Small Grocer Project

A funny thing happens when a mayor’s drive for a healthier city meets the need to reinvigorate its small business economy and enhance quality of life – crazy public/private pilot projects are born…

Newark’s Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC) contracted with Urbane Development to create the Small Grocer Program, which is a part of  Newark’s larger Fresh Food Initiative.

The Small Grocer Program targeted 5 corner grocery stores in its first phase in order to strengthen their business capacity and to support the sale of fresh, healthy, and affordable foods through dedicated grant and loan financing and direct technical assistance to participating grocers.

Urbane and BCDC worked in tandem to create a robust vetting process to identify qualified stores to participate in the pilot. Urbane also worked with BCDC staff to build institutional capacity to carry the project forward in future iterations.

Urbane worked directly with store owners to source fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as identify physical plan upgrades including equipment, mechanical systems, fixtures and other leasehold improvement to their stores.

Urbane also provided technical assistance to store owners in marketing, merchandising, product handling, inventory management, and other operational areas.