live / 2015

Chicken & Egg: A Grocery Co-op along the LA RIver

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by River Wild LLC

River Wild LLC propose to re-boot a beloved local grocery store and create a Co-op sourcing neighborhood goods, creating local jobs and educating local schools. Lacking healthy food access, missing basic amenities and the real estate gold rush along the LA River have left modest neighborhoods without economic development drivers. As our LA River Cafe project proved, pop-up to permanent cottage businesses can meet the needs for jobs, healthy alternatives and locally operated small businesses.

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Fernando Valley
  • The Los Angeles River adjacent communities lacking basic services

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics?

  • Access to healthy food
  • Healthcare access
  • Obesity rates
  • Walk/bike/transit score
  • Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Metrics are gold but Listening is Platinum. Proving every penny spent went to a positive community outcome is the first priority. Profitability is second, due to the cooperative nature of this enterprise. We look for individual and collaborative impact in how residents, river tourists and local institutions will use and adopt to a local grocery after decades without one.

We plan on keeping extensive accounting and paying to set up software to track procurement and sales and hire an accountant for quarterly audits. Even in an 800 square foot grocery, we think that careful tracking of cash flow, re-evaluation of inventory, price point creation through community outreach and surveys are essential.

The creative leasing strategy affords us with a 3 month start-up period and a subsidized rent-free period to construct, create and modify with less stress.

We are interviewing Co-op groups on national and regional scales, to find the best supply of goods that are not grown in Frogtown.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)