Update: As of February 20, 2014, Nelson is fully funded! Thank you to all who contributed to his campaign. Stay tuned for updates on Nelson’s journey to transform his neighborhood market.
Healthy Neighborhood Market Network member Nelson Garcia is raising $5,000 to transform his convenience store in South Los Angeles into a healthy food retailer! For the past year, Nelson worked closely with staff at the Los Angeles Food Policy Council to develop a vibrant re-design for his store. Through a transformative renovation and business plan, Nelson will re-brand his store “Alba Snacks and Services” and begin to offer fresh and healthy food, starting with a “Healthy Snack Zone” in his store by the end of February 2014. The Los Angeles Food Policy Council is endorsing his Kiva Zip loan profile, which will be active for the next 45 days.
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“A loan of $5,000 helps me to transform the “look and feel” of my convenience store to include new healthy food products that my community needs.”
– Nelson Garcia, owner of $1 Dollar Warehouse
The Los Angeles Food Policy Council met Nelson over a year and a half ago after a local non-profit Community Services Unlimited conducted a food access assessment of their neighborhood in South Los Angeles and found the need for more healthy food retail options. Nelson expressed interest in providing healthier food options right away.For many months since then, we’ve worked with Nelson and an incredible design and technical assistance team including friends from LURN and food retail strategy firm Shook Kelley on a comprehensive re-design and re-brand of his store that will feature new healthy food products and a new store name and identity.
About Nelson’s Healthy Neighborhood Market
Nelson’s store is a convenience store located in South Los Angeles. The business is a 2,500 square feet store that offers a variety of products and services to local residents with a focus on snack and convenience foods and services such as money transfers, remittances and calling card accounts. The store is located on Vermont and 60th street, adjacent to John Muir Middle School and a block from August F. Hawkins High School. The Kiva Zip loan will help Nelson implement a re-design of his store environment that will include vibrant colors, new signage, new refrigeration units, a healthy snack zone and a community zone with computers. A team of students at a Hawkins High School have partnered with Nelson to provide customer preference and marketing advice to make sure the new healthy products at his store are successful. Because of his passion and business acumen, and the community’s support for his project, we have no doubt that Nelson will stand out and thrive as a healthy food store and community hub!
Why LAFPC is endorsing Nelson Garcia
Nelson is a natural leader! He is charismatic, caring, passionate and visionary. Originally from Guatemala, Nelson is a business person who cares deeply about his community and invests in his own personal development as a business leader. Nelson has big plans for his growth as a healthy food retailer, and we have no doubt that after the success of his first “market makeover” he will continue to open more healthy food stores in LA’s “food desert” communities.”
In Nelson’s Own Words
“The loan will help me launch Phase 1 of my store re-design. It will pay for new shelving, displays, signage, flooring and a refrigeration case for the “Healthy Snack Zone” in my store. With my own additional contribution, I will also paint the store and install an exterior sign with my new store name: Alba Snacks and Services. Step by step, I plan to install new design and product features until the transformation is complete.
“Snacks are already a huge part of my business, especially with my youth customers who frequent my store daily. I am confident that the new look and products of the Healthy Snack Zone will be a huge success, especially as we’ve partnered with a team of high school students at a local school to promote healthy eating among their peers. My goal is to increase my monthly revenues by $3,000. With this increase, I am able to finance the other parts of the market makeover project easily. This transformation will help me actualize and test out my new business concept focused on healthy foods. Once I am successful with the model at this store site, I intend to open up other Alba Snacks and Services in Los Angeles.”
Join the Kiva Zip campaign by March 15, 2014 to back Nelson’s plan to bring healthy snacks into his South LA corner store.
To build a base of support in the community, Nelson has partnered with a team of students and teachers at a nearby school, Augustus F. Hawkins High School, located a few blocks from his store. Read more about Nelson’s community partnerships here.