In addition to preparing to open our second store in just a few weeks, we are also preparing to celebrate our 1 year anniversary in South Park. In the lead up to that August 15th celebration (more to come on that!), we wanted to take some time to reflect on what the last year has been like for our first store.
Staff as ambassadors
Three of our four South Park staff have been with us since day 1. All four live in the neighborhood. And each of them offers a unique customer service experience when you come into the store. Aimee, Paul, Rocio, and Wil have been our most important resource in continuing to build the South Park store and Stockbox’s relationship with the community. They are innovators, friends, neighbors, grocers, food advocates, and the occasional tour guide. And they have served as our inspiration in hiring at our next store. They have been a rock through the past year and we can’t wait to see what the next year holds for them as well.
Building close customer relationships
We work with our customers to select inventory and set out each day to offer a fresh and reliable resource inside the community. And our customers have been an invaluable partner in ensuring that our South Park store continues to grow and continues to represent the community itself. Each week, we continue to meet new customers who have just learned about us or who finally decided to check us out. We also occasionally have a group of new customers come through the store, recently including three groups of UW interns who are working at Concord Elementary this summer. To the customers who stop by each day for the lunch or afternoon snack, the customers who use our store as their primary grocery store each week, and the customers who have come to depend on the store as their in-between resource for good food – thank you for continuing to share with us what you need; thank you for supporting us over the past year; and thank you for integrating Stockbox into your new food routine.
Integrating into the local community
In addition to working to improve access to fresh and good food, Stockbox has made a commitment to demonstrate our investment in community. Over the past year, we have become involved in the South Park Merchant’s Association, we have hosted events at the Community Center and Concord Elementary, and we have teamed up with Whole Foods to host cooking demonstrations at the store. We are so excited for another August in South Park, because it means we get to participate in unique events like South Park Putts Out, Fiesta Patrias, and (fingers crossed) Lucha Libre! In the next year, you will see an increased presence of South Park community resources in our store and you will continue to see us out in the neighborhood.
And, of course, we can’t forget the importance of celebrating good food. Over the past year, we have increased the number of local suppliers with whom we work; we’ve shifted our inventory to respond to seasonal options; and we’ve bumped up the number of fresh options across the store. The inventory will continue to shift as we continue to learn what the community needs and we are working to roll-out services to further support customers as they shop for food and prepare meals. In the meantime, make sure to stop by and check out our selection from Marra Farm! They are back from their winter break and are offering up a beautiful selection of produce, including the customer favorite: multi-colored long beans.