Gourmet grocery store wants customers to buy shares, save business

Gourmet grocery store wants customers to buy shares, save business

Monforte's cheese-share program helped the company stay afloat (Image: Monforte) 

It appears that the warm, fuzzy sentiments that usually come with supporting locavorism aren’t enough to ensure that Culinarium, a local-focused grocery store near Eglinton and Mount Pleasant, will stay afloat. Owner Kathleen Mackintosh is hoping a solid group of customers will invest in “dinner plate shares,” The Star reports, in an effort to gather the $50,000 to $100,000 needed to keep the place open. The shares would entail an initial investment that would pay itself back, with a bit of interest, in the form of redeemable vouchers over the next three years. A $500 investment would yield $600 in groceries; a $1,000 investment would yield $1,305.

Mackintosh says that, if successful, the money she raises will be invested in staff, training and improved use of social media. Of course, those willing to help would need a bit of faith that the store would, in fact, last another three years and that Twitter could help pay the rent. The seemingly bizarre business model has worked in the past, though. The acclaimed Monforte Dairy in Stratford staved off potential closure by getting over 900 people to buy cheese shares. This whole thing might be a bit easier, too, if it could somehow be proven that the 100-mile diet isn’t just bunkum.

Locavore store asks customers to buy shares [Toronto Star]