A new edition of the “Rural Grocery Store Start-Up and Operations Guide” has been released by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University. The guide is available for free download, according to Fred Iutzi, who manages IIRA’s outreach to the food and agriculture sectors.
“This guide is a valuable resource for Illinois entrepreneurs and community leaders interested in starting up, expanding or transitioning a grocery store in their rural communities,” he explained.
According to the IIRA’s Sean Park-lead author of the new edition and a former grocery store manager-the new edition is greatly revised and expanded and reviews best practices for successfully operating a rural grocery store in the current retail environment.
“Readers will find answers on a range of basic questions about starting up a grocery store and making it succeed, from market analysis to equipment to inventory to cash flow,” Park said.
Three new supplements focusing on cooperative grocery stores, business succession issues and indoor farmers’ markets accompany the guide, he added.
Download the guide at the IIRA’s rural grocery store resource page at www.value-added.org/food-agriculture/rural-grocery-stores/.
In addition to the new guide, IIRA has a variety of services available to businesses and/or community leaders concerned about access to a grocery store in their rural communities, including programs in community strategic visioning, applied economic analysis and small business start-up.
“We also emphasize the community ownership option for starting up a new grocery store, or as a succession plan for an existing business,” Iutzi added. Free technical assistance on using cooperatives, as well as other mutually owned business structures, is available from the Illinois Cooperative Development Center at IIRA.”
For more information about IIRA publications, technical assistance and other resources, contact Iutzi at (309) 298-1453 or visit the IIRA online at www.iira.org.