trip; they are mostly one way. Now all the shelving is stored in the Florida room waiting for us to reno the shop.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
We have found 800 sq ft of wood flooring for $200. The old lettering has been removed from the windows. Now we have to remove a partition, lay the floor, repair and paint. Then build a counter and set up a POS (point of sale) system. State regs require we have three sinks in the back, so we have to put those in too. Then we have to find some fridge and freezer units with glass doors. Then install used gondola shelving (that is the typical shelving you see in supermarkets - we've found some in Orlando for $30 per six foot section, which is very cheap). Our biggest challenge so far has been finding gravity and scoop bins for the bulk section. We need 16ft of bins. So far, quotes have been up to $9500 for the bins! I mean, they're only plastic bins, people! My God; our whole budget is $10,000. So now, we're looking at alternatives to the usual bins. We are committed to a bulk foods section, but we have to bring the price down. We're thinking of some type of five gallon plastic buckets. We've seen these in some health food stores. Oh yeah, we also need to have a sign made.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Harvest Health & Whole Food LLC is a new venture by Jerry and Celine MacDougall. Research shows there are approximately 1450 vegetarians and vegans located in the City of Alachua. The market is worth $2.7 million annually. At present, if they want to shop for healthy organic and whole food and cruelty free options, they either have to go to a local supermarket which has a token organic section, or drive to Gainesville, a minimum round trip of 30 miles. If you live in High Springs, Newberry or Union County, it is even worse. We think a there is room for a helpful, local family-owned outlet in Alachua. We plan to charge the same prices as, or lower than, our competitors in Gainesville and Alachua. We will have 10% discount Thursdays, and will offer a discount loyalty card. There will be one six-foot wide refrigerator for organic milk, cheese, yogurt, drinks, etc., and one six-foot freezer for frozen items. There will be 125 gravity and scoop bulk bins so you can buy commodities like rice, beans and flour by the pound. Spices. Gourmet free-trade organic coffee. Vermont maple syrup. Indian milk sweets. Fresh bread. Herbal medicines. The list goes on and on. Frozen pizzas. Locally prepared items. Our tentative opening date is January 15th. Watch this space!