This evening I invited David Warner from City Feed and Supply to join me for a coversation about the economics their business. I was inspired to do so after seeing many statements by members about "how pricey" City Feed is in the dialogue concurrently happening about Whole Foods coming to Jamaica Plain.
My intentions, having had many conversations with David about this in the past, is to share what I've learned about what it takes to operate their business, and secondly, propose that we take into account the community benefits when considering individual costs of the purchase we make at local business like City Feed. For highlights see below the video.
City Feed aims to operate at a 33% margin (the national average). If they buy something for $1 they sell it at $1.50
Out of the 33% margin, 20% goes to labor, and the rest goes to operating costs
When they have made a profit, and there have only been profitable 2 out of 10 years, it's only about 2 to 3 pennies on every dollar
As the owner, David's salary on average has been less than 50K per year with no bonuses - and working about 7 days a week
When money is spent at a local business, it is more likely to stay local - end up back in our pockets.
City Feed contributes over 1 million dollars to the local and regional economy a year
City Feed employees 43 people
They purchase from about 120 local/regional suppliers
Last year they donated about 10k in cash and 20k in goods and services
How does the money we spend create the community we live in?
How are we as a community expressing our values through our purchases?