We had the opportunity to speak with Kenna Eaton, the Co-op’s General Manager, and learned how a small retailer in the middle of the Palouse – the rolling hills and prairie grass of southeast Washington and northern Idaho – is successful.
Read more: The Moscow Food Co-op – Small, Determined, Successful
Natural and health food stores come in all sizes; from mega chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and mini-chain cooperatives like PCC Natural Markets to small, independent groceries with annual sales from $2 to $20 million. The independence – and, yes, the political and philosophical leanings – of these small retail stores make each one different and contributes to the diversity of the business landscape.
Read more: Food Co-ops Grow Up – No Longer All Crunchy Granola and Birkenstocks
Like Goldilocks in search of “just right,” local food markets struggle with size. On the “Too Small” end, we are seeing markets in small rural communities disappear. On the “Too Big” end, we see “supernaturals” like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s descending en masse on large urban areas. For communities with populations of 25,00 to 50,000 people, markets like Skagit Food Co-op find the size “Just Right!”
Read more: Skagit Valley Food Co-op: Not Too Small, Not Too Big, Just Right