Needed: A "based" Trader Joe's plus vertical farming

One major concern for us is the pipeline for products. Well, as we find “based” food suppliers, it makes sense that an ideal transformation it create a better pipeline for distribution, thus making it increasingly viable to be a “based” business. Thus, a grocery store makes sense.

Consider what Trader Joe’s does well: small stores with branded products and a commitment to customer service.

I don’t see any reason why we can’t adopt the Chik-fil-A meets Trader Joe’s model for a grocery store.

If we can find someone who has a store in a conservative community and is willing to adopt such an approach, we can provide branding and marketing while also helping them to find suppliers.

Trader Joe’s focuses on a neighborhood model, focused on the mid to high end community market. They’ve also managed, thus far, to avoid much in the way of politics but they are owned by a German firm (though founded in LA).

A based American grocery store… There’s a market for that.

An additional note… the new category of vertical farming using LEDs has gotten sufficiently good, particularly at growing leafy greens, that we can have units in store, thus cutting costs and providing fresh ingredients to harder to reach communities BUT there’s another benefit…

Most vegetables today are bred for durability and aesthetics but not nutrition or flavor. There are lots of varieties that simply aren’t grown or even bred. Well, we could grow them, being free from the constraint of durability. This would allow us to sell a range of vegetables to our markets that no one else has access to. This could encourage a handful of things:

  1. Farms could find a viable market in breeding new varieties.

  2. Local restaurants would have prestige vegetables, unavailable to the larger markets where we wouldn’t have a presence.

Prestige is something “fly over” America lacks. This could be a means of recovering some.

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This is 100% needed and if done properly would take off. 10/10, would invest. A couple quick thought:

*need experts from the industry
*should target monied red areas - e.g., Chattanooga, Columbia, conservative suburbs of Nashville and Birmingham
*huge opportunity to tie into and encourage the growth of “based” organic farming operations

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Related but slightly different angle: what about new and better infrastructure for locally-sourced vegetables? Farmer’s markets can be nice but often more expensive/less convenient than groceries. But I recall reading that Chinatown groceries often had vegetables that were fresher, locally sourced, and lower cost than mainstream supermarkets–and sourced through almost entirely independent networks. I’m not sure exactly how they did that, but could be an interesting model to study to help mainstream local products in a way current farmers markets alone are unlikely to.

These could in turn anchor broader grocery stores, but from an angle current stores aren’t as strong (whereas it will be hard to compete with Trader Joe’s on its branded products, which are high quality and low cost)

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There are a lot of independent Mexican and Chinese markets that often have lower cost goods but the tradeoff is variance (lots of beaten up and damaged items) and regularly skirting regulation.

It can be done… but as a general rule, regulatory agencies turn a blind eye when it involves immigrants.

However, there’s a good deal of pipeline knowledge to be found there. The average TJs employee probably knows nothing about supply chains, et al.

I am sure there’s opportunity here, particularly if we can get a handle on the regulatory framework in our states. Perhaps there is potential that can be unleashed.

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I’m new, but interested in this conversation. My extended family are cattle ranchers and the family ranch/farm are getting decimated by factory farming and mass meat production facilities. I’m in Utah. My family is in Wyoming. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet own the vast majority of farm and ranch land in this country and they keep scooping it up. Might I add that factory farming is horrible for the animals AND the food supply?

This gets me thinking on a much larger scale than just grocery stores. We need to revitalize rural America and de-consolidate our populations from the big cities. Unfortunately, corporate food in this country (along with government regulations) have decimated the small ranchers and farmers who arguably produce a superior product in more humane and sustainable ways (isn’t that what the environmentalist religion demands - though they are clueless about actual range management and ecosystems but I digress).

Next, bring in things like the meat packers and the Cattleman’s Association who are destroying the very people they’re supposed to protect because they’re sold out to corporate special interests. Consumers pay $24.99/lb for a cut of meat and the RANCHER only gets $1.15. Maybe. The rest goes to the meat packers and transportation costs.

WHAT IF along with this TJ type model, there is a push to localize other types of food production. Currently, due to regulations, most meat is shipped long distances from where it was raised for processing and then has to be shipped AGAIN. Much regulation exists to prevent more local processing for public consumption. Get that out of the way and you can greatly increase competition, lower price to consumer, raise compensation to the rancher, improve/protect our food supply, and get rid of the middle men.

I realize this doesn’t directly relate to produce and other goods, but it would absolutely be important for a truly American grocery store in the vision I’m understanding from the thread. The grocery store is part of a huge ecosystem that could be greatly impacted for the better if we can shift consumer power away from woke corporations.

Stores in my area that could be potentials to try the concept would be Kent’s Market and Dan’s Foodliner. Both are completely local and only have a handful of locations. There’s a larger local chain called Harmon’s. They have a LOT of locally sourced products, but they tend to be a bit more to the left.

Full disclosure : I know nothing of the grocery business and only cursory knowledge of cattle ranching. However, I’ve been watching in horror as Bill Gates keeps buying all our land in the mountain west states. Our ranch is less than a fifth what it was and now you can barely scratch a living from it. Keep in mind, Gates wants us all to be vegan. That land isn’t being used to feed America properly. I don’t know if it’s dire, but our food supply chain is weakened.

Lastly, does anyone have an opinion on Kroger? I lived in Nashville for a long time and Kroger owns a chain out here called Smith’s. Overall, our local Kroger brand has operated in a relatively conservative manner and we have access to several local products.

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You bring up a number of interesting points…

Traditionally, property taxes exist essentially to keep land in use. This strikes me as the proper mechanism and one that can be managed at a local or state level. If billionaires are buying up all the land, make it increasingly expensive for them to do so. Precisely how is a challenging question.

Additionally, the Federal government owns the majority of land West of the Mississippi and tends to lease it to corporations for things like grazing fees way under market value. This is a kind of corporatism that obviously must be stopped but virtually no one seems to understand the issue.

So what’s to be done? We’d have to start by understanding the issue and then working with local elected officials to change the regulatory situation in order to discourage billionaires from doing this… but that’s a hell of a problem. Trying to create regulations that actually do what they were designed to do is tricky, tricky…

Still, this strikes me as a good place to start investigating. The more we can put together a solid understanding, the more we come up with a plan that might make a positive difference.

Sounds simple to me. Tax any land owned by an out of state owner with over a thousand acres at a higher rate. Over five thousand and tax them more. This has to be done regardless of how they shell their equity. Make it criminal if they attempt to hide it. I don’t support land taxation, but I’m also opposed to monopolization of land with modern day land Barron’s. Especially when it’s nefarious.

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In regards to the smaller farmer; there has been a farmer down the road that has sold bison out of his company freezer for years. I would think as a smaller farm you would have to cater to certain demands like quality or specialty’s. After that I would think marketing and getting that shipping down. If conservatives had their own low cost shipping it would solve a lot of these issues. You do that and you connect the markets together. I always wanted to get into wagyu.

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About vertical farming, Tower Garden by Juice Plus has some interesting ideas - there’s a small “farm” in a greenhouse in north downtown Denver which grows greens for downtown restaurants. I am not sure whether it is a financial success yet, but if supply chains get really bad in downtown Denver they may be able to name their price!
(I am a JP+ distributor, but more interested in experimenting with fish in Tower Gardens than in selling them. I don’t know whether JP+ considers itself “woke”, but my nearest upline are very much involved in the freedom movement.)

New here and I’m not a professional but my husband and I homestead on a small 7 acres in Ohio.
From my understanding the land being bought up by Gates & his ilk will be part of forcing us to buy their food (gmo crap) that will be vertical grown under led lights. Personally, the idea of eating something not in a natural setting is upsetting. Natural sunshine & the soil that is well tended is vital to proper nutrients & therefore a healthy body. Under todays farming practices we have seen how our soil has become sterile, our meat grown in feedlots has become unhealthy. We should be looking into real land management using crop rotation & grazing rotation like Joe Salatin of Polyface Farms & there are plenty of homesteaders on youtube that use his plan; including Congressman Thomas Massie.
What we need to do is contact people already in places of power or expertise that agree with limited government and being self sufficient to grow this idea.
Thomas Massie, Joe Salatin, the Goya Food owner etc. Most of the youtube homesteading community are all about living off the land and not dependent on government. Most are conservative & christian.

Tammie

Farmivore.farm is doing this in Southern California. I just helped them do a pretty major overhaul of their web presence over the last couple of months.

Their motto is “Connecting growers to eaters” and the goal ultimately would be to replace the conventional grocery system with something better than both it and the farmer’s market system. Stuff is in the field one day and at people’s doorstep the next, and the idea is to keep things relationship based so that farmers know where their food is going and consumers know where it’s coming from.

They’ve got door to door deliveries available any day of the week (most customers are subscribed for weekly delivery) and currently serve about ~2k customers.

They’ve been doing it for 8 years now and are about ready to start franchising this across the country.

I have explored growing the vegetables/fruits industry for some IP we are working on. The most interesting thing especially in fruit is that most grow for looks not taste. That is why you get a great looking strawberry that tastes incredibly bland.

I love the idea of coopting localism especially in farming and growing. I believe you could get lots of support from non-traditionally conservative folks.