“There is more hunger in the world for love andappreciation than for bread.” – Mother Teresa
the national crisis Our nation is faced with an obesity crisis that threatens to be a greater danger to Low-income, urban communities of color public health than smoking. Nearly one are at the center of this public health third of Americans are now obese, crisis. The rates of obesity, diabetes, and mostly due to diet. If we continue on this other diet-related chronic disease in path, nearly 50 percent of Americans these communities dramatically surpass “I see more illnesses in my will be obese by 2020. Medical experts the national rates. In West Oakland, CA, community than I’ve ever seen predict that, for the first time in 48 percent of residents are obese or generations, many younger Americans overweight. The community is in thebefore. I’m a native of Oakland, are on track to have a shorter lifespan 67th percentile for diabetes in Alameda than their parents. County. Every household has beenmy dad died and my daughter’s impacted by the crisis. father has diabetes.” -Resident, West Oakland
the community needIn the United States there are 23.5 served in food retail by over 70 percentmillion Americans – including 6.5 of demand. Many residents mustmillion children – living in over 40O either travel far distances to get tocommunities that have limited access supermarket or shop at corner storesto affordable and nutritious foods. This that offer mostly processed, poorlimited food access is a primary cause quality foods at high prices. “We don’t eat right. We can’t makeof higher rates of obesity and chronicdisease in these communities. Often The food spending leakage that occurs the healthy choices. We can’t get thecalled “food deserts”, low-income com- as a result of having to leave the fresh food. We only got poor qualitymunities lack in sufficient retail outlets community to shop for better foodand are often underserved in food choices not only impacts the com- stuff that isn’t providing us withretail by 30-80% of their demand. munity’s health and wellbeing, but affects the local economy due to the what we need.”West Oakland is one such food desert lost opportunity to create jobs andcommunity. With over 32,000 local tax revenues. – Resident, West Oaklandresidents, West Oakland is under-
the emerging movementAcross the country there is a growing “There’s a difference in the storesmovement to transform our foodsystem into one that promotes health, A movement is also afoot in food desert in our area compared to the storessocial equity, and sustainability. communities. Low-income residents areConsumer values of purchasing making the connections between their in Montclair or somewhere else.sustainable, organic, local and healthy diets and the health problems theyfoods have entered the mainstream. face. More than ever, these residents You know, the vegetables are greatCommunities and organizations are view quality fresh foods as the up there, everything is so beautiful.developing innovative solutions to foundation to their health. Low-incomeconsumer needs. Policymakers are residents also recognize the disparities And you come down, I think we getpassing legislation to support the in access to good food that existchanges. And the mainstream media is between communities. A passionate ours last off the truck.”increasingly covering food related call for justice is emerging fromissues. America’s most marginalized neighbor- -Resident, West Oakland hoods. Low-income residents are demanding better quality food choices and better health for their families.
the solutionPeople’s Community Market (PCM) is anemerging response to the public health The characteristics and cultures of low- residents to buy fresh foods in their owncrisis and growing demand for healthier income urban communities require neighborhood. Combining attributes offoods in food desert communities. PCM business that are designed for and grocery stores, food coops and farmersis addressing these trends, as well as the dedicated to those communities. Local markets, PCM will support healthier foodmarket opportunity presented by unmet food retailers with deep community ties choices among shoppers by specializingfood demand in the West Oakland and an understanding of the unique in affordable and high quality fresh foodscommunity, by creating a fresh food retail desires of these communities can and prepared foods that cater to thepavilion that serves the nutritional and successfully craft a compelling solution unique preferences and cultural intereststhe social needs of low-income residents. for these culturally diverse markets. of the local area. PCM will create valuePCM will support customer desires for for customers through exceptional, highbetter health/wellness and more social People’s Community Market (PCM) will touch customer service, a unique storeinteractions by incorporating consumer become such a solution in West Oakland. environment and enriching, memorableeducation, community partnerships, Placed in a central and accessible customer experiences.social events and cultural activities. location, PCM will make it convenient for
the emerging modelMore Than a Grocery Store. This is help invigorate excitement about the more meaningful experiences,our guiding principle. It conveys our role of food in peoples lives. And they knowledge and connection to theirbelief that food markets can play can become sources of inspiration for health, communities and cultures.meaningful roles in serving and re-imagining our lives, ournourishing communities. PCM will communities and our world. A food culture revolution is happeningdemonstrate ways that food stores in food desert communities. PCM willcan support, build relationships with PCM is being designed to provide become a model for how that foodand engage low-income shoppers. stimulating spaces and opportunities revolution can be given life within a for customers to interact and pursue community food store by providing asSupermarkets often feel like sterile their aspirations. From ample seating much attention to culture, tradition,warehouses lacking culture, creativity and gathering space to a calendar of education and relationships as to theand warmth. But they dont have to social events to consumer education food products on the stores shelves.be that way. Food stores can become programs delivered by communityvibrant community centers and hubs and healthcare partners, PCM willof community interaction. They can respond to its customers desires for
the product offeringPCM will be a smaller fresh food retailpavilion of 12,000 sq ft. This will PCM will offer a simple and targeted PCM will focus on quality fresh foodsenable PCM to better service the product assortment and will carry and prepared foods as signaturetypically smaller and more frequent about 30% of the inventory of large offerings. Fresh foods will includepurchases of low-income shoppers, to supermarkets. This will enable PCM to produce, meat, seafood, cheese, andcreate a dynamic and intimate store optimize its product assortment by dairy. Prepared foods will includeenvironment and to provide a easier closely targeting its offerings to the soups, pot roasts, sandwiches andstore navigation. The store will still be specific food preferences of its salads. The prepared foods will belarge enough to provide ample space customers. The store inventory will made off-site and sold through a full-for wide aisles, checkout counters, still be broad in selection and will service deli. Organic and non-organicseating and many aspects that are include many categories that are products will be offered across allkey to a great customer experience. important to local shoppers. categories. PCM will also emphasize ethnic and locally-sourced foods.
“Hip-hop music fills the Westthe company origins Oakland neighborhood as the bright orange Mobile MarketIn 2003 Brahm Ahmadi co-foundedPeople’s Grocery, a widely recognized Peoples Community Market was makes its way down the street,nonprofit organization based in West formed to expand on Peoples bringing healthy food to aOakland. Among its many projects, Grocery’s mission by responding toPeople’s Grocery’s launched the demand for a fresh food retail store in community not served bynation’s first “Mobile Market” - a West Oakland. Under Brahm Ahmadi’straveling food store that sold fresh leadership PCM is building on supermarkets.”foods at affordable prices to West People’s Grocery’s eight years of trackOakland residents. The Mobile Market record and experience to strengthen -Dwell Magazine, 2004provided People’s Grocery with its competitive advantage. Theexperience in marketing healthy foods nonprofit organization has builtand providing education and training community relations, social capitalin an inner-city community. The Mobile and brand visibility that PCM willMarket was replicated by inner-city employ to build a strong positioning incommunities throughout the nation. the community.
the buildingPCM is receiving pro-bono services fromOakland-based Lowney Architecture to Blending attributes of the grocery store,design a unique commercial footprint. food coop and farmers market formats,Inspired by food stores such as Milk Pail the distinctive pavilion design will be anMarket and Monterey Market, PCM’s important component of the PCM branddesign will include these features: experience and will set PCM apart from other food retailers as a destination for• a semi-enclosed pavilion format with residents aspiring for more authenticample frontage and visibility and delightful experiences.• a roll up wall for fresh air, natural lightand open atmosphere• outdoor “Back Porch” area featuring a Architect: Ken Lowney, AIA, LEED AP -- www.lowneyarch.com Over the last 20 years Ken Lowney has focused on promoting the civic and environmental well-being ofpatio, stage and demonstration garden Oakland, California and the Greater Bay Area. Ken founded Lowney Architecture in 2003 to provide elegant,• rustic, modern and minimal décor functional and environmentally progressive designs to the commercial, retail and residential sectors. Ken is• floor plan combining fresh food a regular contributor to the Greenbelt Alliance’s Compact Development Team, is a member of the East Bay American Institute of Architects (AIA) and is a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)marketplace with grocery and deli Accredited Professional.
proposed locationPeople’s Community Market has identified a location at the corner of West Grand Ave &Market St. in the heart of West Oakland that offers many positive attributes for the business.• Once home to the main shopping center and grocery store in West Oakland.• Surrounding area has highest population density in the community.• Situated in the very center of the West Oakland trade area.• Over 17,000 residents live within a 15-minute walking distance.• Over 66,000 people live within a 5-minute driving distance.• Located at busiest intersection in West Oakland with over 19,000 vehicles daily.• Located on primary corridor connecting Bay Bridge and downtown Oakland.• There are 10 bus stops and 5 routes within a 5-minute walking distance.• Features a large adjacent parking lot with ample ingress and egress.
marketingPCM will create a human touchin all of its marketing efforts. PCM will use the in-store Community and peer outreachAnd providing an exceptional environment to craft attractive and creative, personalizedand differentiated customer and memorable customer one-to-one promotional tacticsexperience will be one of PCM’s experiences and emotional will be core aspects of PCM’sprimary marketing strategies for ques. Social and cultural marketing. PCM will utilizecreating customer loyalty and activities held in the store popular culture marketingword-of-mouth promotions. where customers can interact, approaches such as partnering socialize, share a meal or attend with local musicians/artistsPCM will focus on building real an event will accentuate the and collaborating with well-relationships and positive customer experience, transform known personalities.social interactions. Everything PCM into a destination andthat customers experience will provide a wider scope of uniquebe cornerstones of its brand. marketing opportunities.
mediaNatural Foods Merchandiser: “40 Under 40”http://naturalfoodsmerchandiser.com/tabId/66/itemId/3157/40-Under-40-Brahm-Ahmadi.aspxEast Bay Express: “Gardening Eden” http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/gardening-eden/Content?oid=1834160&cb=d61b46ab684b5d6b95a659ceef9245f3&sort=desc#readerCommentsDelicious Living Magazine video interview:http://views.newhope.com/VidoePlayer/tabid/58/VideoId/227/Default.aspxOakland Magazine: “Populist Farmer” http://www.oaklandmagazine.com/media/Oakland-Magazine/January-2008/In-the-Mix/Utne Reader: “50 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World” http://www.utne.com/2008-11-13/50-Visionaries-Who-Are-Changing-Your-World.aspx
leadership Brahm Ahmadi is President and Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Gilmore brings extensive CEO of People’s Community Market expertise, experience and industry networks to PCM (PCM). Brahm is a co-founder of the and is assisting in fundraising, operations planning nonprofit People’s Grocery and was and talent recruitment. the Executive Director for eight Ari Derfel is serial food entrepreneuryears, when he left to launch and lead PCM. Brahm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Arihas real world experience in executive leadership, opened Gather, an all-organic,organizational development, management and sustainably designed restaurant, atplanning. He also brings extensive, first-hand the renowned David Brower Centerexperience in developing food enterprises, marketing in Berkeley, California. From the con-healthy foods in the inner city and providing training struction materials to the computer driven exhaustand education to low-income residents. Brahm has units and remote refrigeration systems, Gather is areceived national media attention for his work to leader in innovative design and has set the bar forimprove inner city food environments and has the future of the restaurant industry. Ari alsodeveloped a network of food industry professionals. founded Back to Earth Organic Catering in 2003, theBrahm has an MBA from the Presidio Graduate first organic catering company in the US. Ari isSchool and a BA from the University of California. Treasurer of PCM’s Board of Directors and is Anthony Gilmore has 33 years of assisting in finances and procurement. experience in the supermarket Michele Thorne has a background in business. Currently Mr. Gilmore is the food & beverage industry in sales Chief Strategist and Administrative and marketing, as well as wellness Officer at Andronicos Market. Prior education and community outreach. to his current position, Mr. Gilmore Michele was the Wellness and Out-served as Vice President of Safeways Lifestyle and reach Director for the SOMA Beverage Company andConcept Development Division. He came to Safeway Metromint, and before moving to the Bay Area, sheafter a twelve year tenure with Whole Foods Market, was the Executive Raw Foods Chef at the awardwhere he was successively the regional president of winning Counter Restaurant in New York City.the Midwest region, the Southwest region and the Michele is Secretary of PCM’s board and is assistingNorthwest region. Prior to joining Whole Foods in brand development, marketing, social media andMarket, Mr. Gilmore worked at Safeway Stores for 20 in-store wellness education.years, where he managed seven stores in the San
advisors•Brian Rohter, Founder & Chairman of New Seasons Market•Bu Nygrens, Co-founder & Co-owner of Veritable Vegetable•Paul Saginaw, Co-founder & Co-Owner at Zingerman’s Deli•Rene Cage, Chef/Consultant at Cage Dining Experiences•Ahmed Rahim, Co-founder & CEO at Numi Organic Tea•David Guendelman, Co-founder & CFO at World of Good•Paresh Patel, Director of Corporate Finance at Shoreline Pacific•Jose Corona, Executive Director at Inner City Advisors (ICA)•Nina Kahori Fallenbaum, Special Assistant at USDA•James Johnson-Piett, CEO at Urbane Development•Mary Hashem, Partner at Brownfield Partners•Jason Corburn, Professor at UC Berkeley Dept. of City Planningconsultants•Susan Morgan & Jenny Kasson, Attorneys at Katovich Law Group•Lief King, Attorney at Skadden, Aarps, Slate, Meagher & Flom•Mark Halpert, Principal CPA at Halpert & Associates•PJ Hoffman, Manager at UNFI Store Development Services•Ken Lowney, Principal at Lowney Architecture•Wally Naylor, Vice President at Pankow Builders•Pete Davis, Market and Location Analyst•Jean Selkirk, Accounting and Financial Analyst