Several positions available: co-ownership, management, staff, partners, investors, collaborators
Organization: 100% plant-based (vegan) supermarket and education facility
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
100% Vegan, Co-op Supermarket coming to your city!
Imagine if this headline was describing a real-life scenario. Does the idea excite you? I am sure that you are not alone! Every time that I imagine what a 100% vegan grocery store could look like, I get excited too!
Imagine a business that is so much more than just a place to go shopping. It could be a place that completes the research and education needed, so that customers could make informed choices as they select more truly health-promoting foods (i.e. whole foods – grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts) and less of the bad stuff (i.e. processed sugars, saturated fats, sodium, and junk food). But, most importantly, these customers could shop with confidence, knowing that the ownership and staff have created an entire business facility which is 100% free of animal products!
Please read on, if you would like to know more.
The purpose of the following proposal is to seek co-owners, managers and workers for a proposed worker-owned cooperative grocery store which would offer exclusively vegan products and promote a whole-food, plant-based diet, as well as other lifestyle products which are health-promoting and less harmful to the environment. This ad is being posted for Waterloo area, since there seems to be an opportunity for this type of business locally right now, but if you are reading this proposal in another part of Ontario and feel that another city/town may provide another possibility, then you are more than welcome to share your alternative ideas! Just drop me a message.
Perhaps after reading this proposal you will decide that you have friends or business associates that you think would be highly interested? Share the link!
Or maybe you know about others meeting places out there in cyberspace that would be a good spot for promoting this proposed vegan business venture? Feel welcome to cut and paste, or let me know where else to post!
With the recent closure of a prominent health food store in Waterloo region, I became motivated to post this ad to see what interest and support there might be for a large-scale vegan business venture. If you are passionate about plant-based food, I am sure that you have noticed that (so-called) “health food” stores actively endorse the products that are stocked on their shelves as being healthier than the food sold in big-box shopping centres - items described as “natural food”, “clean food”, “organic”, “non-gmo”, “grass-fed”, “free-run”, etc. - when these same food items may not really promote human health (according to nutritional science). And in the case of food items specifically derived from animals (meat, milk and eggs), these products have been shown to be exactly the opposite of health-promoting (beside the fact that they also excessively degrade the ecological health of our planet and violate the ethical treatment of nonhuman animals).
What if a health food store exclusively promoted whole-foods plant-based diets, which have been scientifically proven to help prevent or even reverse many of the most prevalent diet-related illnesses of our generation? The business could provide new customers with the inspiration and education they need to make the switch to 100% plant-based eating and, at the same, offer a much more rewarding shopping experience for those who long ago made the choice to become vegan. If you have done any research on-line lately, with regard to the growing movement towards plant-based diets, then I think you will agree that now is the time for a business venture like the one that I am describing in this proposal.
If you are still intrigued, read on, and perhaps you will decide that you need to somehow become involved in the exciting development of this project!
MISSION AND PURPOSE
The proposed goals and mission of this vegan food-store project are as follows (to be amended by the future management team):
PROPOSED VEGAN STORE CATEGORIES
The co-operative vegan business would likely be comprised of the following core departments, with a thoughtful incentive program in each section of the store to encourage shoppers to buy more whole foods, and less processed food (which is too often high in saturates, calories, sugar, salt, and wasteful packaging):
Other possibilities could include:
The business could also provide in-house office space for a number of plant-based health care professionals (i.e. doctor, dietitian, lifestyle coach?) at low cost, or even for free.
BUSINESS FOUNDING PRINCIPLES
The business management and other team members will ultimately decide how the organization’s founding principles will be formulated, but what follows is a list of leading spokespersons and advocates for the shift towards plant-based diets, so that you have a sense of what I currently have in mind.
Pertaining to the role of plant-based nutrition in human health, I think that it would be great to largely base our founding business philosophy on Dr. Michael Greger’s latest book, ‘How Not To Die: Discover The Foods Scientifically Proven To Prevent And Reverse Disease ’, in conjunction with his popular online project, NutritionFacts. But we should also include many other voices/authors as we develop our core guidelines, such as:
Pertaining to the ethics question – the exploitation, suffering and killing of nonhuman animals:
Addressing not only the animal ethics issue, but also the fact that the systems of animal agriculture stand in stark contrast to true environmental sustainability and responsible global citizenship:
Do you know any others that should be included on this list? Let me know!
If you are not familiar with some of these authors/speakers, please do some research on them to determine if their philosophies align compatibly with your own, and also consider what a cooperative food business might look like if it was based on the core values being expressed by these experts.
After we have assembled a quorum of management-level founders, and an encouraging number of other interested individuals with niche skillsets, we will then research the ownership model that seems most appropriate for the financial resources that are available to us. If there are several of us that can contribute a modest sum of seed money to get things going, then a ‘worker-owned cooperative’ may become our final business ownership structure. Other ownership models can be explored as well. My guess is that a sole proprietorship is unlikely, unless a wealthy individual or benefactor miraculously appears to spearhead the development of this project. Starting a food business, like the one described in this post, is no small feat, so a significant amount of start-up capital will be required.
Do you know of other possible business models, or financial options? It would be good to have your input to help jumpstart the process.
WHO AM I?
I am a middle-aged man, vegan for over six years now, vegetarian for five years before that. I grew up in a home which was centred on a family-owned independent grocery store, and I have worked in food retail for most of my adult life. I have over thirty years of experience in the business. Currently, I am a manager in a small natural food store, but I am presently in a position to make a major shift in my career. I seek an exciting and rewarding workplace: a situation in which I am part of a management team that fosters meaningful relationships, based on shared vegan values, but also helps promote the deepening movement towards compassionate and healthy plant-based lifestyles. I have the big ideas worked out, and I have a solid understanding about many of the intricate details regarding grocery retail, but I do not have the financial resources to make this dream become a reality all by myself. This is where you come in!
WHO ARE YOU?
First of all, within the initial weeks of determining whether or not this project has enough support to proceed, we will need to fill a quorum of management level positions. If a quorum is reached, then we will need to move to the next step of securing many other team-players to fill niche roles within the business.
No matter how you see yourself possibly fitting in at some point in the future, I strongly encourage you to reply sooner rather than later. You need to think about just three questions before contacting me:
1) Do you possess a demonstrated passion for plant-based food/animal welfare/ vegan lifestyles, and would you like to apply this passion in your workplace?
2) Are you in a position in your life wherein you have the ability/flexibility to explore this vegan business proposal by attending meetings, helping with research, investing your time and energy as a reliable, collaborative team-member, and then perhaps making whatever personal sacrifices are necessary in order to make this grand vision become a reality (possibly even contributing financial resources as a worker-owner)?
3) Do you have experience, or a specific skillset, that is appropriate for filling any of the core positions listed below? We will also very likely need many other roles assigned, and some not even dreamed up yet, in order to make this vegan grocery store and cooperative education centre a long-term success:
Other ways to get involved could be as follows:
Contact me! Let me know what you can bring to the party.
Does this proposal, for the development of a 100% plant-based cooperative supermarket and vegan community hub/educational facility, inspire you?
Are you eager to join up with like-minded people to explore the exciting possibility of bringing this vegan concept to life in 2017? Yes, there would be many challenges and obstacles, but no amazing cutting-edge accomplishment has ever happened without the investment of hard work, time and energy!
Consider ALL of the future rewards that this business could bring - community-building, healthier lifestyles, meaningful employment, passionate shopping experiences, value-based relationships, fund-raising, educational programs, expanded compassion for all life, and a significant contribution to a more just and sustainable world.
Let’s get a group together to see if we can it done!
Send me a detailed message, and if a quorum of people is soon assembled, we will set up a forum and plan a future meeting:
Contact: shadesoreason gmail.com*
When applying, please indicate that you saw this posting at FoodWork.ca.
*Note: The e-mail address above has been masked to help prevent spam. Please copy the address and replace “mask” with @ .
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FoodWork ID: 37318 Date posted to FoodWork.ca: Jan 3 2017